You’ve finally moved in and now the first day of school is coming up. You’re trying to stay calm but you’re excited and you’re nervous. Little insecurities about being in a completely new environment begin to surface. What if I don’t know how to clean my room? What if my roommate isn’t as awesome as our online chats have proven? What if I make a fool out of myself and get lost on campus and don’t find my classes and end up lost in a library? It’s a tough time for first years out there. I’ve come up with some questions and answers to help you along.
1. How do you make friends?
You’re a bit nervous. It’s been four years since your first day of high school. You’ve always met people with a quiet sense of comfort that your friends are always there for you. This is the first time you’re going to be in a place where you know next to no one. You’ll do some stupid things along the way because you’ll get nervous, but you’ll find that college is a great incubator for your social skills and personal development. I’ve found that I personally encounter one huge problem every quarter that I end up learning and growing from. So accept that things will be awkward. Of course they will be. You’re meeting strangers who feel strange in a strange environment while feeling strange about yourself. Embrace the awkwardness and get out there. You’ll be fine.
2. What is that?
You’re going to find out soon enough that you don’t know something about something. And you’re going to feel like everyone else knows everything and start wondering how is it that they know so much about 14th century European chivalry. Take a deep breath. You belong here. It’s just going to take a bit of time for you to figure out how to present yourself authentically again. Once you find out how to be comfortable here, you might come to discover being in college is going to expose you to many different environments and that learning how to float in all of these scenarios will teach you a valuable life lesson about both stability and adaptability.
3. Why do we have a rivalry with USC?
We don’t actually hate the Trojans. Similar to other colleges, we revel in the idea of a common enemy in order to form and foster a community. One crucial rite of Bruin passage is going to a Bruins vs Trojans football game and experiencing the thrills of being a part of a 90,000 strong group (yes, that’s how many people the Rose Bowl can hold).
4. What was your name again?
You’re about to meet hundreds of people in one day. You’d have to be a genius to remember all of their names. Don’t get too caught up about remembering names. Just focus on having a good time, and no one will be offended when you ask for their name again.
5. What is On the Hill?
This is not a shameless plug. On the Hill is a term used by students and staff alike to refer to all of the residence buildings on campus. Remember that. And remember to call Rendezvous “Rende”. Make sure Bruin Cafe is pronounced Bcafe, and Cafe 1919 is 1919. So there you go, you’re on your way to learning the lingo and becoming a Bruin. Be excited!
So there you go, here are the five questions you might want the answer to on move in day. Get out there and make this community your own!