Your first week of college will probably be a whirlwind of emotions, experiences, and names. Although freshman orientation is pretty well planned out at most schools, there are bound to be moments of awkwardness where you’re really just not sure what to do.

Here are 10 tips that will help you survive that first week of college.

It’s all in the name…unless you forget it

You will meet so many new people your first week of college you should probably walk around with a pen and paper to document them all because you’ll never remember them. (Please don’t. Now that would be awkward.)

Tip #1

Accept that you will forget the names of most of the people you meet that first week. It’s OK. People will forget your name, too. It’s all good. The key is to be honest about it the next time you see somebody familiar in the hall or on campus. Don’t be afraid to say, “Hey, I know we met that first week, but I’m terrible with names. What’s your name again?“ Then after you’ve chatted for a bit, as you’re walking away, envision their face and repeat their name in your head several times so it “sticks.”

Make new friends, but keep the old

Out of all those people you’ll meet your first week, there’s a very real possibility that you won’t become and stay friends with all of them.

All freshmen will be looking to make friends and will probably be very friendly. I met tons of people during my first week and thought I would become friends with all of them. I didn’t. I stayed friends with about two of them.

Tip #2

Don’t worry if everybody you meet isn’t your BFF. You just need to find those two or three people you can go to the dining hall with and hang out with on weekends. Unlike high school, college isn’t a popularity contest. It’s about growing, learning, maturing, and meeting some cool people along the way to share the experience with.

Class materials are not cheap!

You probably have already heard about how expensive textbooks are. What you probably don’t hear about are the additional items you need to purchase. For example, last semester I had to purchase an online supplement for my textbook, an iClicker, a coursepack, a Top Hat account, a financial calculator, and case studies from Harvard Business School. Can you say…cha ching?!

Tip #3

Once you know what classes you’re taking and what books and materials are required, start looking around for cheaper alternatives. Start with past students, rent the books at your bookstore instead of buying, or check online sellers like,, or