5 Things to Look Forward to During Your First Year at Champlain

By Sarah Steward // Communication Major ’17

College is one of the biggest adventures you will ever go on. It’s the time where many students leave home for the first time, gain the skills they need to launch and succeed in their careers, and truly grow as a person. You’ll make friends for life, and when you go to Champlain, Burlington will always a have a piece of your heart!

With move in day just around the corner, here are our top five things to look forward to during your first year:

Orientation Weekend

The class of 2020 at their orientation last year.

The class of 2020 at their orientation last year.

Orientation, which is August 25–27 this year, is the time when first-year students move into their new home on campus. While leaving your parents is equal parts stressful and a bit sad, upper-class students wish they could relive this experience again! Why? There’s an exciting buzz in the air—everyone is SO pumped to have new students on campus, and it’s a great way to set yourself up for the new chapter of your life!

Besides ice breakers and other fun activities, orientation is the time where you finally get to meet your roomie, check out your residence hall for the first time and meet all of the awesome people who will be living in your new home away from home. I guarantee the memories you make during this time are ones you’ll remember for the next four years!

Seeing the Sunset Over Lake Champlain

Students watching the sunset down by Lake Champlain.

Students watching the sunset down by Lake Champlain.

Very few things in this world top a Burlington sunset, especially when the weather is still warm! Walking down to the lake to see the sunset with your friends for the first time feels as if your life is straight out of a movie. As hard as it is to believe, we promise the view is more stunning in person than on our postcards. Yes, really!

The Unlimited Meal Plan (aka all the food you can eat)

Champlain’s dining hall.

Champlain’s dining hall.

When you live on campus, you will have an unlimited meal plan. Simply swipe your Champlain ID, and you can eat as much as you’d like of whatever you want in the dining hall. Hungry after 8:00 PM? No problem! A late night menu is offered Tuesday–Friday nights. Students on campus also receive $150 in “Residential Flex” which is used like cash in the IDX Dining Hall and at EATS in our Center for Communication & Creative Media.

First Snowfall of the Season

A student enjoying the Vermont snow.

A student enjoying the Vermont snow.

Being able to lace up your snow boots for the first time to check out the winter wonderland outside of your window is so exciting! There’s no snowfall quite like what you’ll get in Vermont, and Champlain is only a short drive away from some of the best snow in the state. If you ski or ride, you’ll love to know that Champlain students also get a discounted pass to Sugarbush resort, and many of the other local resorts also provide deals for college students. Not a skiier or snowboarder? There are also plenty of other ways to get out and enjoy the season, from snowshoeing to warming up in one Burlington’s great cafés.

Making Your Own Schedule

Students hanging out in between classes.

Students hanging out in between classes.

Once you have a few weeks of college classes under your belt, you’ll start to wonder how you ever went to high school for six straight hours a day. After you first semester on campus, you’ll be able to make your class schedule yourself. College classes are more rigorous than what you may be used to, so it’s important to learn how to balance school time with free time (but that’s one of the coolest parts about being in college!).

Burlington is known for being one America’s Best College Towns for a reason, and downtown is just four blocks from campus. There’s a whole world of entertainment in and around the city—something for everyone. 

What are you looking forward to the most in your first year of college? Let us know by commenting below. Haven’t been to campus yet? Click here to find out more about visiting Champlain.

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