Hattie is currently working towards her Bachelor's degree in Mathematics…
Colorado State University is an awesome school, full of chill people and a lot of opportunities. Here are 50 tips to help you survive and enjoy your freshman year.
1. Do not say “Sko Rams!”
You will be judged severely, especially by an upperclassman. “Sko” is not a word and you don’t go to CU. Enough said.
2. Ask people for directions.
People at Colorado State University are almost always nice enough to help you out if you’re lost.
3. Dismount your bike/board at the dismount zone.
Don’t be that person who almost runs over other people.
4. Use RamCash to buy a fitness class membership at the Rec Center.
You could use your RamCash to buy food or stay in shape. The rec center offers tons of classes to help you keep off that freshman 15. I personally recommend the dance classes.
5. Look at which Around the Horn bus you’re getting on.
You might end up at the Vet School instead of your dorm if you aren’t paying attention.
6. Check out buildings that you don’t have classes in.
Some of the coolest spots to study and hang out are in random buildings across campus.
7. Learn which dining halls serve the best food.
Parmalee has the best burgers, AV has the best pizza, Braiden has the best sandwiches, Durrell has the best pasta and stir fry. This, of course, is just one ram’s opinion.
8. Always have your RamCard on you.
Student discounts are the best.
9. Join the Facebook page for your graduating class.
People end up having deals on textbooks or apartments for rent.
10. Leave for break either really early or late.
Nothing is worse than tacking on an hour to your commute home just because you left immediately after class.
11. Check out the outdoor program at the Rec Center.
12. Take random classes just for fun.
Everyone at Colorado State University has AUCC and elective courses to take, why not pick the fun ones! Take Oceanography for a science course or a philosophy course just because.
13. In case of annoying dorm neighbors, put the RA on duty on your speed dial.
No one should have to put up with Kanye West blaring at 6:00 a.m..
14. Do not eat Parmalee breakfast burritos for breakfast every morning.
You will gain your freshman 15.
15. Pack extra batteries in case your iClicker dies during lecture.
Professors don’t want any excuses, so don’t give them the “my iClicker died” excuse.
16. There are always opportunities for free food and events.
Keep your eyes open for flyers and e-mails from the university about things going on around campus.
17. Learn the words to the Fight Song and the Alma Mater.
You will hear these songs throughout your time at Colorado State University.
18. Don’t get in the habit of skipping classes.
It’s a bad habit that follows through the rest of your college career.
19. Move out of the dorms in stages.
Don’t try to pack everything up in one day.
20. Check out the UCA.
All events are free to students, plus a little culture never killed anybody.
21. Avoid the plaza bible-bangers like the plague.
Don’t let the people yelling at you near the library get to you. You’ll only be late to class and angry if you engage with them.
22. Don’t take the free coupon books unless you know you’ll use them.
Otherwise, it’ll be sitting in your room all semester just taking up space.
23. The new medical center is awesome, take advantage!
While it has the normal dental, pharmacy, medical services, and counseling, the medical center also has super cool meditation rooms, group workshops, and even a napping pod.
24. Check out Old Town.
With all of the restaurants, things to do, and places to hang out, Old Town is a great place to change up the scenery and take a break from school.
25. Don’t be annoying if you’re going to play a campus piano.
No one wants to hear you play chopsticks while they’re studying.
26. Understand the withdraw and repeat/delete policy.
I was one of those unlucky freshman who had to fail a course before I found out about the withdraw policy. Even worse, the class was discontinued so I didn’t have the option to repeat/delete. Don’t be like me.
27. Connect with people in your classes, especially if you share the same major.
As you get older, you’ll begin to see the same people in your classes. By getting to know these people, you’ll be more likely to form study groups for your harder classes.
28. Lock up your bike every time, every place.
While Colorado State University is a safe place, shit happens. If you don’t lock up your bike, you’re to blame when your bike gets stolen.
29. Keep all of your bookstore receipts!
Even if you don’t think you’ll need to return textbooks, keep your receipts just in case. Holding on to the piece of paper may end up saving you hundreds.
30. Use all of the study resources.
Orientation leaders, professors, and RA’s always tell you this, but it really is true. There are always places to get help with classes, so use them! This includes TILT, office hours, tutoring, etc.
31. Attend sporting events with your friends.
You don’t have to like sports to go to games at Colorado State University. Sporting events are a great time to hang out with friends, win free gear, and have fun.
32. Don’t get trashed at Rocky Mountain Showdown.
You might end up being the passed-out drunk on the big screen. Awkward.
33. Don’t bash other people’s majors.
Every major is hard in its own way. For example, just because you’re a STEM major doesn’t automatically make you superior to a Liberal Arts major.
34. Late night hang out sessions at the Alley Cat are the best.
Want something to eat or drink at 3 a.m.? Head to the Alley Cat and grab a Chai Tea or a Mellow Yellow smoothie.
35. Avoid wearing Colorado State University gear if you plan on going to Boulder.
Everyone will hate you. That’s not a threat, it’s a promise.
36. Yes, pumpkin orange and green look good together.
Fort Collins is the only place where this combo is not only acceptable, but fashionable.
37. Memorize your student ID immediately.
You’re going to need this number all the time.
38. Have your rams.colostate.edu emails forwarded to your email of choice.
39. You are not too cool to have school spirit.
Maybe having pride in your school was a no in high school, but at Colorado State University, school spirit is in.
40. Need to get to Denver? Use Bustang.
Bustang is a cheap and easy way to get to Denver if you don’t have a car or someone to drive you.
41. Get to know your professors.
Connecting with your teachers will improve your grades and help you in the future, especially if you’re going to be applying for grad school.
42. Search for extracurricular activities.
There are a million things to do on campus! Getting involved is the best way to make the most of your college experience.
43. Optimize your timing for everything you do.
Know when the rush for things are so you can avoid waiting in line. Don’t want to wait forever for Panda Express at the LSC? Don’t go as people are getting out of class.
44. Do a sunrise hike at Horsetooth.
You might be cold, but it’s so worth it!
45. If there is a chance to make a joke about CU, go for it.
Everyone bonds over a good jab at the Buffs.
46. Professors won’t bump up your grade at the end of the semester.
Don’t ask, it’s just embarrassing.
47. Be selective about the textbooks you buy.
You don’t always have to buy all of your textbooks, but definitely buy the helpful ones. Nothing is worse than wishing you had bought the textbook the night before the exam. Similarly, it sucks when you buy $140 on a book you never use.
48. Keep track of how many meal swipes you actually use.
Don’t pay for more swipes than you’ll actually use. By keeping track of what you actually use, you’ll save hundreds of dollars on unused swipes.
49. Make living arrangements for the next year early.
The hunt for apartments and houses start at the beginning of spring semester.
50. Take pictures!
I wish I had more pictures of my time here at Colorado State University to look back at. Document your memories like crazy.
Share your tips to Colorado State University freshman in the comments below!
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Hattie is currently working towards her Bachelor's degree in Mathematics at Colorado State University. When she's not studying, she's writing and spinning flag in the CSU Color Guard.