Getting the hang of a college campus only gets easier with time, but even if you are a 2nd or a 3rd year student, there are still some hacks as to how to make life easier on campus that you just don’t know about! The University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse is no exception. Keep reading for 10 hacks to make life easier at UW-L!
1. Study! Even when you think you don’t need to.
Professors aren’t kidding when they tell you to start studying the first week. Even if it’s only for ten minutes a day, every little bit counts. You’ll have the advantage once finals week comes around and you’re the only one not cramming fifteen weeks’ worth of information into three days. Instead of cramming, you can explore all the fun things UW-L has to offer: hiking the bluff, eating ice cream at The Pearl, biking the La Crosse River State Trail, shopping at the mall, to name a few.
2. Buy a closet shoe organizer.
Everyone knows how small dorm room closets can be. UW-L, thankfully, has some decent sized closets. That being said, you’re going to need all the room you can get because most people over pack when they first leave for college. It takes quite a few months, and many trips home, before you realize what you really need and what you really don’t need. Whether this shoe organizer is filled with actual shoes, clothing, school supplies, or snacks, it’s going to be a major space saver.
3. Color code everything.
One of the best things I ever learned to do during my freshman year was to color code everything. One color, blue for example, was used for biology. Every assignment, test, project, and final was highlighted or written in blue so I knew what class it was for. Color coding also helps you distinguish what needs to be finished now, and what can wait until later.
4. Make your own study guides.
As they always say, repetition is key. Most of your professors will give you something to study from, but writing and studying from your own materials gives you a chance to find out what you already know and what you need to focus more on. It also gives you a chance to write questions/scenarios that will help you learn what you’re struggling with.
5. Get a good meal plan.
If there is anything you splurge on during your four years at UW-L, let it be your meal plan. If you’re living on campus, the best plan for you is The Eagle. It gives you unlimited entrances into Whitney Dining Hall, two swipes a day at most other restaurants on campus, and $100 free dollars for you to spend on food that isn’t covered by the meal swipes.
Staying up late studying or doing homework? Run to Mondo’s Sub Shop or Char’s if you get hungry. Running late to class and didn’t have time to eat in your dorm? Swing through Whitney and grab a pastry and fill up your water bottle with water, milk, juice, soda, or cappuccino. Unfortunately, students living off-campus only have the option of the Talon Plan. Even though you only get one option, it’s a cheap one and you still have access to every dining hall on campus.
6. Map out your walk to each class before the first day.
It may sound silly, but going from class to class and building to building will make your first day that much easier. I guarantee you there are plenty of other students doing the same thing, even second- and third-year students. Centennial Hall’s stairs are killer and sometimes it’s just quicker to take the elevator. This also removes some of the stress and anxiety that comes with the first day.
7. Don’t walk under the Hoeschler (clock) Tower.
You know how every school has their superstitions? The Hoeschler (clock) Tower is ours. It’s said, that you won’t graduate in four years if you so much as place one foot under it. God only knows what would happen if you put your whole body under there. No one’s been brave enough to do it.
8. Find a site that lets students share notes.
These sites are lifesavers, especially during your freshman year. They let students, called note takers, share notes with other students from their school. It’s extremely helpful for the General Education courses because there are so many notes and so much material to learn. If you miss a class, all you have to do is find someone who is taking notes for that class and download/buy them. If you’re a little short on cash, you can become a note taker. You get paid every time someone buys your notes or a study guide that you make. Why not get paid for the notes you already have to take?
9. Don’t forget the important documents.
I can’t stress the importance of bringing the important documents, the ones you think you’ll never need, with you to school. You never know when you’re going to need proof of insurance. What if you want to register to vote, get a passport, or just need another form of identification? You better have that birth certificate with you. Bring copies of the documents if you can’t take the real version. However, the birth certificate always needs to be the original when presented as proof of identification.
10. Be involved!
One of the best things you can do during your freshman year is get involved, whether it be in clubs, sports, or Greek life. Both clubs and Greek life are an amazing place to meet people and find something that you’re interested in and good at, especially if you’re still undecided on a major. You may not think you have time for any clubs or Greek life, but joining even one thing will help you build an amazing resume and even better friendships.