If you’re like me and just got done with your first year of college, then you know it can be a doozy. For those of you who are having a fresh start, these tips will hopefully help you survive as freshmen at UW-Stout.
1. Yes, over packing is a thing.
And trust me, you won’t have room for everything you bring to the dorm.
2. Your laptop should basically be your best friend starting out.
The laptop is your lifeline for all things necessary to get you through the first few weeks of college.
3. If you aren’t a coffee drinker, and you tell everyone you aren’t, you will be.
Coffee is a must and you’re going to learn to like it.
4. The dorm room isn’t cutting it for a good study spot? The fourth floor of the library is the best place to sit.
It overlooks campus and it’s very relaxing because nobody really ever sits up there.
5. Don’t expect to get a lot of homework on paper.
It will all be on the laptop, so make sure you keep track of where it is.
6. Don’t expect money to grow on trees around campus.
Luckily, Kwik Trip is so close to south campus that if you need something cheap, go there. They’ll most likely have it.
7. If you’re in South Hall your freshman year, it really isn’t that bad, even though it’s referred to as “the dirty South.”
However, make sure you wear shoes in the bathroom, because it isn’t very clean almost the majority of the time. Plus, seeing people walk in the bathroom barefoot isn’t a pretty sight. Don’t be those people.
8. Keep your door open when you can.
It’s a fast and easy way to meet new people.
9. Befriend the girls/guys in your hall.
Because they’ll probably be your friends for the rest of the year, and possibly later in life as well.
10. The freshman dorms are alternated in girl and guy sections.
So it gives you an excuse to meet people of the opposite gender and get out of you comfort zone.
11. Go explore.
Stout isn’t huge, so take some of your friends and go check out the best spots in the library, or your new spot in the Memorial Student Center.
12. Expand from campus.
It’s never a good idea to stay stuck on campus. When you can, take the time to expand your field of vision to the rest of Menomonie, because it is truly a scenic place. Visit Devil’s Punch Bowl or go take a stroll down the Red Cedar Trail.
13. Always make sure you know what you’re doing in every one of your classes.
Sometimes, professors aren’t as willing to help you out as you’d like, so take initiative and focus on good study habits and take good notes.
14. If you go out, dress for the weather.
I know sometimes you would rather dress for going out, but if it’s thirty degrees and you decide to wear a t-shirt or a crop top, that’s not the best idea. You are in Wisconsin after all.
15. Don’t want to go to the gym? Take a group fitness class instead.
The group fitness classes aren’t as intimidating as they seem. Go and join a class because they will be worth it. It’s a great way to stay in shape and have fun doing it.
16. If you take your dorm keys to a party, keep them in your shoe.
If you’re wearing a close toed shoe, of course. Trust me, it works.
17. It’s imperative that you socialize with others around campus, not just in your hall.
The middle ground between dorms on south campus is always alive. Join in on a Frisbee game or play some volleyball. You aren’t good at it? Nobody cares because everyone is just having fun and enjoying each other’s company.
18. Think of creative ways to reinvent the Commons food.
Sure, they serve a lot of the same foods, but they have so many varieties of it that it’s impossible not to create something really delicious out of it.
19. Stay focused.
I know that it’s extremely tempting to run around outside and socialize, but you need to think of the goals you set for yourself so you can stay on track.
20. Don’t be like those people that think they’re still in high school and try to be “popular.”
Don’t even try it. Being popular isn’t even a thing in college.
College is a fantastic time that should be cherished by every incoming freshman. It shouldn’t be a time to feel scared, but a time to feel alive. UW-Stout is so welcoming and friendly that it’s impossible not to feel the love on campus. Keep these tips in mind as freshmen at UW-Stout (or wherever you are) to make it a year to remember. Just be yourself and freshman year will go as smoothly as ever.