PS. If I talk about people in a post, I will usually let you know a little bit out who they are. Nicole is my beautiful, brown-haired room mate that you will probably see (and hear) a lot of, and I will especially be referencing her in this particular post. She's great.
- If you need help, ask! If you need help finding a certain building or classroom, seriously just ask someone. I spent my whole first day of school walking around and looking at every single building trying to find where my classes were. DO NOT DO THIS. All this will do is make you tired from walking up and down the hill a million times, make you look stupid from walking in a million circles, and make you late to every class because you didn't take the time to ask a simple question. I'm sure everyone would be happy to help you out (I love it when people ask me where things are because it makes me feel like I look like I know what I am doing.) If you do get connected then you can also bring your schedule and ask your team leader guy and where certain buildings and things are (that's what all of the smart kids did, obviously I wasn't one of them).
- Pick a good seat- In most of your classes there wont be a seating chart, but there are the few teachers that do make them. Here is a helpful hint in both cases: pick a seat you think you will like on one of the first days. Teachers that make seating charts usually just pass a chart along and have you sign your name where you are sitting. If you like where you are sitting this obviously is not a problem; however, if you don't like it then you are probably still stuck sitting there for the rest of the semester. For the classes that don't have an assigned seating chart it is still good to pick a good seat one of the first days (people usually end up sitting in relatively the same seat every day after that anyway). Nicole also likes to pick seats next to people she thinks are attractive (this really is not a bad plan). Almost all of my friends I have made because I sat next to the right people in class. I swear on my life.
- Be outgoing- This is a good time to come out of any shell you may have been hiding in. There is something about the first week of school that makes almost everyone on campus more talkative and just plain outgoing. Don't be afraid to strike up conversations with people in your classes and any other activities you may do (especially in Get Connected and any parties you go to). People wont think you are weird, they will just think you are kind and outgoing! (This was particularly hard for me because I am not super outgoing right out the gate, luckily I had Nicole.)
- Go to Get Connected- Even though it might seem pointless, you seriously meet so many people here. It's like EFY on steroids! I would just go, it's as simple as that. Get Connected is where we met one of our best friends, Dakota! (pictured below he is on the very left, we don't know the other random kid that jumped in these pictures with us...)
- Get to know your room mates- You would think this is a no-brainer, but some people don't really end up talking to their room mates a whole lot. Nicole suggests having a house meeting on one of the first days so you can all figure out together how you want your house set up. I totally endorse this idea, it is a good time to find out how your roomies feel about sharing things, cleanliness, what their pet peeves are, and all that jazz. It is a really good way to help prevent problems later in the semester (I'm not saying this will take care of everything, tensions usually end up running high at some point and sometimes your room mates just end up being crazy anyway). Nicole and I have never been in a fight or even had any kind of tension because we just know a lot about each other (the picture below is totally how we look all the time)
- Follow the dress code- This one may come as a surprise to those that actually know me. Trust me, it is much easier to wear the right clothing the first time than to get sent home to change when you are trying to take a test or go to class. Everything is going to be okay, dressing modestly is not going to kill you (not that I know of anyway). Plus, Rexburg weather is usually colder than most places anyway.
- Don't be afraid to raise your hand- It's totally okay to ask/answer questions in class. In fact, it is better to do those things than to just sit there twiddling your thumbs. In high school I detested participating in class. If I got called on I would turn bright red, forget how to read, and it usually would end in one of my friends having to bail me out of the awkward situation. I have since then learned that participating is a great thing. Teachers are more likely to notice you and in many cases are more likely to help you out when you need it. (There were also many times where cute boys would ask me for help and on study dates because I knew what was going on in the class and teachers gave me extra credit for speaking up.)
- Hang out in the Crossroads- The Crossroads is another great place to meet people. For those of you that don't know, the Crossroads is where people (especially if you are a Freshman boy living in the dorms) go to eat and just hang out. There are so many people there all the time and random people legitimately just come sit and eat with you. It's great. (This is us playing in the Crossroads between classes)
- Go to class- This one is more of an entire semester point, but it is still very important. GO TO CLASS. Some classes you feel like you can miss all of the time, especially if the teacher doesn't take attendance. Go anyway. 99% of the time not going will come back to bite you in the butt (like when teachers ask questions from their lectures and not the readings on their tests).
- Enjoy the weather- The first two or three weeks are about the only times during fall semester that the weather will be nice (there are other very rare times the weather will be nice again, but don't fall for this lie, it's a trap). Try and do any outside activity that sounds appealing within the first couple of weeks because pretty soon you wont be able to go outside without freezing (especially you Vegas people).
- Compare before you buy- Before you get your text books from the student store, shop around. Most of the time you can find your books for lower prices either online or at Viking. This is a money and life saver. I also would suggest renting all of your books as opposed to buying them. Unless you know you will be using the book in your future classes, there is really no reason to spend more money to buy the book.
- Be prepared- There is only one Walmart in Rexburg (and ZERO Targets, the closest one is about 30 minutes away, which we think is worth the drive). Seeing as there is only one Walmart and everyone always shops there, it is a freaking nightmare for about a week. If you need hangers, command hooks/strips, and all of those other things that every single person going to school probably needs, try and get them beforehand because you might not be able to get them for a very long time if you wait. Lots of students+one Walmart= everything on backorder until winter semester (so I may have exaggerated the winter semester thing but it really does take forever to get the things you need).
- Be Unique- Let me be specific on what I mean. On the first day of class a lot of teachers will have you go around and introduce yourself and say one thing about yourself. This is a good time to stand out. A lot of people go the conventional way and say "I play baseball" or "My favourite colour is blue" or some other winning answer like that. While there is nothing wrong with those answers, I usually say something like "I used to live in Australia" and I cannot tell you how many times people have remembered me because of it. (Actually I can, in my first class alone last year there were six people that came up and talked to me about it.) I'm not saying that answer is brilliant either, I just mean say something that might be able to spark a conversation later. It may sound dumb, but this tip is one that has worked the best for me! Here is my proof that I actually did live in Australia
- Use a backpack- This one is mostly for girls (well hopefully) and is kind of more of a preference thing. In high school I was definitely one of the girls that bought a bag as opposed to a backpack to carry all my books every year. That doesn't work as well in college. My first day of school I felt all prepared with my Dooney and Bourke computer bag, until I got to my first class and I had to have someone pop my arm back into it's socket (maybe it wasn't that dramatic, but my arm really did feel like it was going to fall off). You have way too many books, pens and pencils, and random items for a bag to be comfortable. I vote you find a cute backpack to put all of your stuff in and maybe use a bag on the days you only have like one book. Maybe.
- Go to church- Not only is church another great way to meet people (look at how many ways there are to meet people!) you kind of have to go there to be able to keeping going to school in Idaho (and trust me, you will want to keep going there). Church is especially fun at school because everyone there is around your age and the lessons are coming from people you can relate to. It's rad.
- Have a good attitude- This one speaks for itself. Attitude is everything. It's up to you whether you want to have a good time or not, so choose to be happy. There are so many things to do and people to meet in Rexburg that there is no reason to not have fun. That's all there is to it.
Well I think that's about it. Hopefully I'm not leaving out anything important and hopefully this helps a little bit. Good luck!