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50 Life Saving Tips For Freshmen At Dalhousie

50 Life Saving Tips For Freshmen At Dalhousie

So, you’re coming to Dal. Well… you’ve made the right choice! Anxious? Don’t be! Here are 50 life-saving tips for freshmen at Dalhousie University.

1. Invest in some good rain boots and jacket

Halifax springs consist of rain, rain and more rain.

2. There’s “used textbook” Facebook groups

Way cheaper than buying new.


3. Are you living in res?

Shower shoes! Shower shoes! Shower Shoes!

4. Don’t be worried if you don’t know anybody in your classes

Making friends is what university is for and the best classes are when you can meet people with similar interests.

5. Get prepared ahead of time

Try to get your Dalcard or textbooks online if you can. The lines at o-week are crazy long.


6. If you have a car, look into getting parking off-campus

Way cheaper.

7. Look at the Dalonline calendar constantly

If the class you want to get in is full – there’s always a lot of turn around!

8. Stock up on loonies if you’re staying in res

(For the washing machines)


9. Learn how to do laundry!

I remember turning all my white clothes pink in my first year.

10. Look into resources on the Dal website

So many people don’t know what Dal offers, but there is so much: peer mentors, discussion groups, advising, RAs, student union, etc. etc.

11. Loaded Ladle gives out free lunch

On Tuesdays and Thursdays in the Student Union building!


12. There’s also a food bank you can access for free

In the basement of the student union building (1 visit/week/student).

13. Always carry your Dalcard

For backup funds, for ID downtown, your bus pass, anything.

14. Market mornings in the student union building

Bring local, wholesome food to students for a discounted price (see posters around the SUB for details).


15. Don’t buy your textbooks until AFTER syllabus day

Sometimes they’re recommended, not needed.

16. Do a degree audit

Once you’re registered for classes (on Dalonline); this will show you if you have all the requirements for your program and what else you need.

17. When in doubt in the city, take bus #1

It always goes back to Dal and it comes every 10 minutes.


18. Scholarship/Bursary applications are available every semester

On Dalonline. So it’s never too late to apply for financial assistance.

19. Shoppers Drug Mart on Spring Garden is open 24 hours

For your health/midnight munchies needs!

20. Freeman’s on Quinpool is open until 4am AND does delivery all night

Long for your late night study sessions.


21. The cheapest places to get a haircut are right next to campus!

There’s a salon in the basement of the student union building, and Dee’s Dews is pretty chill and cheap right on Lemarchant Street too.

22. Dal has it’s own health clinic

Where you can make same-day urgent, sometimes also same-week non-urgent appointments (check out for more info).

23. Make a budget!

There’s SO many places to eat out on campus and in Halifax and you’re money WILL go quickly if you don’t plan ahead.



24. Campus building are open during o-week

So try to find your classes beforehand if you’re stressed out about getting lost.

25. Check your dal email regularly

Seriously, most class announcements, cancellations and grades will come through here.


26. Dal has it’s own FREE taxi service

Tiger Patrol!

27. Meal halls have this thing called “Meatless Monday” and “Sundae Sunday”

Take that as you will.

28. Sign up for DalAlert (on the Dal Website).

Dal Security will text you when there are building/campus closures.


29. Campus Copy is a LIFESAVER if you need to print assignments!

Located on the 2nd floor of the student union building, and only 10 cents/sheet of paper!

30. During exam time, the Student Union Building is open 24 hours!!

31. If you like sushi, Wasabi House has Happy Hour Deals from 9-11pm

And they always give you extra sushi too!

32. Do not leave degree requirements until 3rd and 4th year if you can help it!!

33. If you need accessibility or accomodations for exams, go to advising (in the Killam library) as soon as you can.

There’s nothing worse than waiting until the last minute to know if you get that extra test time.


34. Are you taking engineering? Most first year classes are on the Studley campus

So even though Dal does have a campus for engineers, your classes won’t really be there until 2nd, 3rd and 4th year. Keep this in mind when looking for living accommodations!

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35. You won’t need that many school supplies

Unless you prefer hand-writing over typing. The majority of students type out notes and a lot of work is done just with your computer.


36. The Halifax bus system

Is great compared to small-towns; but sometimes, you will hate it (buses don’t really follow the schedule in messy, winter months).

37. Don’t study in the Killam atrium at night

When the majority of students go away, the mice come out to play. But really, don’t worry they won’t hurt you, they’re just a little gross!

38. Dal has underground tunnels

If you’re not interested in getting wet when it’s raining/snowing! Definitely check them out. freshmen at dalhousie university


39. Mary’s Place is a local restaurant

On Spring Garden that has insanely cheap breakfast for those mornings-after.

40. Get familiar with liquor laws!

Sometimes, the liquor store (NSLC) will ask for more than 1 piece of ID. And if you’re drinking in residence, you could get a fine for having liquor in the halls or underage drinking (out of all the res rules, these ones are probably the best to know).

41. Check RatemyProf when registering for classes

There’s usually multiple sections of the same class – and checking rate my prof can be a huge lifesaver GPA-wise.


42. Even though you get a free gym membership with tuition (at the Dalplex), there’s a lot of cheap gyms near campus if you’re not feeling the university-student vibe.

Fit4Less is $10/month, and boxing classes, pole dancing classes, salsa classes, bellydancing classes and yoga/hot yoga places have student rates!


43. Have a buddy if you’re going out drinking

Public intoxication fines are forever increasing in Halifax and it’s nice to have a friend throughout the night too!


44. Don’t be worried if you’re not into the drinking scene.

You are here for school after all. And Dal is the place to be for academics – so many students get published through their class work, even. Just don’t be afraid to have other forms of fun too!

45. Bring a fan to res!

September and October are KILLER hot and you’ll definitely want a fan to get through the nights.

46. Follow @Dalmemes on Instagram

For your daily-dose of memes and a good laugh.


47. Check out Dal After Dark

Giving the opportunity for discounted city-event participation all year long (like surfing, clay cafe, ghost tours, board room cafes, Escape Rooms, etc!).

48. When in the market for Dal swag, be sure to hit up the bookstore around Christmas time!

They always have a MASSIVE sale (you may even buy some Christmas gifts for your family too.

49. Remember to take care of yourself!

In whatever way works best for you, don’t forget that your mental health is more important than pleasing your friends or getting an A!


50. If you’re feeling homesick; talk to your RAs about it!

We’ve all been there. And in a new place, it’s pretty inevitable. But eventually with great friends, Dal will turn into your new home.

Do you have any other tips for freshmen at Dalhousie University? Let us know in the comments below!
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