Put your best foot forward with these CI tips

Media Credit: Graeme Sloan | Contributing Photo Editor

As students stay in Thurston Hall for Colonial Inauguration, they will see residence halls and meet future classmates for the first time.

Colonial Inauguration serves as a trial run before fully immersing yourself in college life.

It will be the first time that you meet your classmates, see your residence hall and register for courses as a college student. As you explore campus for two days, keep these tips in mind so you can make a good first impression and have a successful first look at college life.

Do: Establish your class schedule ahead of time

Check out your school’s website for a list of general requirements for your school and major before scrolling through the course catalog. To go the extra mile, get a second opinion from Rate My Professors for an idea of the professor’s teaching style and work requirements before committing to their class. If you prepare as much as possible, registration will be relatively painless.

Don’t: Compete with fellow freshmen about academic records

Whether you’re tempted to show off your AP credits or how difficult your workload will be next year, don’t try to present yourself as better than your classmates. You may want to hype up your high school persona, but it’s best to start with a clean slate. In a few months, you’ll be pulling all-nighters alongside them and you don’t want to be known as condescending before you even start.

Do: Be friendly with temporary roommates

Break the ice with your roommates. You can easily build rapport complaining before bed about course registration and your housing assignment, which could lead to a lasting friendship. Even though you might not see your temporary roommates again, chatting is a good way to start feeling more comfortable on campus and you’ll be glad to see a familiar face in the fall.

Don’t: Get too friendly

Your stay in Thurston Hall is only one night. Remember that your room is not only yours, so you don’t want to be the person who locks five other people out for a quick hookup with another student you just met. Wait until the semester starts so you can establish rules with your roommates on when you can score some alone time.

Do: Embrace your independence

You’re finally an adult. Most CI activities are optional, so you can choose what you want to attend. If you don’t find the presentations or group discussions useful, explore your new city instead. Don’t be afraid to ditch the seminars with a new friend or family who came to D.C. with you for a late-night walk to the Lincoln Memorial or a Metro ride to Chinatown.

Don’t: Get into unnecessary trouble

With your newfound freedom, you might want to have a wild couple of days before returning home. But, CI is short and you don’t want to call home or risk getting in trouble because you tried to use your friend’s fake ID to get into a bar. You have plenty of time to have fun and make a few mistakes along the way in the fall.

Do: Be yourself

When meeting new people, it may be tempting to reinvent yourself to fit in. But, you’ll be better off down the line if you act and dress in a way that makes you feel the most comfortable. If you take the conversation beyond hometown and major, you’ll find friends you truly mesh with by letting them get to know who you really are.

Don’t: Be too cool for school

With activities all day long, CI might feel like summer camp. But, don’t be the person who tries to act like they’re too cool for orientation. If you roll your eyes whenever your CI leader speaks or avoid all the activities, people will see you as negative and you’ll miss a chance to bond with classmates. Embrace the fun, sometimes cheesy, introduction to freshman year, because in just two months you’ll be hard at work.

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