If you decided to attend the University of Alabama, get ready for the best four years of your life. Freshman year flies by so enjoy every moment and get excited, because you chose the best school in the country. Keep reading for 20 things every University of Alabama Freshman should know!
1. Say RIP to your favorite shoes.
Before coming to college, you probably made a checklist of all the things you HAD to get before coming to school and if you’re anything like me, shoes were on the top of that list. Unfortunately before you realize it, your perfect new white converse will be so dirty in layers of who knows what that you won’t even remember what color they were when you first bought them.
2. Comfort colors will take over your closet.
Whether you’re the typical sorority girl, the total frat boy, or just a college student trying to get by, Alabama is all about t-shirts. If you’re from anywhere other than the south where no one wears t-shirts, you might be worried you’ll need to stock up on some before college to fit in…worry no more. In the first few months of school you’ll gather so many t-shirts that you won’t even know if you have real clothes anymore.
3. If you join Greek life, it really will change your life.
Greek life isn’t for everyone but if you have any interest in joining a fraternity or sorority, DO IT. Alabama’s greek system is one of the biggest in the nation, and it truly is an experience that’ll change your college life. From bringing you hundreds of the coolest people, to helping you find your best friends, to swaps, to greek week, and fundraiser events, the greek community is something you don’t want to miss out on.
4. And then, Fried Friday will become part of your weekly routine.
Fried Friday. The day you hate to love. Fried everything from mozzarella sticks, to chicken fingers, to mac n cheese balls, even to deep fried oreos, it’s diabetes waiting to happen. Whether it’s your cheat day, or just your everyday meal, it’s definitely another reason to make Friday your favorite day of the week.
5. Alabama is the third rainiest state in America.
It rains here…all the time. And it’s not that rain where you walk outside and it’s just an annoying drizzle…it pours. Alabama’s weather can go 0-100 real quick and I mean from a sunny day with no clouds to a torrential downpour. So if you’re from somewhere where it doesn’t rain, invest in a rain jacket, or a poncho, or even a small boat, because you’ll need to make it to class somehow.
6. “Y’all” just happens.
“You all” isn’t a thing anymore for all you west-coasters out there. In the first few months of school, you’ll probably make fun of everyone saying y’all until suddenly it’s you, and your friends from home are all talking about your transformation into a true southerner.
7. Sweet Home Alabama and Dixieland Delight will become your new anthems.
Sweet Home Alabama will always be a classic but when you actually move to Alabama, it’ll probably start playing in your head while you’re trying to go to sleep. Dixieland Delight on the other hand is a song you’ll probably mess up the first 100 times you sing it, but if you kind of just start nodding your head while yelling roll tide, you’ll be fine.
8. You’ll probably eat Jimmy Johns 10 times too many.
Who doesn’t love food…especially sandwiches. Lucky for you guys out there, you don’t need a girl anymore to make you a sandwich because there’s two Jimmy Johns on campus that are guaranteed to make your day even better.
9. You will meet some of your best friends in the community bathroom (unless you live in Pres or Riverside where in that case, let’s hope you like your roommates.)
Moving into dorms is new and terrifying, especially when you don’t know anyone. I can’t say that the prison brick walls and never-ending hallways are comforting, but being with 30 other people experiencing the same thing, somehow makes it ok. Whether it’s in the middle of trying to blow dry your hair before going out, or awkwardly running into someone after your shower (with flip flops), there’s nothing like making community bathroom bonds and laughing about how you can’t believe you’re actually surviving.
10. Not knowing anyone will be awkward at first, but it will get better.
Back to #9, awkwardness is inevitable. And granted, not everyone you meet is your long lost soulmate. For some, you’ll try to think of the craziest excuse of why you have to go so you can get out of the conversation, and for others, you’ll wonder how you’ve made it this far without them. Be patient, everything will fall into place.
11. If you’re not from the south, you’ll learn a new word. Chacos.
A chaco. A very strappy sandal. That’s about all I know about chacos as before I moved to the south, a chaco just sounded like a strange word I learned in Spanish class. If you’re from the south, you probably love this shoe as it is claimed as the “most comfortable shoe there ever was.” If you’re not from the south, you’ve probably said a few times that you will “never purchase such a thing” and end up with two pairs before your first semester is over.
