1. Avoid being THAT person who pays for Wildcat with cash.
You’ll stop the line forever.
2. The demo and self-cook lines in Baldwin are not as frightening as they appear.
Try something new!
3. During the winter, take advantage of walking through all the buildings to get to your classes.
An advantage of going to a small college!
4. Get to know your professors.
Another advantage of going to a small college is that the professors will actually know your name and take the time to help you out. I have gotten coffee or lunch with them with other students too, so don’t be afraid to invite them to McConn or Baldwin!
5. Don’t decide right away to hate chapel.
You’ll have to spend the next four years going three times per week, so you might as well not complain, and try to make the most of it.
6. Speaking of chapel, don’t waste your chapel skips.
You don’t want to spend five hours on a Saturday the following semester making them up. If you’re really that tired, head to the balcony and sleep there; it’s a no judgment zone.
7. Walk on the sidewalk like you drive on the road.
Then you can avoid the awkward running into people and trying to get around them.
8. Look at your degree audit and plan your classes ahead.
And try to take at least one May term class and even some summer classes throughout your years at IWU. If I had done this, I probably would’ve been able to graduate early.
9. Take a class from Wilbur Williams.
He might be retiring soon, but he’s a legend on campus. Although his Old Testament class can be difficult, I’m glad I had him and got to see him dress up as characters from the Bible!
10. Make friends with the upperclassmen on your floor.
Since we’re on a Christian campus, there’s a 98% chance they’re almost too nice, so they would love to help you out. And make sure to have them take you to Wildcat for your first time; that place can be a jungle for newbs!
11. If you are planning to pull an all-nighter, head to McConn at 11:40 p.m.
You can get free fresh brew at that time to help you stay awake.
12. Don’t take “ring by spring” too seriously.
When you first get here, it will seem like everyone and their brother is dating or engaged to someone. Relax, it’s not everyone! Be patient.
13. Participate in all floor dinners and activities.
I did freshman year, and it helped me branch out and meet new people. But don’t be surprised if the boys don’t talk to you at brother/sister dinners; they’re still super shy. Give them a year and their confidence level will be way up.
14. Remember to be an actual person during housing application time.
In February and March, it can get crazy at IWU when everyone is planning for housing. Plan ahead in November or December on who you are going to live with and where. And make sure it’s people you could actually live with.
15. Don’t complain about how strict it is.
I’m definitely guilty of this. But remember that you’re coming onto campus knowing the rules, so it’s all expected. And feel lucky you don’t have to worry about people coming onto your floor at 2 a.m. and puking.
16. Don’t be so scared of Marion.
Everyone talks about how scary Marion is, but there’s more to it than that. While you should still not go out alone at night, there are lots of cute and unique restaurants (sushi, Thai, and even crepes!?) and places to go to in the city!
17. If you’re not 100% sure what to major in yet, choose “pre-declared.”
I’ve seen so many times where people will declare a major they think they might like, and then change it in a year and be behind. If you’re not so sure, go “pre-declared” and get a lot of the Gen Ed classes out of the way, and take some classes in majors you might be interested in.
18. Consider a minor.
I wish I would’ve chosen a minor to go along with my major, because now for my senior year, I will just be taking a bunch of random classes second semester to get enough credits to graduate. If I would’ve chosen a minor and planned ahead, my last semester would be a little more beneficial for me.
19. Don’t stress out if you don’t know what to do with your life.
I’m a senior, and I still don’t know for sure! You have plenty of time to decide, and lots of fellow students and professors to discuss it with. If you’re really struggling, you can head to The Center for Life Calling in the student center.
20. Take advantage of the Global Engagement opportunities.
Last summer I went to China through IWU, and it was one of the best experiences of my life! All I had to do was pay and show up; everything else was taken care of for me, and I was able to sight see and learn a lot. Head to the Global Engagement office in the student center in the beginning of freshman year and set up an appointment with Sandy Emmett. She will tell you all of the study abroad options and help you decide what’s best for you.