It feels like just yesterday you were seating for your KCSE and the results were announced shortly after. Now, many of you are only a few weeks away from becoming an official collegiette. While you’re so excited for the best four years of your life to begin, you’re probably starting to freak out about that first week of college. Between making new friends and navigating your way through campus, it can be a little stressful. With our collegiette-approved tips, the first week of school will be a breeze!
The day you’ve been waiting for is finally here: registration day. Whether you packed up the car with your parents or took a bus from wherever you live, today marks the beginning of your collegiette experience. Alas, your day isn’t limited to unpacking a plethora of bags and getting your campus room arranged!
Meeting your roommate
When you are booking for your room, you do not know whether you are going to be in the same room with an angel or the devil herself. Luck will be on your side when you discover that your roomie is someone you know! Whether you know your roommate or not, the anticipation is over—you’re officially living with them. While you may be nervous to live with a stranger, take this first day to bond. Break the ice by complimenting some of their outfits or even a book that’s lying on their desk. Not only are you showing a genuine interest in their life, you may also learn that the two of you have something in common. After the two of you unpack, suggest hitting up the mess hall. The two of you can bond over coffee or tea with mandazi!
Introducing yourself to your Custodian or Janitor
Chances are your Custodian/Janitor will be the one issuing you with your mattress or room keys. Since your Janitor makes the rules and writes people up if a problem occurs (e.g. noise violations, possession of alcohol, etc.), make sure to get on their good side, stat! Get to know your Janitor by asking questions about his or her family, college life, and what’s like to live in the hostels. Usually, the Janitor will have an office within the hostels with a sign on his or her door, so this search will be no needle in a haystack.
How was your first night in your dorm? Sure, you may not love your mattress or the squeaky bed yet, but you’ll get used to it. Get ready, ladies: today is your first day as an official collegiette.
Day two at campus is usually the start of the orientation process. It is during this process that you get to learn about the different corners of your college. Your parents have already left and now its you and your God alone on campus. At most orientation ceremonies, there will be long speeches. A lot of long speeches. You may stop paying attention between the welcome speech and your Dean of Students’ monologue, and that’s okay! Instead of burying your face in your cell, take this opportunity to (quietly) introduce yourself to the people sitting around you. A simple joke about how long the speeches are could lead to a new friendship!
What’s campus without good food? Speaking of good food, you probably will have realized how substandard mess food is and now you are looking for better alternatives.
If you haven’t already purchased your books, you may be tempted to follow the massive horde of people headed to the bookstore. However, we urge you to stray away from the pack because you can find better deals.
To figure out which books you need, you can usually look at your Course Catalogue outlining the number of units you are taking this semester. If that doesn’t work, wait until the first day of classes. Since the first day of classes is usually filled with reading the syllabus, you can get away with not having your books right away.
Getting comfortable with your campus
Some campuses may be easy to navigate; others are a jungle. Instead of having a mild to severe panic attack on the first day of classes, spend a few hours exploring what your university has to offer. While some colleges offer tours the first few days, test your knowledge by going without a guide. Make sure to take note of major landmarks while you search for the following locations:
- Student health services
- Dining halls
- The nearest pharmacy
- The gym
- Where your classes are located
- The student center
- The closest bus stop
- Closest market for your groceries
To make this event a million times better, bring your roommate along. That way, the two of you can laugh about that time you couldn’t find your way back to your hostel. Speaking of getting lost, don’t be embarrassed to ask for directions! Ask a student who seems to know where they’re going (bonus points if they’re cute).
You made it to the Botanical garden and back in one panic-free piece? Congratulations! On your walk, you may have noticed all the Freshers’ Night banners. If the number of these banners haven’t proved that colleges go all out for incoming collegiettes, the slew of welcome week activities will! Don’t take these events lightly because they are prime opportunities to make new friends.
