Becoming acclimated to college, especially your freshman year, can be the tough- yet it can be the most exciting and most interesting year of college. With the fading memories of high school playing in the background, this new start can be a somewhat overwhelming experience. Luckily, you’ve chosen to go to Northeastern University, so you’re already off to a great start. Even if you’re not a freshman anymore, do you know all there is to know about Northeastern? Keep reading for 20 things every Northeastern student should know to survive and thrive in their first year and all the years to come!
1. It will be cold…even COLDER than you think!
News flash: global warming isn’t going to tame our winters here in Boston. Winter comes fast, and stays for what feels like forever. If you’re from the Northeast, you’ll know what to expect. If you’re from anywhere else, my advice is be prepared. Winter is coming.
2. Our campus can be a bit confusing.
Regardless of your major or what classes you have, it is good to know the various buildings we have here on campus. Several of the buildings have commonly used nicknames, so it’s helpful to know those too!
The most important places to know about:
- IV (International Village)
- Steast (Stetson East)
- Stwest or Swest (Stetson West)
- Snell (Snell Library)
The campus is big, so if you get your bearings quickly, that will definitely help.
3. There are (not-so-secret) tunnels underneath our campus
There is a network of tunnels underneath about half of our campus. It spans the buildings from Forsyth Street to the Library, or pretty much everything that can be considered the old campus. The West Village buildings and anything on the outskirts of campus do not have the tunnels. To find an actual map, any of the entrances to the tunnels will have a picture depicting the various tunnels and their destination.
4. Snell Library actually has classrooms.
Yes indeed! Along with the tunnels, there are many classrooms under Snell Library. They are not accessible from the elevators inside the library itself, and have a separate entrance on the side, with stairs and an elevator leading down. These classrooms are super handy if you need a quiet place to work during off hours and the library is full!
5. Don’t buy textbooks until the end of the first week!
Let’s be honest, textbooks are just very expensive desk ornaments. Before you go out and spend hundreds of dollars on something you won’t even use, wait and see what the class is like and what the professor says about the textbook. If you’re lucky you won’t need one, or maybe, someone has a pdf version that they can give to you.
6. The Dining Halls all have different food options.
Steast will be your main eating location at Northeastern, unless you happen to be part of the lucky ones who get to live in IV. But, remember each place has something different to offer. Stwest has great stir fry. IV has different kinds of international foods. And Rebecca’s has great, quick food all the time.
7. Speaking of food, Rebecca’s has the best breakfast and lunch options!
Seriously, don’t make the same mistake as other clueless freshmen. Rebecca’s takes meal plans and often has better options than going to Steast for the 1,000th time. Also skip the line and go for a few slices of pizza or chicken fingers. No need to wait if you want a quick bite.
8. Last food tidbit, I promise. LEFTOVER MEALS ARE LIFE!!!
We have an On The Go that is in between Steast and Stwest, and it takes meal plans. It is closed on Saturdays and opens late on Sundays. But Monday through Friday it’s open almost all day. Stock-up on snacks, water, and mixers, especially if you have leftover meals. FYI: Lines get long on Friday, and meals reset on Sunday.
9. Sporting events (at least hockey games) make for a fun time.
Sports games are a great way to get into the Northeastern spirit. There is cheering and screaming, and it is a great way to feel connected to the school. Our hockey games are really the main event (Remember we hate BU), but basketball, volleyball, and swimming are popular too. The rule of thumb: pregame hard and then be as dedicated as you can to pretending you know what’s going on.
10. Drinking and the real truth of the matter!
Drinking…it’s something that all college students do, even when they shouldn’t. I must say that underage drinking is illegal and really should be avoided. But, if you do happen to drink, be aware that some RAs at Northeastern are quite strict; they can and will call the cops if they suspect anything.
11. If you see a friend or even a stranger sick, hurt, or passed out, DO SOMETHING.
ALWAYS be a better person – if you see something, say something. In terms of drinking or other drugs, NEU has a policy called Medical Amnesty, meaning, if you or someone else is in danger from any substance, as long as you (or another person) initiate calling NUPD, and the situation gets better, no one gets in trouble. Please, please take care of friends and even strangers, no one wants to find themselves in a nasty situation, especially alone.
12. Weed is decriminalized in Boston!
If you happen to partake in the marijuana, just know you cannot smoke it on campus. But as long as you are not on campus while smoking it, and also do not cause any trouble when high, then you really should be more or less alright. Smoking it out of sight of anyone is probably a good idea.
13. Boston can, maybe, be a party city.
When it comes to partying as a freshman, there can be a lot of options, and at times it may seem intimidating. Some basics to know are; The ratio, it’s usually 3:1 girls to guys. Guys will almost always have to pay to get in, girls are mostly free. Pregaming is implied as the cheap watered down alcohol at these parties is not a great social lubricant. Parties either happen on the Hill (Mission Hill), at MIT, BU, or really anywhere in between, it’s good to find people in the know who can help direct you.
14. FYI, Boston shuts down early!!
It is important to remember that most of Boston shuts down around 10-11PM. The trains stop running after 12:30 AM, and even getting food gets super difficult after 2 AM. Parties start early, by 8 PM you should be pregamed and ready to go. Cops often start shutting things down by 12.
15. FYI 2.0 Pizza hours near the Northeastern campus.
There is BHOP (Boston House of Pizza) and they are usually open till 12AM. Then there is UHOP (University House of Pizza) and they are usually open till 1 AM. If you are really dying for pizza and it is super late, Cappy’s Pizza has big slices and is open till 2 AM.
16. We have lots of things to do (and some free stuff too).
As a student in the city of Boston there is a lot of stuff that can be done for free, or at a discount. The Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) is practically right on campus and is free for Northeastern students. There are lots of other exhibits and places to visit that will give us a discount for being students (such as the aquarium, baseball tickets, duck tour, etc.). We also have activities on campus that are paid for by our student activity fee. The gyms at Marino and Squashbuster are a part of this, and RA’s and Hall Council’s always have cool events that are usually free and fun.
P.S. There is a free coffee machine in Snell for all your caffeine needs.
17. There are charging stations for your phone in the Curry Student Center.
If you need a quick boost to your battery while eating or in a meeting, there are lockers with chargers already in them. Or there are roaming battery chargers that you can rent for a few hours for free, and if you go overtime, you might be charged.
18. New school, new people, new opportunities.
This is a new school, new people; it’s your first year. Live free, and talk to everyone. Apps like Yik Yak, Tinder, Bumble, and other meet-up apps can help broaden your circle of friends and even lovers. Just remember to have fun, be safe, and always be cautious if meeting an online stranger!
19. FREE CONDOMS!!!
There are free condoms at UHCS (University Health and Counseling Services). It is usually better to buy a brand you prefer and trust; but just remember there is almost always a filled bowl of condoms in the health center located at the Forsyth building. Better to be safe than sorry!
20. It’s going to be a bumpy ride, but you’re going to love it!
For most of us this is our first time really away from home. There are new experiences everywhere at Northeastern, and there is just an overwhelming amount to do and to learn. It is going to be hard; this is college after all. You will get home sick, and tired, and burnt out. But you will find freedom and adulthood, and love, and all kinds of crazy fun. If you are prepared, and stay smart and cautious when you need to be, everything will work out fine. To every freshman Northeastern student out there, welcome home!
What other tips do you have for Northeastern students? Comment below and share this article with friends!
Featured image sources: thelondoner.me
Boris is a twin by blood, a Northeastern kid by choice, and a smart ass by trade. Hoping to do some chemistry, open a library, and maybe write a thing or two on the way. Some might call it ambition, he calls it Tuesday.