Monday, July 3, 2017

Advice for your first week of college graphic with Wild E. Cat standing by the wall in front of Thompson Hall

The first week of college is always a little nerve-wracking for incoming freshmen. You might be wondering if you’ll make friends, like your roommate or get lost. Don’t worry! Everything will be just fine. Just remember that everyone else is in the same boat.

Here are some tips to keep in mind while going through your first week at UNH:

Wildcat Days

Friday, August 25 – Sunday, August 27 (Check out the full schedule here.)

  • Say hi to people: Greet your hallmates with a smile and a “hello.” You never know who could be a new friend! I met some of my first friends by walking through my hall and popping my head into their rooms. A compliment on their dorm room decorations is always a good place to start.
  • Keep your door open: This applies to basically your entire freshman year of college, but it’s especially essential during the first few days. Keeping your door open is a great way to meet people.
  • Embrace it: Chances are you might feel a bit silly during the many “icebreaker” activities that you’ll participate in with other residents of your hall. Just keep a good attitude and don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself. Learning not to care what others think is one of the most valuable lessons of college — and it starts with the first few days!
  • Go to the events: From the Wildcat Barbecue to the Cat Pack Kick-off Rally to the Jukebox event in the MUB… There’s clearly a lot to do during Wildcat Days! Keeping busy will distract you from any potential homesickness and it will help you meet new friends.
  • Don’t feel pressured to party: No, not everyone goes out the first few nights of college. If you’re not comfortable, remember that it’s always okay to stay in. Play some cards with your hallmates or get to know your roommate. There are always other things to do!


UNH Cat Pack Kick-off Rally

First Day of Classes

Monday, August 28

  • Show up prepared: For the first day of classes, come prepared with a pen/pencil and paper so you can take notes about what you’ll need for the class. Also, bring a folder to put syllabi in.
  • Plan out your route: Look at a campus map beforehand to see where you’re going, and download the UNH mobile app, which has a map that you can consult on-the-go.
  • Leave yourself time to get to class: You’re still getting to know campus, so make sure you give yourself plenty of time to find your building and classroom. No one wants to walk in late!
  • Find friends to walk with: Ask around your hall to see if anyone has the same classes as you or has a class in the same area around the same time as you. You won’t be as nervous if you can walk to class with a new friend.
  • Talk to your classmates: Get to know the person sitting next to you and exchange emails or become friends on Facebook so you can exchange notes or meet up for study groups.
  • Make lunch plans: See if you and your roommate or hallmates have time to meet up for lunch. You’ll be thankful you made plans in advance to grab a bite to eat in the middle of a busy day of classes.


UNH students walking through Murkland Courtyard

First Week of Classes

Monday, August 28 – Friday, September 1

  • Don’t worry if you’re confused: Remember not to stress out if you’re feeling confused. A lot of information will be thrown at you this week and it may feel like a lot to digest, but no one’s expecting you to have it all figured out in the first week.
  • Stay organized: Use a planner to write down tasks and assignments so you won’t forget. You don’t want to miss your first deadline!
  • Get enough sleep: It may be exciting to be in college where you get to go to sleep whenever you want, but remember to get enough rest so that you can focus in classes the next day.
  • Eat healthy: Make time to eat three healthy meals a day in order to have energy to get through your busy days. Don’t forget to leave time to eat a good breakfast, which is essential. The dining halls have tons of healthy options throughout the day, so make sure you stop by.
  • Explore: Invite some new friends to get out and explore campus. Go for a walk in College Woods, grab coffee in downtown Durham, get an ice cream cone at the Dairy Bar or get some exercise at the Hamel Recreation Center. There’s definitely no shortage of things to do!

And don’t forget to rub the Wildcat statue’s nose for good luck!

UNH student patting the Wildcat statue's nose