Five things you must do your 1st week back on campus

The first week on campus is great; I wish every other week of the school year was like it. It’s termed “syllabus week” for the fact that the only thing that gets accomplished in class is that teachers hand out and go over syllabi. It’s practically like having another week of summer, so if you’re worried about taking a test or quiz the first week, you can stop now. If you’re new to campus or out of ideas, then here are five things you should do during your first week on campus while you’re busy not doing homework.


1. Eat out on Green Street

I’d venture to say that Green Street is the most happening place on campus, especially at night. Complete with bars, restaurants and stores, it’s basically like a city block. Green Street has the usual chain restaurants like Noodles & Company, Chipotle and Panera, but also some Champaign-Urbana specialties like Zorba’s and Cravings. All of these places are delicious, and some are open until the wee hours of the mornings for any late-night cravings. 

2. Quad Day

Quad Day takes place the Sunday before classes start, and it’s a great way to get involved in all of the Registered Student Organizations that are on campus. There are hundreds of booths that are set up on — you guessed it — the Quad! From Squirrel Watching Club to Water Polo, there’s a club for everyone, and most have sign-up lists where you can write down your email address and receive updates about meetings and events. Although it might be sweltering hot and seem like there’s no method to the madness, grab a friend and walk around. I guarantee that you will be handed more pens and bottle openers than you know what to do with, and you might end up actually joining one of the 17 RSOs you signed up for.

3. Meet new people

This sounds so simple, but it’s something that will help you later on in the year. The first week, especially for freshmen, is all about establishing what the rest of the next four years will be like. So keep the door open in your dorm room, say hello to people in your classes and make an effort to be extra friendly. It’s easy to hang out with high school friends during the first week because you already know them, but take a step outside your comfort zone and experience the amazing diversity that this University has to offer.

4. Buy apparel

Last year my cousin, who goes to college in Missouri, was visiting campus and one of the first things she noticed was how many people were wearing orange and blue. People are proud to wear our school colors, so jump on the bandwagon and buy some spirit wear. It’s great that we have built such a great community and you don’t want to be left out. As long as it says “Illinois” or has school colors on it, I guarantee that no matter what you buy it will be in fashion.

5. Attend a football game

Oskee-wow-wow! Show off your fabulous new sweatshirt at a football game. One of the great things about going to a Big Ten school is that sporting events are spectacular. Buy tickets and sit in Block I if you can, the student section, whose cheering and chanting is unparalleled. It’s such an experience to see the sea of orange and blue in Memorial Stadium and feel so small in comparison. 

Lindsey is a senior in LAS. She can be reached at [email protected]