I absolutely love my school and am so grateful that I can call myself an Arizona State Sun Devil! But like any school, going to this one will take some adjusting — no matter where you are from. Here are 20 things every ASU freshman should know before coming to college.
1. Invest in a refillable water bottle.
If you haven’t lived in or visited Phoenix, Arizona then you do not know summer heat. I am telling you that if you aren’t drinking water throughout the day you will not survive. Trust me, I’ve seen too many friends fall to heat exhaustion. The number one thing to know as an ASU freshman: bring a refillable water bottle and fill it throughout the day at the water filling stations.
2. Bring as many summer clothes as you can.
When it’s 105 degrees outside, the last thing that you are going to want to do is walk across campus in more clothing than absolutely necessary. Invest in as much summer clothing as you can, because it won’t cool down until December and it will warm right back up in February.
3. Get a bike (or any other mode of transportation).
ASU is huge — no, really. Huge as in it will take you sixty minutes to walk from the very edge of campus to the other end. Bikes, longboards, even scooters are everywhere and are 100% necessary.
4. Schedule as many classes as close to your ASU freshman dorm (or wherever you parked your car) as possible.
I personally don’t like riding my bike to class (partly because I’m lazy and partly because I have been in one too many bike/long board collisions). My strategy is to pick my classes in buildings that are close to my dorm; my farthest walk this semester is ten minutes, as opposed to thirty.
5. Wear comfortable shoes to class.
I know that those new booties are cute and you need to break them in, but wait til the weekend! You’ll be much happier (and in much less pain) if you slip on your Converse instead.
6. Know the main areas of campus before heading off your first day as an ASU freshman.
There are literally three maps on campus and no signs for buildings anywhere. Accept now that you will get lost, but at least try to familiarize yourself with the main areas of campus so you have some semblance of where you are. I like to walk to my classes before my first day so I have an idea of where I’ll be going!
7. Find the Starbucks (because we all know we need it)!
We have been blessed at this college campus in the way of Starbucks locations. With three franchise locations, one Starbucks truck, and a multitude of coffee shops that specialize in Starbucks products, you will never be without coffee on this campus. A blessing and a curse it truly is to have Starbucks accessible at nearly every moment of the day. (P.S. the Starbucks at the Memorial Union is always busy…always.)
8. Dutch Brothers.
Continuing on the topic of coffee — Dutch Brothers is your new best friend. Easily the best coffee off campus, and probably the best coffee I’ve had from almost anywhere, I honestly prefer Dutch over Starbs any day.
9. The Crepe Truck.
The crepe truck is outside the Memorial Union until 4 pm and outside of Barrett and Hassyampa until 2 am. You’re welcome, ASU freshman, you’re welcome.
10. Meal swipes at the Pod.
You can get two Uncrustables for a meal swipe, don’t let the signs fool you.
11. The secret garden isn’t a secret (but it’s still cute anyway).
You can use your trusty friend, Google Maps, to find the secret garden…which isn’t much of a secret anymore. It is a nice quiet place to finish homework though.
12. “A” Mountain is the place to hike.
It’s a mountain with a giant “A” on it — hard to miss. If you like to hike, this mountain is the place to do it.
13. Protect your skin!
I am one of the few blessed souls that will tan and not burn, but backpack tan lines are never cute, so I use sunscreen anyway. If you do burn, I would wear sunscreen religiously, because while Palm Walk is a landmark, palm trees provide zero shade.
14. If you want a party, they are not in short supply.
I personally don’t infiltrate the party scene, but I suppose parties are what ASU is known for. There is always a party going on, I guarantee that they are not difficult to find.
15. Get to know the area around campus.
Because dining hall food gets old fast and every restaurant you could imagine is literally in walking distance of campus.
16. Join a club.
I’m not kidding, there are over 1,000 clubs and organizations that any ASU freshman should take advantage of. You are bound to find your match (and make new friends too!).
17. Avoid the bridge.
The ASU bridge is the worst. It’s too steep, it’s too busy and the sun will scorch you. Just wait at the cross walk.
18. Watch the sunset (or maybe the sunrise?).
No doubt, one of the best things about going to ASU (and living in Arizona in general) is the sun every evening — and every morning. If you don’t mind waking up early then don’t miss the sunrise, but if you are like the rest of the population, settle for the sunset. It is so beautiful, all pink and purple and sunshine!
19. Take the light rail.
The light rail is a five minute walk from any apartment complex and dorm and will take you to the Sun Devil’s stadium. It will also take you anywhere from Tempe to Downtown for only a dollar a ride.
20. Take advantage of the gym.
ASU’s gym is enormous and beautiful, take advantage of how much you overpay for tuition and use the gym…plus it’ll help fend off the ASU freshman fifteen.