What to Expect During Your First Weeks of College

August 1, 2019
People lounging in tubes in a big pool

Your first few weeks of college at Clemson University have arrived. Whether you come for academic excellence, the proud football culture, or a tight-knit community feel, there are numerous reasons to be a Clemson Tiger.

U.S. News and World Report ranked Clemson among the nation’s top 25 public universities for 11 consecutive years. This historic, prestigious, vibrant campus offers a memorable experience and innovative opportunities for students of all backgrounds. So for all the new freshman Tigers, here’s what you need to know as you prepare to make the transition into college life and adjust to your new home. 

This is a Campus that Values History and Traditions

Clemson was founded in 1889, which makes it almost 150 years old. Today, it’s the second-largest university in South Carolina with more than a century’s worth of deep-rooted traditions that both the students and faculty love to participate in. As a new student, there are some traditions, in particular, to be aware of. 

Here’s a rundown of the early fall traditions you can expect to start hearing about during the first weeks of college.  

  • Solid orange Friday: To represent their bond as a community, each week on Friday, the students, members of staff, and even alumni dress in Clemson orange.
  • First Friday parade: This campus-wide event began in 1924, and now each year it’s held on the Friday afternoon before the season’s first home football game.
  • Tigerama: The annual homecoming spirit week is a major celebration, and Tigerama, one of the nation’s largest student-run pep rallies, is where those festivities peak.
  • Alma mater salute: When you attend a Clemson football game, it’s customary to wave your hands with thumbs folded underneath while the alma mater plays.

Check out our blog post about 5 Unmissable Clemson Football Traditions to become the ultimate Tiger fan! 

There are Many Options to Get Involved in Campus Life

Whether you’re an intramural athlete, a chemistry enthusiast, a social justice advocate, a Greek Life hopeful, or a future journalist—Clemson has more than 500 student organizations. The quickest, easiest way to feel connected and united with your fellow Tigers is to be active on campus, so start thinking about which of these clubs or societies you want to join.    

Cultural Diversity is an Essential Part of the Experience

Clemson is one of the top 25 most innovative schools in the United States, according to U.S. News. There’s also an increasing emphasis on diversity and inclusion programs at Clemson. Both the students and faculty members take part in varied and unique multicultural experiences. Make sure to explore the ways to be immersed in the awareness, enrichment, and celebration of diversity. 

The Global Engagement initiative coordinates study abroad opportunities and hosts international exchange students, as well as intersectional groups, courses, summits, and panel discussions. You’ll find Clemson to be a school that promotes unity across its diverse spectrum—from the first day of college to graduation.

If the Transition is Difficult, there are Resources to Help

The first few weeks of college can be a challenge, and you may struggle with the adjustment. You’re learning to be independent, managing your schedule, living apart from the familiarity of home, seeking out new friendships, and balancing academics with social activities. There’s a lot going on! 

But don’t worry, this is all part of the natural growth curve. If you do feel anxious or overwhelmed, Clemson offers access to mental health resources, included in your student fees. From the Healthy Campus program that teaches both physical and emotional wellness habits, to professional counseling services, self-care is vital as you acclimate to college.      

Welcome to Clemson! 

You’re about to embark on a thrilling new chapter, both in your education and personal development. These next four years at Clemson will stretch, equip, challenge, and prepare you for whatever the future might hold. So use this time to explore subjects and areas of interest that might turn into a career. Step outside your comfort zone and join an organization that broadens your worldview. Embrace what makes this campus historic, special, and unique—and most of all, create memories in the process. 

This is your college experience, so it’s time to leave your mark (or pawprint 😉) here in Tiger Town.