12. Oversized t-shirts and running shorts is a lifestyle.
As I mentioned in #2, t-shirts take over Alabama. However, for girls, every t-shirt is extremely oversized. If you see a swarm of a bunch of girls in L or XL t-shirts with running shorts and nikes, they’re probably walking to or from row. It’s kind of like an unofficial uniform and if for some reason you’re wearing any sort of cute outfit, everyone will ask “why you look so cute” even though you’re in lulus and a nike zip-up.
13. Saban for president.
“The Church of Nick Saban” and “Saban for president” pretty much explain it all. Nick Saban is worshipped on campus along with our national title winning football team (the reason for the nickname title-town). Going to a school like Alabama, people probably hate you but just smile and remember that they probably wish they could cheer on the tide and yell roll tide as obnoxiously as you.
14. The second you leave you’ll want to come back.
If you’re in high school reading this, you probably have a countdown app on your phone with how many days until move-in day. You probably can’t wait to get to college, and all for good reason. Except for when you get to college, somehow even though it’s school, you never want to leave. You might get homesick every once in a while but when you get home, you’ll realize how much you miss your college friends, and the freedom you have. And then you’ll probably pull up that countdown app all over again..
15. With two meal swipes, you can eat at Bryant hall and it has the BEST dorm food.
Dorm food. Well, no comment there as I can’t say it’s a gourmet meal, but it’s college. You’ll probably end up eating kraft mac n cheese the first two months of school (or that might just be me and my bestfriend), but Bryant Hall changes it all. It’s the athletic dorm so if you’re an athlete, you will love your life even more but if you’re not, with two swipes you can eat at Bryant hall for breakfast and lunch. From omelets to grilled chicken, to any other healthy food item you can imagine, they have it.
16. Dorm life is the best experience that you never want to experience again.
Living in a dorm is probably something you’ve either dreamed of forever, or dreaded forever but either way it’s completely worth it. There’s nothing like living in an 8×8 box with a total stranger that can turn out to be your best friend or a complete psycho. (For your sake, I hope it’s the first one.)
17. Bryant Denny will hold some of your best memories.
Bryant-Denny Stadium. Probably the first thing you’ll notice when touring campus and if you’re anything like me and love football, you’ll freak out. It’s one of the most gorgeous stadiums I’ve ever seen and once you get to school, you’ll fall in love. (Freshman, the walk to the upper section feels like ETERNITY, but once again you go through it with all your other first-timers, and you might even get your leg workout in for the week.)
18. Pita Pit is open until 4 am.
Here I go talking about food again..but seriously 4.a.m. If you’re studying until the break of dawn, or just got home at 2:30 a.m. and you want to cry of starvation, pita pit will save your life. Not only is it so good, and open so late, but it delivers, fast. Say goodbye to late night cravings and hello to the freshman 15.
19. You might want to check up on your bank statement every once in a while, because trust me your money will somehow disappear.
As you leave your parents for the first time, they’ll probably be heartbroken while watching you get on that plane with your 8 over-packed suitcases (again, might just be me). But they’ll probably give you an allowance of some sort that will disappear into thin air by the end of the week. As hard as it is, try to balance your budget because being on your own and being able to spend money without your mom telling you what not to buy, is NOT a good combination.
20. Roll Tide.
Lastly, Roll Tide. Two words that fit into EVERY conversation. “Have a good day!” “Roll Tide.” “Happy Birthday!” “Roll Tide.” “What are you doing today?” “Roll Tide.” Joking…but seriously they’ll become your two favorite words. Enjoy wearing bama gear because it might be the start of a new friendship if someone sees that Alabama A, and of course it will start with a Roll Tide.
What other tips should every University of Alabama Freshman know? Comment below or share this article with a friend!
Featured Image Source: saturdaydownsouth.com, wikipedia.com
Monique Koman is currently the editor in chief for Society19 UA! She is from Las Vegas, NV and a freshman at the University of Alabama, majoring in public relations!