How to Get Acquainted with Your Campus

Okay, so you’ve moved into your dorm, registered for your classes, and started meeting a few people. What’s next?

While there are still quite a few things you should probably do to acquaint yourself with your new college campus, we would recommend going on a scavenger hunt of sorts. There are a few things that you’ll want to know where they are before you get too far into the semester.


You’ll probably be spending quite a bit of time here, so walk around and get yourself oriented.

  • Where are the computers?
  • The journal collections?
  • The circulation and reference desks?

You’ll want to know where these are. Also, note the hours that the library is open so that you don’t go down there half an hour before it’s about to close.

Note: There may be some hidden away—try to find these stashes so you can use them if you need a quiet place to study or the rest are being used during finals week.


Another obvious one is the cafeteria. While not everyone signs up for a meal plan, a lot of people do, so it’s fairly likely that you’ll be spending some time in here.

  • Is there more than one cafeteria on campus?
  • How are they different?
  • Where are they?
  • Within each cafeteria, what are the different options?

Find these things out so that you’re well-prepared to grab lunch or dinner after class. You’ll be hungry, and you might be pretty worn out from a long day of class—you don’t want to have to think about it, so figure it out beforehand!

Athletic and workout facilities

Even if you aren’t much into exercising right now, it’s a good habit to get into. It’s a great stress reliever, and walking on a treadmill or using an elliptical is a great way to clear your mind for a few minutes or to use as a break when you’re working on a big paper.

If you sign up for an intramural sport, you’ll also know where to go.

Parking Place

Parking may or may not be applicable to freshman at many campuses. Some freshman have cars, while others do not. But even if you don’t have a car, you may have visitors at some point, and you’ll want to let them know where they can park.

  • Is there street parking around?
  • Open lots? Meters?
  • Pay ramps?

Find these things out and you won’t have to poke around online to figure it out right before you need to park your car.


Whether you think you’ll need them or not, knowing where any resource or tutoring centers are is a good idea.

  • Find out their hours, as well as if you need to make an appointment.
  • Write down their phone and/or email addresses so that you have them, just in case you need them.

Most campuses offer these services for free, and they can be very valuable resources.

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