Coming to college for the first time can be overwhelming. These are 50 tips that I found and wish that I had going into my first year of college! Hopefully these tips for every freshman at Ole Miss will help to ease the stress…
1. Bring a fan for your dorm room!
A small clip on fan next to your bed is a necessity! Whether you live in a traditional dorm where you do not control your room temperature or in a contemporary dorm where you do control your room temp, on hot days, a fan is very nice! Having a small fan keeps air circulating, which in a dorm room is very useful.
2. Nice blanket
To me, one of the best things to cuddle up next to at the end of the day is a nice, fuzzy blanket. This is really nice in the winter when it gets chilly, or even just watching Netflix.
3. Mattress pad
HANDS DOWN ONE OF THE BEST INVESTMENTS I MADE WHEN GOING TO COLLEGE! A very comfy mattress pad for your twin XL bed is glorious. Memory Foam or something that you find comfy can make the dorm more “home-y”.
4. Blackout curtains
This was a lifesaver! In college, you will learn to cherish sleep (even if you already do) on a whole new level! When you want to sleep until noon (or later- whatever! You do you!), you do not want to be woken by sunlight coming through your blinds!
5. Girls! Towel wrap!
Trust me when I say that you will use this a lot, especially if you live in a traditional dorm! Find a cute one and some good shower shoes and you will be set!
6. Hand sanitizer…
I use this all the time. I keep hand sanitizer on me at all times for the sole reason that you don’t know where someone’s hands have been. I don’t want to risk getting sick because whoever touched that bathroom handle before me didn’t wash their hands….
7. Bring a Brita Water Pitcher
Having filtered water easily accessible in your room is very nice. If its 2 am and you don’t want to go to the water fountain to get a drink or fill your water bottle, you don’t have to since it will be right in your room.
8. Don’t skip class
Yes, some teachers do not have an attendance policy, however, that does not validate never going to class… It’s simple: you don’t go to class= you don’t learn the material…. It may seem like it’s a great idea to get that extra hour or two of sleep but trust me, you will fall behind if you skip class often.
9. Set alarms before you think you need to
Missing class or being late to class because you underestimated how long it would take for the elevator to take you to the ground floor and walk to class is not something that needs to become a habit…
10. Clean your room at least once a week
Possibly more if you are on the messy side. Aim to pick up your room once a day or once every few days and clean (vacuum, sweep, and disinfect) everything about once a week or once every few weeks. One of the most common causes of sickness in college freshman is not keeping your room clean and touching things that have lots of built up germs (GROSS!)
11. Do laundry once a week or once every two weeks
You don’t want to run out of clothes and have to resort to wearing that outfit you wore to the gym last week. Trust me, you don’t want to get to that point…
12. Fold your t shirts
Hanging space is minimal, you do not have room for your whole t shirt collection to hang all nice and neat next to all of your other clothes
13. Don’t bring high school shirts, or your whole t shirt collection
Don’t be that kid who lives in their high school days, what you did in high school was great but this is college. College is about making new experiences and getting into new things, your high school involvement doesn’t really have a place here. Plus you don’t have room for all of your shirts! Trust me you will get tons of t shirts as time goes on so don’t bring every single t shirt you own, just bring a few that you really need, just don’t go overboard!
14. If you’re from far away bring plastic tubs to keep out of season clothing
You will not have room to have all of your clothes out all year. Your winter clothes don’t need to be out all the time, just get plastic bins, throw all of your out of season clothes in there, and shove that under your bed to stay until you decide you need them!
15. Bring a water bottle
Having a water bottle (Nalgene, Camelbak, etc.) is so much easier than buying packs of water and just creating waste.
16. Invest in shelves
Metal shelves for behind the desk, or in between beds were so nice to have. I also had two sets of rolling drawers that fit right underneath my bed that provided extra storage (which, trust me, was very beneficial).
17. Bring quarters for laundry
The washers and dryers in some of the buildings are a little sketchy and they don’t sometimes take Express.
