Truman Week is full of change, new beginnings and anxiety for new students. You’re new to this school, this town — heck — you’re even new to this crazy thing called college, and if you’re going to be hard pressed to find the same opportunities to make friends and learn about your campus that you had during Truman Week. So, here’s a list of things you should do if you want to survive Truman Week.
- Be nice to your roommate.
It doesn’t matter if you think your roommate is best friend material or not — you’re going to have to live with them for the remainder of the year, anyway. It’s best to start off on the right foot. State your expectations clearly at the beginning (i.e., I go to bed pretty early, so try to be quiet after 10 p.m., I like the room to be neater, so it would be pretty cool if you could make an effort, etc.). If your roommate knows what to expect, it’ll be easier to resolve conflicts later down the road without resorting to passive aggressive post-it notes.
- Go off campus.
The “Truman Bubble” can be a real thing if you don’t try to stay in touch with things outside campus. Go to Thousand Hills and take a hike every weekend. If you’re tired of Pickler, try studying at Sweet Espressions on The Square. If you’re homesick, make sure you call home more regularly. Do things that bring your focus outside of campus every now and then.
- Don’t fall in love with the first guy/girl you meet.
We all know that one person who is married to their Truman Week crush, but it’s not the norm. Don’t let yourself get carried away during that first week. You’re going to meet a lot of people this week. Take it slow.
- Walk around and actually talk to people.
It’s very easy to stay in your room, “chill and Netflix” alone, and watch Truman Week pass you by. But, coming from a Truman veteran, it’s hard to make friends without at least a little bit of effort. My advice? Go out and sit with someone new every day at the dining hall. Alternatively, invite people to sit with you and your friends. Hang out in the dorm lounges. Leave your door open so people can say hi. Making friends is always awkward and uncomfortable, but so is not having friends, so get over it.
- Go to the ice cream social.
This would seem obvious, but there’s always that group of kids who are too cool to go to the mandated activities. During Truman Week, and especially during the ice cream social, everyone, and I mean everyone is searching for friends. Let your guard down. No one is going to reject your efforts to be friendly, because everyone is in the same boat.
- Talk to the upperclassmen during Freshman Move-In.
There will be plenty of upperclassmen helping you carry all your boxes up to your new room. They will be offering information about the newspaper, Greek Life or whatever organization they might belong to. Listen to them. Who knows? It might be something you want to get involved in. For a list of all the campus organizations you can join, click here.
- Don’t be afraid to go to a party, but be responsible.
If you didn’t party during high school, but are curious as to how a “college party” might be, no one is going to stop you from going. If you were a partier during high school, and just want to continue that trend in college, again, no one is going to stop you. On the flip side, it’s important to go with a group of people you feel you can trust, keep each other accountable and make sure everyone makes it back to campus safely.
- Befriend your SAs.
Student Advisors are always available to you when you need them. Treat them with respect and kindness, because they could end up helping you in a whole host of ways. They help people with roommate conflicts and intervene in times of crisis. In short, they’re good people to have in your court. Take their advice because they’ve been through the struggles of freshman year, too.
- Be yourself.
It doesn’t matter who you were in high school — people don’t care about that anymore. It’s very important to remain true to who you are because, at the end of the day, you want to surround yourself with people that like you for you.
While Truman Week might be scary, most students look back at it nostalgically as the time when they met their best friend or they fell in love with their major. And, if you follow these tips, you’re sure to make yours a Truman Week worth remembering.