Featured Image

My First Week as a College Freshman

A freshman at Fairmont State University shares what she experienced during her first week of college, including move-in day, Welcome Weekend, classes, and more.

Bailey just started college at Fairmont State University! Here she gives an overview of everything that happened her very first week, including move-in day, Welcome Weekend, classes, and more.

On Thursday, August 10, I moved to college to begin my freshman year at Fairmont State University. Not only did I move in earlier than most of my friends, but I also moved farther away from my friends and family than I had ever been in my life. Granted, I’m still only three hours away from home, but those three hours can feel like a lifetime when you only know one other person at your college. I want to give future college freshmen an honest description of what their first week of college might be like, because I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect when I actually got to campus.

Day 1: Move-in day

For the first time in my life, I drove for three hours in a car bursting at the seams with luggage and a few of my family members, following the snaking interstate north from my hometown. Was I nervous? Of course. But as soon as I entered the city limits of my college town, my nerves melted away to excitement. Then the actual process of moving in began.

Even though the weather was perfect for moving—low 70s, cloudy, a slight breeze—the whole process was still stressful. My family and I piled all my belongings into my tiny dorm room, and it felt as if I would never make sense of the ruins of luggage that towered around me. From trying to find a place to plug in my mini fridge to figuring out where to put all of my shoes, more problems kept popping up in my way, but with the help of my family, I survived and my room looks great. 

Luckily I knew my roommates long before move-in day. I live with one of my lifelong best friends and two other girls that I met months before I moved to Fairmont, and that made moving in infinitely better than it would have been if I didn’t know them. My roommates helped me carry in my luggage and rearrange my furniture when my parents were busy doing other move-in tasks. Each of us has our own room with a bed and a desk, but we share a bathroom and a common area together. We spend a lot of time together, doing homework, going to dinner, watching Netflix, and altogether acting as a support system for one another. 

After I unpacked my room, I went for a walk around campus with my family before they left. The goodbyes were tough, and I’m not going to lie to you: I cried on move-in day. I definitely wasn’t the only freshman who cried, and I took comfort knowing that my classmates also felt the hurricane of emotions that I felt. 

Days 2, 3, and 4: Welcome Weekend

At my school, Welcome Weekend is a big deal. I attended three days’ worth of seminars, picnics, icebreaker games, and tours during Welcome Weekend. Over those three days, I heard the same advice countless times from countless entities:

“Go to class; don’t skip.”

“Make sure you eat and sleep enough.”

“Study hard, and please do your homework.”

“If you need help, just ask for it. We have tips, tricks, and resources that can help you feel less homesick or help you succeed in your classes.” 

Even though the Welcome Weekend activities were cheesy and sometimes more than a little bit boring, each activity was worth my time, and I encourage every college freshman to take advantage of welcome activities on his or her campus. During Welcome Weekend, I made a few new friends, reconnected with people I had met briefly in the past, and gorged on the free food that was provided at each event. If you go to Welcome Weekend activities for no other reason, at least go for the free food. Always follow the free food.

Days 5, 6, and 7: First week of classes

The first week of classes at my college is known as Syllabus Week, and I’m sure many other schools practice this same model. You go to your classes during the first week, become acquainted with your classmates and professors, go over the syllabus, and figure out which classes will require the most effort. For instance, I learned that I don’t need the books for a couple of my classes; the teachers simply don’t use them. Luckily, at my school’s bookstore, I could return books until one week after classes began, and I got back close to $100 from these returns.

Students can also add or drop classes during this period. They get the chance to see if their classes are the right fit for them, and if they’re not, there is no shame in switching to another class. I did not add or drop any classes because my schedule suited me perfectly, but I would encourage all future college freshmen to scrutinize their classes during this first week. If you feel like you’re going to be overwhelmed, reconsider what classes you really need to take during your first semester. It might be better if you ease into the college experience and curriculum rather than rush into the waves of reading and hours of writing that flood each day.

