Now that the legendary O Week (to all non-Chicagoans, the O, not surprisingly, stands for Orientation, and the Week represents a week) has all but passed, we stand on the cusp of actually beginning school for the year.

Looking back on the past week, I have some ideas on how one can make the most out of their O Week:

  • Join the Facebook groups for your house/dorm/castle, or whatever kind of building you’re living in. If you don’t, you’ll miss out on what the people you’ll be living with for the next year are doing. I found out that Nick Offerman is coming to Chicago this way, so if that isn’t enough of an incentive then I don’t know what is.
  • Take no naps. Looking back on it, I think I managed to do this successfully. Despite how much I normally love sleeping, this is not the time to do it. This is your best chance to lead a stress free existence on campus, so you might as well make the most of it.
  • That leads to me how you should go to any and every event, regardless of how boring it may sound. The odds are there will be free food and shirts.
  • Sign up for every listserv you find. Whether it’s for the Juggling Society, Crew, Netflix Aficionados (I’m sure this exists somewhere), or most importantly, College Republicans (if this club doesn’t exist on your campus you might be in trouble), you’ll be kept up to date about various events you’ll probably want to go to down the road, plus it’s not like they’ll ever know if you’re ignoring them.
    • This leads to a subpoint about signing up for the free food listserv. This is probably the most important one for obvious reasons.
  • Do not fall asleep in your lounge. If you must, do it discreetly.
  • If given the choice between seeing Paul Ryan speak and going to your own convocation, see Paul Ryan and never look back. I don’t want to elaborate on this both because it is extremely obvious and because it saddens me that I made the wrong choice.
  • Sleep. This doesn’t mean get 12 hours, but get enough so you can follow the previous rule about not napping.
  • Decorate your dorm like it’s your own (because it is). In doing this, remember to not mess up the walls, because you’ll be regretting that down the road. I suggest political signs (I can count 7 states as being represented in my room with various memorabilia), flags, pictures, etc.
  • Bring something that can make chai lattes. Even better, don’t bring one but make sure someone else does so you don’t constantly have people in your room asking you for some.
  • Have a group chat to ensure you always can ask people where they are so you’re not bored out of your mind (you must refer to it as “The GC”).
  • Eat breakfast. I went too many days with just string cheese and an apple for breakfast and deeply regretted it. In the event that you don’t feel like walking to the dining hall, make sure you have enough food that you won’t be bored eating it every day.
  • Don’t lock yourself out of your room without your ID. Even worse, don’t be in your boxers (not that I have experienced this…).
  • Avoid very certain tapas restaurants in the Chicago area. That is, avoid them unless you want food poisoning or to throw up on the bus back home (fortunately only one of those happened to me).
  • Find the clubs you enjoy. Colleges have just about everything from Humans vs. Zombies to chess (bonus points if you can incorporate these two) so the odds are pretty high you’ll find something that entertains you.
  • Sign up for classes! If you skip this step you might want to reconsider why you’re here in the first place.

This is going to be the most (and probably only) stress-free week of the upcoming year, so enjoy it, and heed the words of wisdom that I picked up while riding a bus: you only O Week once (#YOOWO).

No matter how much you pack, you will always forget something.
No matter how much you pack, you will always forget something.