The Pitt News

Welcome Back: Dos and don’ts: How to not flub the first weekend

By Evan Malachosky / For The Pitt News

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It’s your first weekend at Pitt. You may feel overwhelmed, afraid or even alone, but you’re not. There are a few thousand people just like you. 

College comes with expectations and, most of the time, they are socially oriented. “Will I meet the right girl?” often becomes, “Yeah we met at Mi Ranch — I think her name was Amy?” But it doesn’t have to be that way, and your first weekend doesn’t have to be a complete failure. 

During your first weekend in Oakland, you’ll meet an abundance of people: the “bro, do you even party”-ers, the “do you think we can smoke in our room”-ers, the “pizza is on me, I have my parents’ credit card”-ers, the “I’ll receive my neuroscience degree in three years”-ers and the “I’m not even sure if I want to be in college”-ers. But one thing is for certain — you’ll see most of them heading out on both Friday and Saturday night of their first weekend in college. Here’s a checklist of what not to do for your first few nights away from home. 

Do not confine yourself to your dorm room. Sure, everything outside your dorm room may seem intimidating and alien, but you’ll never know what’s out there unless you open that door. Unlike high school, you’re not locked into seeing the same faces every single day. 

Do introduce yourself to the person in the next room, down the hall or even someone in another floor’s lounge. Meet some new people, walk around your floor or even plop yourself down in a floor lounge. You never know whom you’ll meet or where they might lead you.

Do not go home already. It’s your first weekend on your own. Your parents may miss you, and although you may try to hide it, there’s a chance you miss them, too. Mom’s sending you pictures of your puppy and it seems impossible to resist the cuteness — but you can do it. If you get the urge to pack up your bags, don’t. Your puppy will still be cute during the holidays — or on Parents’ Weekend, if you’re lucky. 

Do reach out if you need something. Most of the people who know you the best aren’t here with you. Contact the people you miss and let them know your feelings, but then focus on enjoying your first weekend in Oakland.

Do not think the first two nights are the partying Olympics. I’m not going to pretend you’re not going to develop the most absurd sleep schedule; most college students do. But be cautious before deciding to ruin your sleep habits during your first weekend at school. This first weekend is a test run, and that doesn’t mean you have to test out everything that’s presented to you. Getting a feel for the night-life scene can be tricky, but taking it slow is often the way to go. 

Do try out events Pitt offers to students. There are often discount Pirates tickets, karaoke nights and even free food — no one can pass up free food.

Do not do anything regretful. This is the first weekend, but it isn’t that last weekend. Don’t do anything that will hurt you, hurt someone else or get you in any trouble. Nothing is worse than a 1 a.m. hospital visit or getting expelled five days into your tenure at Pitt. 

Do establish a solid foundation. This first weekend is your chance to give a first impression to some of the people you’ll meet here at Pitt. Whether that be your dorm room security guard, RA (Resident Advisor) or future best friend, you definitely want to get off on the right foot.

Do not forget that you are here for education. Yes, you should enjoy your weekend, but don’t forget that you’re here for education — unless you’re planning to springboard into an NFL career. Books, pencils, lectures, professors, 8 a.m. classes and finals will make up a majority of the college experience, despite what the movies may suggest. 

Do work hard all week to enjoy your first weekend. Of course it’s “Syllabus Week,” but it feels best to work hard all week and reap the rewards of relaxation on the weekend. This is one of the most important weeks of the year. Professors set guidelines for the class, exam dates, grading scales and, most importantly, finals dates. Pay attention or it could cost you your GPA.

Whether you choose to take the advice or not, you’re in charge of what happens here at Pitt. Take advantage of everything Pittsburgh has to offer and strive to balance the good with the sometimes not-so-good.

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Welcome Back: Dos and don’ts: How to not flub the first weekend