Winning NIU in the first weeks of school

By Leah Spagnoli

The awkward moment when you move away from home for the first time and you have no idea what to do with yourself.

Sound familiar, freshmen?

That’s definitely how I felt during my first week at NIU. Over the next month or so, there’s so many ways to find the part of NIU that belongs to you. Feel free to try what worked for me.

The best way I found to overcome the feeling of being alone is to take part in the biggest week NIU hosts all year, Welcome Week.

I wouldn’t lie to you and say all of the events are amazing and you’ll never forget them; however, all of the parties (both regular and block), ice cream socials, giveaways and dances are a great way to meet people.

A lot of the time the event might be a dud, but at least you went, got a hot dog and found out, right?

Attending these events is also a good way to rub elbows with people involved with the groups, sororities, fraternities or associations you may want to get involved with.

Unfortunately, the Northern Star doesn’t host one of these sweet get-togethers, but if you stop by our office, someone on staff might tell you a joke or two.

Then, once you find yourself drowning in T-shirts, hand sanitizer, condoms and tampons, it’s time to go to class.

Make sure you go to class.

Actually, going to class sounds so mundane and unimportant once you have entered the land of no parents, but try to remember why you came to NIU and what you’re paying all that money for. Academics are obviously the core reason we have all come together; life-long friendships and memories are just perks.

Once you find all of your classes, try to remember a few key tips: Try to sit in the front of the room, don’t sit alone and don’t fall asleep. I’ve heard a rumor that if you sit in the front of a classroom, your instructor or professor is more likely to think you are serious about the class and ready to succeed over the next 16 weeks.

Don’t worry about looking geeky or desperate. Sitting in the front is actually a good way to pay attention and keep from falling asleep mid-lecture.

Sleeping is not overrated. Unless you are an insomniac, don’t stay up all hours of the night; you’ll regret it once you start falling asleep in class. You’re in college now, so naps are a perk that have been put back on the table — pause for a happy dance.

My biggest piece of advice is try not to stress yourself out. I realize how obnoxious that sounds, but it is so easy to get caught up in everything and forget about what’s important: you.

Have fun this semester, as well as for the rest of your time here at NIU.