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How to Win at Welcome Week

Welcome week was created to help students adjust to college life - here's how you can make the most of it.

How to Win at Welcome Week
If you’re like me, you’ve been spending lots of time at your local Target or Bed, Bath, and Beyond, searching for anything and everything you might need for your dorm in college. You’ve probably been in contact with your roommate, and are starting to feel nerves about meeting them. Classes are no more than a faraway thought, although perhaps they’re closer than you think. Before classes start at many universities, however, students have the opportunity to spend an extra week on campus. During a college’s welcome week, incoming students can get a feel for campus surroundings, get used to living in a dorm, and take part in a number of college-sponsored activities. Welcome week is an important first step in your college experience. Here are three tips for making the most of it:

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1. Show Up
You can’t take advantage of welcome week if you don’t even make an appearance there. In fact, at many schools, welcome week is mandatory for all incoming freshmen. Even if your school doesn’t require that you go, however, you should still take part. Welcome week is meant to ease you into college life without the added stress of taking classes.

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If you skip out on welcome week, you also lose the chance to make new friends and find out more about opportunities at your university, like student-run clubs and Greek life. Welcome week is meant to make going to college easier. Who doesn’t want that?
2. Smile!
If welcome week is required for you, don’t resent it. The more enthusiasm you put into the experience, the more rewarding it will be. I can understand being bitter over losing an extra week of summer, but welcome week is well worth the sacrifice. If you don’t give welcome week a chance, then your week will be miserable no matter what happens. However, if you kick off welcome week with a positive outlook, you will learn from your first week of college and, more importantly, enjoy it.

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Remember that welcome week isn’t some arbitrary requirement; it’s there for you. If you let yourself have fun, you’ll never forget welcome week.
3. Talk to People
A common fear among incoming college students is having a hard time making new friends. If you’re going to welcome week, however, you’ll have nothing to worry about! You’ll have ample opportunity to meet new people throughout the week at events such as ice cream socials or community service events. Be sure to introduce yourself to the people you come in contact with. If you see someone hanging back from the group, invite them in! Of course, if you’re the one hanging back, make an effort to join in with others. Keep an open and friendly demeanor throughout welcome week, and you’ll be sure to end up with an ample group of new friends. Moving away from home is a huge milestone in the lives of many students, and the prospect of living at college is certainly daunting. Welcome week is a way for you grow acclimated to college life instead of tackling it all at once. If you approach welcome week with an open mind and a positive attitude, you’ll have no problem with finding success at college.

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