18. Get a cell phone card holder!
You will need your ID for almost anything including getting into your building, your dorm room, getting food, paying for laundry, and many more things. The card holder can hold your student ID as well as other essential cards such as your driver’s license and credit card. Just don’t lose your phone lol
19. Allot a space in your room for food (snacks, ramen, easy mac, etc.)
Even if you don’t snack a lot now, there will be times when you just don’t want to leave you room because you were hungry. Having some chips, ramen, or easy mac easily accessible in your room is a nice touch.
20. Don’t forget the Clorox wipes
You never know where someone’s hands have been… bring a tube of Clorox wipes (or other disinfectant wipes) with you into the bathroom and wipe down the handle of the shower and shower curtain, as well as whatever you deem necessary to do a quick cleaning. Better safe than sorry!
Get one, or coordinate with your roommate and one of you bring one, because there will come a time where you will need it! You don’t want to be the person asking in your floor GroupMe to use someone’s printer at 2 am when you forget to print something that you need for your 8 am the following day… just get a printer, even if you think you won’t need it, better safe than sorry.
22. Buy a portable charger!
You never know when you will need it! I keep one in my car in case of emergencies, one in my backpack, and one in my room. You never know when you will lose power and need your phone to be charged.
23. Get a small portable fan!
This was so nice during football season. Charge that thing up and bring it to the game! It gets hot and I mean HOT in that stadium. Even some later games, the sun is still blaring down. A little fan is absolutely glorious in those times!
24. Don’t put off your basic classes
Classes such as English, Literature, Science, or History may seem like easy classes to just push back, but go ahead and take them as soon as you can. You don’t want to be that senior in a freshman level history class stressing about being able to graduate because you put off taking your basics.
25. Take some fun classes
College is fun! Ole Miss offers lots of fun elective classes! Take a few if you can! Dance classes and exercise classes are great classes! See what is offered and try to work some of them into your schedule!
26. Find a major in a subject that you are passionate about
You are more likely to enjoy your future job and classes if you are passionate about the subject matter. Find something that interests you and go from there!
27. Don’t go out every night
If you want to go to the square and have a night out by all means, go for it! However, don’t go out every single night! It may seem like a good idea that night, but when your inevitable 8 am class rolls around the next day, you will wish you didn’t… Your body may or may not shut down from doing that… just saying’…
28. Sleep! Sleep! Sleep!
CANNOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH! SLEEP! You cannot stay healthy if you don’t sleep, simple as that…
29. Buy your parking pass right when your window opens, it is time sensitive!
Take it from someone who didn’t get her parking pass right away, you will want to get on that… you cannot beat the opportunity to park right in front of the dorm and don’t have to worry about catching a ride or a bus just to get back to campus.
30. If you are doing roommate matching, be very honest about what you will probably be like to live with in close proximity.
You will be living in a small space with another person, if you even think you could be a messy person, then mention that to your potential roommate, it will be better in the long run.
BONUS! Always ask before using/taking/or eating something of your roommates
Nobody likes when their stuff is used without permission. You expect that your roommate will ask you to use something, so you should do the same. Even if they say at the beginning of the year that you can use something, always ask… its better to ask then have it all blow up later over something small.
31. Reinventing yourself in college is not uncommon
Many people, when they come to college, change. If they were the kid who never went out in high school, they could change into the one who goes out every night if they choose to. So don’t be surprised if you, your roommate, or your friends change from the person they were in high school.
32. Greek life is an option not a requirement!
If you are interested in joining a Greek organization, then great! There are plenty to choose from (PanHellenic sororities as well as non-PanHellenic sororities, IFC fraternities and NPHC fraternities as well as non- affiliated fraternities). However, do not feel obligated to join a fraternity or sorority because everyone else is, or if you are a legacy, or your family wants you to. Your college experience is about YOU! If you don’t think you will thrive and feel at home in a Greek organization, you do not have to join one! However, the option is always open to anyone who wants to join!
33. School should always come first!
Yes, you should have fun and do what you want, but school should always come first! If you have a test or project or essay due the next day, maybe consider not going to that fraternity party. You may be bummed that you missed out on what some may call the “party of the century”, but there will be a new “party of the century” in a few weeks (or days)
34. Go to sporting events!
Students can get into any sporting event absolutely free (minus football) with their student ID! Use this opportunity to go to events and support your school! Plus games are super fun to go to!
