Regional College Access Center

Arriving on campus

Amy says: If you're planning to live on campus, it's a good idea to call or email your assigned roommate before move-in. A roommate can be a great first buddy to hang out with, eat with, and walk to class with.

Don't worry if you don't think you and your roommate are destined to be best friends forever, though. You'll be meeting so many new people in the first few weeks of college that you won't even be able to remember their names.

Everybody else is freaking out too

When you get to campus for the first time you will be excited and nervous. You may not know anyone on campus yet and you may have no idea where you are going. This is normal, and everyone else feels the same way. Everyone. Even the people who seem cool and collected. (They're faking.)

Most schools have first-year students show up a few days before returning students, so you're very likely surrounded by people just as eager to make friends and dive into "being in college" as you are. Don't be afraid to start conversations!

Get the lay of the land

Definitely visit campus before the first day of class. You may have visited your new school before you decided to apply, but you had a different set of goals then and you were seeing things with different eyes. Where can you park? Where do the buses run? Where are your classes, and the mailroom, and the best pizza place? These are all important landmarks.

Here's a list of places you'll want to find on your campus:

  • your dorm
  • dining halls
  • buildings where you have classes
  • registrar's office
  • building that houses your major
  • library
  • student union
  • bookstore
  • technical assistance center
  • coffee shop
  • convenience store
  • computer lab
  • gym
  • print/copy shop

Pick up your student ID

If you haven't already been issued a student ID card, you need to get one as soon as possible. You will use this card for a lot of things on campus. Some schools provide them at orientation, others leave it to you to obtain one. Contact the school and find out how, where, and when to get your student ID card.

Getting around campus

Not bringing a car to campus? Most students don't. There are lots of ways to get around easily. Some colleges provide shuttles to and from campus, and even from one part of campus to another. Ask about this in the student union, or at your dorm. Make sure you grab a map of the routes and times for pick up and drop off.

Having a bike is also a great way to stay mobile. Most campuses strongly encourage students to ride a bike rather than a car to campus, and provide bike parking outside many buildings. Just be sure to lock your bike up when you're not using it. We recommend a U-lock, not a thin chain lock, which can be cut (college campuses are not immune to theft).