5 Things I’m Doing the First Few Weeks of School

The beginning of the school year is an exciting and busy time. The weather is great, and everyone is ready to start fresh with something new or make what they already are involved in better. Although fun, this time of the year is also hectic. Here are five things I am doing the first few weeks of school and how I have prepared.

1. Sorority Recruitment

As a freshman, joining a sorority was never an idea in my mind. However, after Covid-19 hit, I was struggling to find a community and I decided to do formal recruitment. I joined a sorority, and it was the best decision I made in college. My positive experience in the Panhellenic community has made recruitment an important time of the year for me. We spend three weekends preparing, doing workshops to decide what values we are looking for in new members and training our newer members on how the recruitment process works as an initiated member of a sorority. The recruitment season has become one of my favorite parts of college and it is a great way to spend time with my friends. 

Putting everything I must attend in my calendar app is crucial when it comes to organization. This helps me organize my schedule against other things I have going on, so I don’t miss anything. Once I know when events are, I take off work immediately, so I don’t have to stress about conflicts later. Being ahead of everything allows me to focus on the moment instead of stressing. 

2. Club Soccer

Playing a club sport at DePaul has been a positive and fun experience. The majority of our games are played in the fall. Since we are on the quarter system, many teams we compete against start school and practice ahead of us, so once we are in school, we hit the ground running. The weekend following the first week of classes, we host tryouts and send out offers. We start practicing week two of school, and our season runs through the middle of October. It’s a short and busy season to say the least. We travel out of state a few times but also host many games here in Chicago.

How do I prepare? Here comes the calendar app again. As the president of the team, I attend a scheduling meeting in the spring, then spend the summer finding fields and communicating with other schools to figure out times and confirm our games. The most important thing in preparing though is to keep a positive mindset. I don’t have to do any of this, I want to. I get to! 

3. Working the front desk of the dorms

Juggling a job, school, and extra curriculars can be difficult. Having an on-campus job makes this a lot easier. I work in the dorms as a lead desk receptionist. I chose this job because I enjoy being on campus, and I only have four years I get to spend here. I also can work on homework and projects while at the desk, which is incredibly helpful as a busy college student. I highly recommend getting an on-campus job if you are looking for ways to make money without missing out on the college experience.

Having a realistic goal of how many hours you can work each week is important to think about before your work schedule comes out. DePaul’s on campus jobs do a fantastic job working with student employees. They cap our hours at 25 and international students at 20 to allow us to have a work, life, and school balance.

4. Spending time with my friends

With everything going on in the fall, it is easy to cancel plans or forget to text your friends. But there is a reason we are all here on this earth together. Leaning on your friends and enjoying their company as a means of relaxation and source of happiness cannot be skipped out on for me. My friends are my lifeline and I believe human connection is the most important thing in the world. 

Even if it’s for a short amount of time, there is always time to see the people you love. Need to run to target or pick something up off Facebook marketplace? Text a friend to come with! Making dinner? It tastes better when you share it with others. We all have to eat, go the store, and get exercise. All these things are so much more fun with a friend by your side.

5. Sleep!

Through the chaos, it’s important not to forget about the values of a good nights’ rest. I am guilty of falling into the pattern of saying I’ll sleep when I’m dead, but boy does it catch up with me. If you have things going on late into the night, but also have responsibilities in the morning, making sure you have time to nap is crucial. 

In college, napping isn’t lazy, it’s healthy. It recharges our body and keeps us from getting sick. During this busy season, listen to what your body needs and remember that you are human. We need food, water, friends, and sleep to survive. Everything I am doing the first few weeks of school allow me to have those things. Remember the purpose behind everything you do these first few weeks. Even though it is stressful, this is a fun and exciting time and soon we will be looking back on it, wishing we could experience the chaos once again.

~ Gracie

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