Making friends outside of your hostel
As much as you love your new hostelmates, it’s imperative that you make other friends as well. After all, aren’t cliques so high school? Since everyone’s looking to make new friends during the first few weeks of school, unleash your social butterfly pronto. Easier said than done, right? Not necessarily. In fact, going to all your school’s welcome week events is half the battle. Break the ice with that charismatic boy by telling him that you liked his answer in the ice-breaker activity at the orientation hall. Or compliment that super trendy girl on her sartorially superb sandals. From there, don’t be afraid to ask your new friends about hometowns, courses, and even hostels. Once you’ve covered the basics, making friends is as easy as it was in kindergarten because, just as in kindergarten, everyone’s looking to make new friends too!
Welcome Week activities
While you now know that you’re supposed to make friends during welcome week activities, what does welcome week mean? Essentially, your lovely school/department organizes a plethora of events so you can assimilate into college. Just remember to be outgoing, energetic, and enthusiastic!
The term TGIF exists for a reason, collegiettes.
Freshers’ Night! Party time!
Now that your bustling social life is underway, the moment you’ve been waiting for is finally here: your very first party as a collegiette. Though you may want to dive right into the world of crazy college parties, make sure you don’t end up regretting your first night of fun. Don’t be ‘that girl’ the first week that has a drunken tragedy. You want to make a good impression. Instead of cutting the keg stand line, take your first few outings to meet people. Speaking of socializing, make sure you adhere to the Buddy System. It may sound lame, but it’s definitely better to be safe than sorry (especially in an environment where drunk college guys only have one thing on their minds… and it’s not flip cup). With all that in mind, remember to have fun. It’s a party after all!
After a couple collegiette days, you’re starting to get really comfortable on campus! Social life? Check. Academic life? You bought the books, so you’re good for now. Extracurriculars? Uh…
Signing up for extra-curricula
Don’t be surprised if your new collegiette status prompts you to be as school-spirited as humanly possible: it’s completely normal. Side effects of school spirit may include signing up for a million extracurricular activities. Since the next four years is all about figuring out who you are, take a chance and sign up for a bunch of different clubs. During the beginning of school, most universities have an extracurricular expo where you can learn about all the clubs on campus. Sign up for the ones that truly interest you. If your school doesn’t offer one of these club conventions, look on your school’s website and email the clubs you’re interested in about how to join.
Is it just me or was your first week of college on fast forward? Time flies when you’re having fun. Unfortunately, this week of social outings and free swag will come to a screeching halt soon. Although college is still loads of fun, you do have to go to school.
Find a Religious Gathering to belong
In as much as Campus is all fun and games and learning, it is always good to reconnect with the Supreme being. One thing about college is that you have total freedom of worship and there are a zillion options for you. Find a church, mosque or whatever pleases your spirit and become a member.
Find a study spot
By now, you should know what kind of studying atmosphere you prefer. Are you the quiet library kind of gal or are you craving a coffeeshop humming with conversation? Before classes begin, head to your desired study spot for a test run. You can learn all about the location’s food and drink regulations as well as WiFi access. Though your new home away from home may look deserted, finding a place to study early will allow you to focus on your work.
Final preparations for your first day
Though you already have all your books, there are a few things you need to do before your first day in a lecture hall. Sure, lectures don’t start until Monday; however, who really wants to wait until the last minute? Exactly. For a stress-free first day, there are some simple tasks you must do beforehand:
- Decide whether you should use notebooks, an iPad, or your laptop
- If notebooks are your thing, pick up some pens and paper
- Write down what building and room each of your classes is in
- Figure out how much time you need to get ready based on how far away your classes are from your hostel
- Print a copy of each class’s syllabus
- Pick out your first day of school outfit (I don’t care how old you are, it still matters)
With school supplies and a rocking outfit, how could anything go wrong?
So the first week is over, now what? We’re pleased to tell you that the most stressful part is over (well, except maybe for your first CAT). Sure, you’ll encounter some collegiette dilemmas; however, if you can survive your first week of college, there’s nothing you can’t do.