I loved my first week of classes. All of my professors were warm and engaging, welcoming me and my classmates to a new level of academia unlike that of our previous schooling. Although I started college as a freshman this year, most of my classes were comprised of students of all ages, classes, and walks of life. I discussed The Epic of Gilgamesh with juniors and nontraditional English Education majors on Monday while I pondered the merits of majoring in English with a veteran on Tuesday.

To fill my evenings during the school week, I worked on homework, talked to my parents, and attended various social events on campus. The administration at my school likes to keep the students busy so we don’t miss home too much. And honestly, it worked. I was so busy during this first week that I didn’t have time to miss home; my college began to feel like home to me. 

The first week of college is a rush of people, names, places, events, and feelings. Sometimes it’s hard to keep up, but if you enjoy this rush, the first week of college will be a kind of fun you’ve never experienced before. Embrace it. Most importantly, make the most out of your first week of college; think of it as the beginning of the rest of your life. 

College freshmen: how’d your first week go? Let us know in the comments!

Like what you’re reading?

Join the CollegeXpress community! Create a free account and we’ll notify you about new articles, scholarship deadlines, and more.

Join Now

college freshmen college life first day of college first week of college student life what's college really like

About Bailey McInturff

Bailey McInturff

Hi, my name is Bailey, and I am so excited to share my writing with you. As a senior about to graduate high school, my college search is essentially over; I just have to smooth out the final details. Although school takes up most of my time right now, I still manage to find the time to work, volunteer, and write. No matter what I do, I try to use my abilities to be the change I wish to see in the world. I love to help others, and I hope I can help you too.


Join our community of
over 5 million students!

CollegeXpress has everything you need to simplify your college search, get connected to schools, and find your perfect fit.

Join CollegeXpress
CollegeXpress Logo


Are you our next winner?

Register now for our scholarship giveaway

Chris Bell

Chris Bell

Bell College Consulting

The college lists on CollegeXpress are indispensable for sussing out creative additions to a student’s list, and the college-specific pages provide terrific commentary and suggestions for related schools. CollegeXpress is among the most trusted sources I use for information for my students.



High School Class of 2021

CollegeXpress gave me options of schools with my major and from there I was able to pick what was most important to me in a school. Everything was so organized that I could see all the information I needed.



High School Class of 2021

CollegeXpress is a multi-maneuver platform that has been helping students in their college applications and scholarship hunt process. For me, CollegeXpress has been a boon. I've been able to find my dream university via CX, and I've also been able to apply to thousands of scholarships through it. All the thanks to CollegeXpress for doing such a great job for free. I express my sincere gratitude to you for doing such a wonderful job. I recommend CollegeXpress without any reservations.

Carlie Cadet

Carlie Cadet

High School Class of 2019

CollegeXpress has helped me learn about an abundance of scholarships available to me and my situation. I was able to do research for colleges in my best interest with your website. I've had multiple colleges email me and offer me multiple scholarships and things of that nature because of this website! Thank you so much for uploading scholarships I didn’t even know existed, even if my life took a huge turn and I wasn’t able to go to college straight out of high school. CollegeXpress helped me a lot in high school to be even more motivated to get into my dream college (which I did, by the way). I'm looking forward to using the materials CollegeXpress has kindly provided me for free to look for scholarships to help pay for college.

Sadie Hartmann

Sadie Hartmann

High School Class of 2021

I'm a senior in high school, and CollegeXpress has helped me in so many ways this year in trying to navigate the process of deciding and committing to a university. The COVID-19 Student Resource Center has helped me many times with the most up-to-date and accurate information, along with financial aid and student life [advice]. During these uncertain times, CollegeXpress has been a great recourse to relieve the stress as a senior. Along with the COVID-19 Student Resource Center, I'm constantly using the extremely helpful tools off the site to aid me during this stressful process. Tools like the lists and rankings of universities have been the most beneficial. I've also used the site to receive expert advice on topics like financial aid. Finally, CollegeXpress has helped me easily apply for several scholarships. I'm thankful to be given the chance to win a scholarship to lessen the burden of my college debt.

College Matches