Keep reading for 20 things every Temple freshman should know!
1. Watch out for your fellow Owl.
One of the most infamous rites of passage in college is going to parties. If you’re going to go out, be smart. Travel in groups and always keep track of your friends. It can get crazy out there. You have to make sure all the people you left with are accounted for. That doesn’t mean you have to babysit your friends. Just keep an eye out, and send a check-in text. Owls don’t leave other Owls behind.
2. Overbook yourself.
College is a brilliant time to test your limits. See how much you’re capable of handling. Of course your grades and your mental take priority, but if you find yourself with some spare time, fill it with some new activities. Explore that one thing you always thought was cool but never had time for: drawing, computer science, badminton, SOMETHING. You’ll learn a lot about working hard, making time for what matters, and learning to say no when you have to.
3. Lose the ego.
You start fresh when you hit college. Temple is a very open, pretty liberal campus, but there are a lot of opposing views. Be open to new ideas. Don’t get offended if someone doesn’t agree with you or thinks your opinion is trash. You’re going to be challenged at Temple, and that’s good for you. One of my good friends had an epiphany about religion (ba dum tss) in the course of one semester just by talking to people with different worldviews. Don’t let your pride keep you from your growth!
4. Lower your expectations for the McDonald’s on Broad.
If you have not yet seen the soon-to-be viral mini-mockumentary #McDonaldsOnBroad, please educate yourself:
Here is the video.
Lower those expectations. Nope, gotta be lower than that. Looooower.
There ya go.
(This video was made by Temple student Kalen Allen! If you don’t know him now, you will soon.)
5. Support artistic Owls.
I admit I am biased as a theater major, but I know for a fact that Temple churns out wonderful plays, musicals, operas, concerts, recitals, galleries… the list goes on. Philadelphia is an artistic city, and Temple is no exception. There are some extraordinary artists here at Temple, and most shows are free!
6. Plan out your swipes!
There are tons of dining options on Temple’s campus and you should feel free to sample any and all of them. That being said, I have way too many friends who maxed out their swipes by Tuesday when they got 10 swipes the day before. To that point, save your Diamond Dollars. They are good to use here and there, but it is a slippery slope. If you’re not careful, you’ll be asking your friends for change just so you can do your laundry. What I do is divide my number of Diamond Dollars by weeks left in the semester–so if I have $150 DD for 15 weeks, I spend no more than $10 DD each week. It’s a pretty solid way to splurge but still have clean clothes.
7. Get a job, yo.
Or internship or even volunteer. Getting work experience during undergrad is becoming more and more important these days. Find something that either interests you or helps your career, and get to work. Philadelphia is a fantastic networking city. Don’t be afraid if you aren’t qualified; you can learn on the job.
8. Chill with your professors.
Okay this tip can be misinterpreted for something much more risque, but seriously… your professors are experts on the thing you’re dedicating years of your life to. Talk to them! You can get great advice and insights that way. I can even testify to this; one time I walked into the office of a professor I’d never met and spoke to him for over an hour. Now, I’m his assistant director for a mainstage show this fall. All I had to do was ask.
(By the way, come see Crumbs from the Table of Joy this September at Temple Theaters).
9. Do what you want.
If you learn one this from this list, let it be this:
College is hard. College is expensive. College is an opportunity. If you aren’t doing something that makes you happy, do the thing that does. I recognize that a lot of students don’t have a choice- college is a privilege, and some people don’t have the luxury of majoring in what they love. Still, do what it takes to make you happy. It is easier to work through life’s sh*t when you know you’re pursuing happiness.
10. Do not lose your ID.
I know this is basic common sense but I somehow managed to lose 4 IDs in the course of one year. Replacement IDs cost $20 each, y’all. Don’t be like me. Take it out of your pocket when you change pants, if you think you heard it fall, assume it did and turn around, and do not let the security guards at 1300 harbor it for six weeks only for them to tell you they’ve had it all along after your already bought a replacement.
True story. 1300 owes me 20 bucks.
11. Invest in a mattress pad.
Seriously. Do not let yourself sleep on those Godforsaken Orange is the New Black dorm mattresses. Foam pads are $17 at Target.
12. If you have to choose between the 7Eleven on Broad and the 7Eleven on campus, choose the one on campus.
I’m looking at you, J&H and White Hall residents. Just take the extra walk. Trust me.
13. Account for elevator time.
If you’re going to be relying on elevators (like I had to when I lived on the 11th floor of Hardwick), add some extra time for the elevator. Sometimes it can take 5-10 minutes for that sh*t to arrive.
14. Do not travel in packs.
I know I said earlier that you should travel in groups. Groups, not packs. Not that there is any shame in being a freshman, but no one wants to be that freshman who travels in a group the size of Rhode Island. After 8 people, you’re in a pack. You’ll draw attention that’ll severely annoy you.
Actual footage of freshmen:
15. Download Yik Yak.
Yik Yak is a fantastically hilarious app where you can anonymously post jokes, updates, and shower thoughts. It’s also a really great way to get breaking news on campus. Free stuff, pop-up parties, and Philly Jesus sightings would all be missed if it wasn’t for Yik Yak.
16. Get next year’s housing ASAP.
I’m sure a lot of you freshmen already know the struggle of finding a place to live on or off campus. I didn’t sign my lease until the end of January (almost eight months before I’d even move in), and that is considered late in the game. Start looking for places to live early on, and keep an eye out for streets you’d like to live on or dorms that are convenient for you. It’s never to early to know where you’re going to live in the future!
17. Don’t choose your roommates ASAP.
The first few months of college can feel very…fake. Everyone is looking for friends, everyone is looking for extra-curricular activities, everyone is looking for acceptance. The friends you make during Welcome Week may not be the friends you have by Finals Week. When it comes to finding people to live with, don’t choose by who is funniest or wokest or nicest-choose by who you vibe with. Also, spy on them when you get the chance. Don’t stalk anyone, but if they invite you over to their dorm, see how organized it is. Ask how loud they like their music. Inquire. Take some time.
18. IF YOU LIVE IN A DORM, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DO NOT BURN YOUR FOOD IN THE MICROWAVE.
I cannot tell you how many fire drills I’ve had to suffer through because someone didn’t put water in their Easy-Mac, or broke the “if your popcorn stops popping for 3 seconds, take it out of the microwave” rule. There are hundreds of people who live in your dorm, and all of them are going to have to leave the comfort of their beds because you weren’t paying attention. One night, there were three evacuations between the hours of 2 and 4 AM.
Don’t be that guy. If you smell burning food, take it OUT.
19. Get them CRNs.
When it comes time to start thinking about next semester, you should get an email telling you what date you can actually register. If you go on your TU portal, you’ll actually be able to view most of the classes for the following semester. You can choose your schedule, choose your professors, and be done with planning ahead of time so when the morning comes you have to register, you can input the CRN (the specific code for the exact class you chose) and be done in less than 60 seconds. That’s not an exaggeration. You may run into some classes filling up, so have some back-ups just in case.
20. Do not pay for anything.
There is this thing called the Gen Ed Passport that gives you access to discounts all over the city. If you google “temple gen ed passport”, it should come up. All you have to do is give your login credentials and they’ll send you your own passport. My motto in life in “don’t pay for anything”, but I admit that is wishful thinking. My second motto in life, “don’t pay for anything full price” is much more realistic.
Alright, guys! Those are my tips and tricks for all you freshies coming in. Make good choices!