1: Your First Night at School

1: Your First Night at School

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Campus Chronicles

Your First Night at School

Change always comes bearing gifts.

~Price Pritchett

Ahhhh... you made it. Can you believe it? You survived the stress of senior exams, prom, SATs, college applications, scholarships, and you’re finally in college. It’s a little weird, isn’t it?

So it’s your first official night at college. Time to relax; the hard part is over: your parents are (hopefully) out of your dorm, and if you’re lucky your stuff is all put away (or at least on its way out of boxes), your furniture is arranged (keep rearranging to maximize the space in that tiny room) and you are stress-free, lying in the bottom bunk (if your beds are bunked, fight for the bottom, you’ll get sick of climbing up to the top by November).

Get a good night of sleep tonight. Tomorrow, and the rest of the week, will be exciting. My first week of college, my roommate and I went to a cookout, an ice cream social, met a ton of people, and gave ourselves a campus tour. Maps in hand, we energetically explored the buildings and lecture halls, literally racing each other from building to building. At that point, walking everywhere didn’t seem that bad, but a week into classes, voluntarily climbing a flight of stairs was far from our list of leisure activities.

This first week is going to be a whirlwind, but take advantage of the energy while you have it. Go to everything you have time for, meet people and remember their names, and get to know your campus. Your impressions of it will change as it becomes your home, but that first impression will remain a cherished memory.

I bet you’re a bit scared, anxious, and unsure, but do your best to allow excitement to overshadow all of those emotions.

Classes haven’t started, exams are months away, and you’re just meeting your hallmates. Be who you are. You’re an adult, capable of making decisions, taking responsibility, and dealing with consequences. Be genuine, be caring, devote yourself to your studies, and to meeting people that aren’t like you. You’ll be surprised at how much you have in common with them. Expand your horizons, but never forget where you came from.

At college you will sleep through an 11 o’clock class, learn about things like NCAA football, international politics, dining hall food, and how incredible your parents really are. You will make lifelong friends, get an education, learn about yourself, and make memories that will be sweet for the rest of your life.

Rest well. The next few days will be full, exciting, challenge-laden, and stressful... but also fun and unforgettable. Sweet dreams.

~Amanda L. Southall

More stories from our partners