35. Utilize the Turner Center!
The Turner Center is there for a reason! USE IT! There will come a day when you will miss the days when you could use the gym and all of their facilities for free… The Turner Center not only has a fully functioning gym, they also have courts, studios, workout classes, swimming pool with lap lanes, and a running track.
36. Drink lots of water!
You don’t want to be dehydrated and all kinds of sweaty and gross when you walk into your next class. Drinking water can not only keep you from getting dehydrated but also keep you healthier, which, if you don’t want to gain the “Freshman 15”, should be a priority.
37. Wear sunscreen
Because you will be walking everywhere and spending a lot of time outdoors, sunscreen is a must! it is very possible to get sunburned just by walking to class…
38. Don’t rely solely on the P.O.D./ C- Store’s for your food!
Many residence halls on campus have Provisions On Demand stores or P.O.D. stores, Martin/Stockard also have a kitchen. The food is great for weekends where you just want to be lazy and not really go anywhere far, however, don’t rely solely on these foods! (This includes the Papa John’s) Use your meal plan at Freshii, the Rebel Market and other places around campus.
39. Use your meals!
Speaking of meals, use them! As many as you can! You are paying for a certain number of meals per semester, and they do not roll over so the meals you do not eat is just money down the drain.
40. Don’t be afraid to ask questions!
Ask an upperclassman, ask a fellow first- year student, as a teacher, anyone! I promise you, you will find SOMEONE who will be willing to answer your question. Sometimes it may take a few tries to find the answer you were looking for, but putting yourself out there, asking questions that other people are scared to ask will set you apart, trust me.
41. Don’t try to sneak stuff into the dorms that you are not supposed to have, you will get caught eventually!
It is simple, if you are not supposed to have something, don’t bring it. You will get caught.
42. Get involved!
There are other ways to get involved on campus other than Greek life. Organizations like ASB (Associated Student Body), BSU (Baptist Student Union), and Hip Hop Rebs are just a few of the ways to get involved. Ole Miss has organizations for many areas of interest ranging from spiritual/ religious and Student Government to Academic and service/ philanthropic. Find something that you are passionate about and pursue it!
43. Take care of yourself!
I cannot stress this enough: take care of yourself! Keep up with your schoolwork, try to keep your stress in check, get enough sleep, and eat at least twice a day! You should shoot for eating 3 meals, however, realistically, you may not have time for that…
44. Make friends with the people on your floor!
There will probably come a day when you need something from your floor mates, whether it be an opinion on an outfit, to use someones printer, or simply have a question, people will be more willing to help if you are friendly to them! Plus, some cool friends that you’ll spend a year with!
45. Invest in a good pair of walking shoes
You will walk everywhere. Even if you say you won’t, you will! The places you can park is limited so you can’t drive to class or to the library. Invest in some good, comfortable, and durable tennis shoes and/ or Chacos, you will want them.
46. Health center and Counseling center are there for a reason
Utilize them! Your physical and mental health are important so use the facilities that are there to keep you healthy! So if you get stressed out or sick hit them up
47. The more you get to know your teachers, the more willing they will be to help you (especially at the end of the semester)
Teachers who know you were working and trying your best would be more willing to bump your 88 up to a 90 than someone who has not come to office hours once and they’ve only seen their name on the roster list.
48. Fairs = free stuff!!!
Housing fairs, job fairs, activity fairs, and organization fairs (plus many others) happen fairly often on campus! Many times booths will give away pens, cups, t shirts, and other things that you will be thankful that you have.
49. Buy/rent textbooks at least a week before classes start!
It’s always better to be over-prepared than under-prepared. If you come to class the first day and you already have an assignment from the book then you won’t have to worry if you got your books in advance!
50. Always check the weather
Always be prepared for rain! Mississippi weather can be unpredictable so keep an umbrella in your backpack just in case!
What are some other life saving tips for freshman at Ole Miss? Share in the comments below!
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"I attend Ole Miss and am pursuing a major in Integrated Marketing Communications with a double minor in Business Administration and Art :) I dance, and jam to broadway 24/7"