Drop your bags and settle in; it is campus move-in day and time to enjoy your new home for the next year. But don’t get too comfortable, since the semester begins in just a few days. Do you know where your classes are located? What about other facilities – such as the library, fitness center and cafeteria – that you will frequently be visiting?
If you feel disoriented, don’t fret. This how-to guide will help you learn your campus like the back of your hand.
Before venturing into the unknown territory of college grounds, grab a campus map, which might be found at the information desk in your school’s student center. If the campus is fairly large with buildings scattered across a several-block radius, consider dividing the layout into sections based on cardinal directions. Doing so may help you better visualize where buildings are situated.
Another good suggestion is to check the university website for interactive maps. Since these often provide 3D images, you will get an idea of building sizes and structures as well as surrounding locations prior to class time.
Now that you have well-researched your campus, you are ready for some light exploring. Even though you may have already received a school tour during orientation, you probably had much information to ingest that day. And how were you to take notice of the liberal arts college when your guide was discussing financial aid opportunities?
As you set out on your walk, bring a roommate or friend along for an extra pair of eyes and to make the experience more enjoyable. To start off, use your printed class schedule to locate classrooms, and take some test runs to know where you are headed and how much time is needed to arrive. You can never expect when an elevator may become jammed, so it is always recommended to give yourself a little leeway.
Providing there is extra time, travel through the rest of the campus and discover places, such as that little-known computer lab, that you may not have found otherwise.
For universities in larger cities, your how-to guide will involve an additional step in becoming acquainted with local transit systems. If you happen to have classes scheduled across town, find or print a map of train and bus routes and decide which mode is most convenient. With your travel buddy still by your side, test out these vehicles and familiarize yourself with arrival times, stops along the route, etc.
In the event that you are lost at any point during your trek, ask for assistance from security guards, professors, other school personnel or fellow students. For further questions, the registrar’s office can also serve as a good resource.
By following these simple tips, you will begin to feel more comfortable in your new surroundings. Even if one of your classrooms changes at the last minute, you will instantly know where to find it.