It’s your last summer before college and you’ve just graduated high school. Maybe you’re still deciding between schools or have already committed to be a Miami Hurricane. Now what? It can be exciting, but also a bit nerve racking. You might have so many questions about what’s going to happen when you start in the fall. These tips serve to guide University of Miami freshmen.
1. Sign up for on-campus housing as soon as you can.
Most freshmen are put into either Stanford or Hecht Residential Colleges. If you’re not placed in those buildings, you will be put into Eaton, Mahoney, or Pearson, where most of the students aren’t freshmen. The Stanford and Hecht towers are where freshmen meet many of their friends and share their freshmen experience.
2. Keep up with your assigned readings and classwork throughout the semester.
The University of Miami has built up a good reputation over the years, despite being categorized as a “party school.” The university has rigorous academic programs and classes can be demanding. Sure, you might sign up for some classes that may be easy, but as the semesters go by, it will challenge you. It’s better to start keeping up during your freshman year.
3. Take part in extracurricular activities and organizations on campus.
Go to CanesFest in the beginning of the semester to learn about Hurricane clubs and organizations. Sign up for many of these. You will meet many new people and have fun in the process.
4. Don’t wait until right before class to go to Starbucks.
There are two Starbucks locations on campus, but the line at each will be ridiculous if you wait until right before your class starts. Get there early before it gets hectic.
5. Explore Miami when you can.
Freshmen cannot bring their cars to campus. There is, however, an exception when it comes to commuters. If you’re not commuting, I suggest using the shuttles and metro rail to get around. You could even make friends with upperclassman who are permitted to have cars.
6. Go to the Herbert Wellness Center.
Conveniently right by Stanford and Hecht, it’s an on-campus gym with three floors that offers a variety of workout machines and free group exercise classes. You can avoid the freshman 15.
7. Don’t “forget” to go to class.
Some classes will take attendance and some won’t. It can be tempting, but you’ll also fall behind.
8. Try not to order so much pizza when you get bored of the on-campus dining.
Or grilled cheese in the dining hall.
9. Buy a bunch of UMiami gear.
You’ll probably end up with a closet full of UMiami sweatshirts and t-shirts your first week. Some events also give out free shirts.
10. Don’t wait until the last minute to sign up for classes.
They will fill up quickly and you will end up having a limited choice to choose from.
11. See your advisor whenever you need to.
Don’t be afraid to see your advisor when you need to. If you need to right before registering for classes each semester, pick a time beforehand. Most students see their advisor right before registration. I transferred into the University of Miami from a small liberal arts college and I felt like I didn’t have an advisor. You’re usually assigned an advisor based off what you choose to study, but you can see different advisors like I did if you prefer.
12. If you think you’re packing too much before leaving, you probably are.
Many freshmen pack way more than they need. I promise you, you aren’t going to use everything you bring and the dorm rooms are not that big. Stick with the essentials.
13. Consider using a bike or Longboard to get to class.
Many students do this at UM because the buildings are all spread out around the campus. Just be sure not to run over pedestrians.
14. Get out of your dorm room!
You might have heard this before. Don’t sit in your room all day. Get out there. Make friends and become involved on campus.
15. Use your dining dollars wisely.
You will have a set amount of dollars based on the meal plan you choose before the semester starts. Once the semester starts, you won’t get more dining dollars until the next.
16. Depending on your eating habits, choose an appropriate meal plan.
There’s an unlimited, 19, or 14 meal plan. If you don’t sign up (all freshmen have to) you are assigned a 14 meal plan. I think this meal plan is enough, but if you think you’ll eat more choose from the other two.
17. Get to know your roommate before moving in together.
Add each other on social media and exchange numbers. You are going to live with this person all year (unless you want to change rooms/roommates). Be friendly and discuss your living preferences.
18. Go to the events within your residential college.
Get to know more about the building you live in and who you live with.
19. Think about going Greek.
Even if you don’t think it’s something for you, you might be surprised.
20. Tailgate before going to games.
The U boasts some of the craziest tailgates. They are earlier than the games, but it’s another way to socialize and have fun.
Have any other tips for University of Miami freshmen? Comment below!
Featured image source: spanishriver.com
Shereen Fustok graduated from the University of Miami in 2015. She is currently looking to pursue a master’s program in New York City. When she is not busy with life, Shereen enjoys learning about different cultures, fashion, yoga, and exploring her creative side with writing and art.