1. often, when a group is convening for the first time, the leader of said group thinks it would be a nice icebreaker to have everyone say a fun fact about his or herself. so it is useful to have some fun facts ready (i beatbox. i am attending a harry potter convention this summer. i have a blog and i’m posting on it right now). 1b. however – the others are probably too busy thinking of the most exciting-yet-modest things about themselves that they will not remember either your name or your fun fact. so no pressure. 2. after you’ve been at university for about a year, you will start to know so many people that it is nearly impossible to go somewhere without running into someone you know. especially if you’re a theatre girl who goes to see…plays. so the whole zoning out by yourself in public doesn’t really work. conversations will start with someone acknowledging your presence like a good friend would, and you sort of jump and apologize. smooth. 3. now if you’re an american studying in england, call it uni not college (or worse, school), revision not studying, cinema not movie theatre, and most importantly, trousers not pants. 3b. sometimes when i am confused i claim a cultural barrier. there might not always be one. but it works. 3c. if you’re from boston, bring a red sox cap and you will meet other bostonians and feel at home [even if you barely know when baseball season is]. 4. scout out all the local cafés. find the best places for tea (again. england thing. extra credit for finding tea places in the states though) and the best atmospheres for doing work. if you’re crazy like me, make a long detailed assessment on a text edit document. find out where to get student discounts as well. 5. if you’re living in a dorm building or, as i am, a college, knock on people’s doors instead of texting them if you can. it promotes exercise. it promotes actual social interaction. it reduces the time you spend behind a tiny screen. it could possibly save you money. it’s always nice to have visitors. 6. don’t bring too many books. libraries are great for that kinda thing. 7. if you can cook, do. it’s cheap, healthy, and so much fun. i should clarify: by “can cook” i’m talking about facilities, not ability. you have to start somewhere, and it’s not that hard i promise. 8. bring games like bananagrams, not the sims 3 (my examples). bring your guitar. and let me play it since mine didn’t fit on the plane. 9. don’t commit to too much or you will explode. 9b. don’t forget to make time for stuff you love, like climbing things and drawing pictures.