Starting college can feel like you were dropped off on another planet. The surroundings are different, the people are different, the culture is different, nothing is the same as what you’re used to. How can you turn your new environment into your new home? Check out these tips!

Meet new people.

The start of the school year is a great time to meet people. There will be plenty of welcome events (and most of them will include free food!), student organizations are recruiting, and you will see new faces in your residence halls and in your classes. It may feel uncomfortable to meet so many new people at once, but you can’t make new friends without making new acquaintances first. So participate in dorm activities, try out a club or two, and chat with someone sitting next to you in class. If you are friendly and welcoming, you will find new friends.

Check out new places.

If you’re living on campus, it is important to get off campus every now and then to explore. Your new city definitely has some great stores, restaurants, parks, and more that you’ll want to discover. Gather some of your new friends and get out there!

Experience new things.

You don’t have to completely reinvent yourself in college (nor should you), but college is also a great opportunity to do things you’ve never done before. What opportunities/activities/food does your new city have that your hometown doesn’t? What is something that you’ve always wanted to try but never did? Go do those things! You probably won’t love everything you try, but you’re bound to try at least one new thing that you love—and meet some new friends along the way.

Give it time.

You won’t become completely comfortable at college overnight. It’s ok to feel lost, lonely, or like you have no idea what you’re doing. A lot of other people are feeling the exact same way! When you’re feeling down, remind yourself that it will get easier if you keep putting yourself out there. It’s also a great idea to reach out to your family or high school friends when you need a pick-me-up.

Starting college is not easy, but it can be an unforgettable experience. New freshmen, what about college are you most excited about? Upperclassmen, what advice do you have for freshmen on adjusting to college life? Leave your answers below!