It’s your first year away from home, and you’re going to the best school in the country. Maybe you’re going because you hate Auburn, love football, or need somewhere far from home. Either way, your freshman year is the best yet! If you’re reading this, you’re either an incoming freshman, or an older student looking back at this wishing they knew this all walking into freshman year. So here are 21 tips to help you get through your first year at UA!
1. Get involved…seriously!
Getting involved is the best way to make friends easily, and find something you all have in common. It’s so easy to get involved on campus, and there’s so many different options to choose from!
2. Have Dixieland Delight memorized as soon as you step on campus.
Alabama lingo is pretty dominant on campus. You will find yourself at your first fraternity party and everyone will be singing Dixieland Delight, soon you won’t be able to go out without hearing the song. Simple things like this, and ROLL TIDE are the lingo that will take over your vocabulary.
3. Don’t make a habit of skipping class.
College is the time of freedom. You’ve never had the choice to just miss class. You’ll soon learn this is a blessing and a curse. Don’t take advantage of this perk, go to class, there’s always time to nap after. Remember your parents are paying for each class you take.
4. Freshman 15 IS a thing! Stay healthy, and aware!
With places like Buffalo Phill’s, Taco Mama, Domino’s, Moe’s, it’s impossible to make healthy choices. However, the school provides excellent gyms like the Presidential brand new one, and one by the old rec! Get in good routines, and stay aware of the food you’re consuming!
5. Greek life may not be made for everyone, but I highly recommend it!
It’s a great way to help out in the community and get involved with a philanthropy, as well as making friends who will last a lifetime. Consider rushing, and you won’t regret it!
6. T-Shirts and norts are in fact all you’ll see on campus.
You may be coming from the North and have never seen the whole oversized t-shirt and nort look in your life. Some find it repulsive, while others shamelessly let it take over their wardrobe. Trust me, you more likely than not will find yourself following this trend, and falling in love with the comfortable, acceptable style. I mean who wants to wake up early to get dressed nice and put on makeup before class?
7. Go to all your football games that come in your package!
Go to as many home games as you can!!! Don’t try and sell your tickets and make a profit, go to the games, have fun, and cheer on the Crimson Tide! Even if it means sitting at the top row at Bryant Denny in the 90 degree weather, grab a shaker and cheer for your school!
8. Use the days before classes start to scope out your buildings.
This isn’t high school anymore, all your classes aren’t in the same building. You may have one class, then another all the way across campus 15 minutes after that class ends. Figure out a routine, and find where your classes are before school begins so you’re not completely lost the day classes start.
9. Check out The Cliffs!
This is probably one of the coolest hang out spots near campus! Especially on a hot day, after all your classes and driving down with all your friends, it’s the perfect place to wind down! Whether you have the nerve to jump off, or just want to hang back and relax, it definitely is recommended!
10. Don’t blow through all your money first semester.
Second semester is when everyone goes absolutely bankrupt. Everyone blows through their money first semester, not calculating anything out and by the time they’re back, there’s nothing left in the bank account. Spend your money wisely, and keep checking your records to see how much you’re spending!
11. Don’t spend all your dining dollars the first month.
Dining dollars are the best because they’re basically free money. Because of this, you’ll find yourself ordering way too much late night dominos, or spending it all at Julia’s, or even BPhill’s. You’ll regret it so much later on when you’re out to dinner at BPhill’s with all your friends and they hand their act cards, and you have to give them your credit card.
12. Take advantage of the Riverwalk.
The Riverwalk is right behind Presidential Village and it’s the perfect place to take a walk, go for a run, or just relax by the river. Use it as a nice place to clear your mind, or just lounge with your friends! Considering it’s right off campus, it’s easy to get to and it really is beautiful.
13. Make friends with the people in your building.
Introduce yourself, meet new people. This is the best way to make friends and on top of this, they’re in the same building as you so you hang out with them whenever you want. Plus, it’s a perfect go to if you need to get out of your room and escape.
14. Bring multiple sets of headphones and chargers.
Nothing is worse than losing your headphones or charger. They are literally all you will use in college. So if you lose them that requires you to go to an overpriced store and buying a new set. Bring as many extras as you can.
15. Be prepared for all seasons at all times of the year.
You may hear Alabama and think you’ll be fine year round with a pair of flips flop and shorts. This is far from right. It does get cold in the winter, and it does rain a fair amount year round. Bring rain boots, a jacket, flannels, and things that will keep you warm. Be prepared for unexpected weather.
16. Your high school days are over.
Hate to break this to you, but your reputation in high school is long gone. Don’t come onto campus expecting everyone to bow down to you just because everyone did in high school. You’re a new you here, and no one cares who you were in high school.
17. Prioritize- Don’t procrastinate. It’ll only screw you over.
College classes are a heavy workload. Always prioritize your academics before everything. Don’t choose to go out when you know you have a huge English 101 test the next morning at eight am. Put your academics first and don’t make dumb decisions. You will definitely regret it in the morning.
18. Don’t get too caught up in Yik Yak.
Yik Yak is mainly for college students and no doubt is highly used. Don’t get too caught up with that, because it mostly consists of gossip, and people trashing each other anonymously. It’s like ask.fm from middle school all over again. It’s not worth it, don’t even bother.
19. Don’t make a bad reputation for yourself.
Control yourself. Don’t do anything to make yourself look like a complete idiot while you’re out at your first fraternity party. Be composed, have fun, but don’t set a bad reputation for yourself, because it will stick.
20. Don’t forget to call home.
Your parents no doubt miss you more than anything. The house is one person less and they probably love more than anything recieving calls from you. Plus, they may or may have not gone through college as well so they have the best advice to provide. Don’t forget where you came from, take that extra time to make time for the people who raised you.
21. Have the time of your life!
Freshman year will be the best year of your life. Take advantage of this. Go out of your comfort zone, make as many friends as you can, and don’t hold back. You’re going to look back at your freshman year for the rest of your life, so make it memorable and something you’ll never forget! Good luck!