Looking for ways to breeze through freshman year? From the best dining halls, to using Ventra when you need to get around the city. Keep reading for 50 life saving tips for Freshmen at Loyola University Chicago!
1. Learn how to shake things up at the dining halls.
The dining halls get old after awhile. Learn how to make new things there, such as putting salad ingredients in your scrambled eggs.
2. Get in a good routine.
Get in a good routine early on, such as when you’re going to study, eat, sleep, relax, etc. It’ll help you stay a little organized and on track.
3. Learn how to use the trains.
If you didn’t come from the city or suburbs and don’t know how to use the trains, learn! You get a Ventra, so you might as well learn how to navigate the L system.
4. Stay organized!
Keep excess clutter to a minimum, or at least clean regularly. You won’t feel as stressed out, you won’t lose things, and you won’t trip over a shoe when you get up to pee at 4am.
5. Get to know your roommate.
You are going to be living with them for a full year, unless they transfer. Don’t live with a complete stranger! Get to know their likes and dislikes and how they work. You might have a lot in common, or you might have nothing.
6. Get involved.
There’s plenty of clubs to grab your interest! Plus you’ll meet some amazing people through it, and you might get some free food.
7. Try to make your college plan.
It’s required for Univ, but it’s also very useful. Make sure you know what classes you need and what core you don’t have to take, due to your major(s).
8. Go to the Wellness Center.
You can go for anything from illness to counseling. It’s helpful and it’s there for you.
9. Set up a budget.
It’s easy to get carried away ordering Insomnia or online shopping. Set up a budget so you don’t blow all of your money in the first few months of school.
10. Go to office hours.
Get to know your professors! Or, if you do need help in the class, go to get help! Office hours are for a reason and it helps if they see that you are really trying in their class.
11. Learn which building is which.
It’s helpful when you try to plan your classes for second semester and are trying to figure out if you’ll be able to run from the 7th floor of Mundelien to Dumbach. Also, if someone is here for a visit and asks you how they can get to Sullivan, you’ll seem like a Real College Student.
12. Halas is there for a reason.
Halas! It’s there! Avoid the Freshman 15! Take fun classes! Also, it’s a great way to relieve stress!
13. Invest in a good fall coat.
The weather may be warm, but the lake breeze makes it chilly. Invest in a nice fall coat.
14. Also a good winter coat and boots.
Especially if you aren’t used to the Chicago winter. Stay warm!
15. Get to know your way around campus.
It’s a pretty campus. Plus, you’ll be able to find the quickest routes to classes and you won’t get lost.
16. Book IC rooms way in advance, especially during finals.
They tend to fill up. By booking them in advance, you’ll know you definitely have a study space.
17. For incoming freshmen, try to join a learning community.
I’m in the Leadership learning community and it was a great decision. You’re forced to interact with them at the beginning of the year, but you end up becoming really great friends. Plus, you get to live with people that you already know and are kind of close with and can get closer to.
18. Get to know your RA.
Your RA might be cool, or have the same major as you, or just be a nice person. For the year they’re somewhat in charge of you, so it’s helpful to know them.
19. Make a schedule with test dates and paper dates.
That way they don’t sneak up on you. Plus, you’ll be able to see ahead of time if you have two papers due in the same week or tests in all of your classes on Thursday.
20. Make sure to have one semi formal outfit and one formal outfit.
Banquets, nice outings, etc. It’s helpful to have something other than jeans and sweaters.
21. Be open to new things.
College is about new experiences. Be open to what people introduce you to.
Time goes pretty fast and soon it’s finals. It’s a great way to document your time, what you did, what you looked forward to.
23. Do laundry a few days before you absolutely have to.
Or else you’ll be out of clean underwear one day and the laundry machines will be down. Then you’ll be in a pickle.
24. Wash dishes.
Wash dishes as soon as possible, or at least empty/rinse out whatever it is. It could grow mold or attract bugs in your room.
25. Have a few on-the-run outfits.
I like to have one for WTC classes and one for Lakeshore classes.
26. Have a quick makeup routine down.
If you wear makeup. I usually spend time on mine, but if you wake up late and like to wear makeup, have a simple routine that is foolproof.
27. Don’t forget to treat yo self.
Take care of yourself! Use a face mask, watch your favorite movie, eat your favorite food. Do something to keep your mental health decent.
28. Use a planner or the calendar app on your phone.
It’s easy to lose track of different club meetings or assignments. By keeping them in a planner, you’ll be able to see what you have to do.
29. Don’t lose your Ventra.
Or else you’ll have to buy a 24 hour pass until you can locate yours. Keep it in a wallet or bag, not in your back pocket.
30. Bring two or three nice water bottles.
There are a ton of water bottle fill up stations located around campus. I say two or three because, chances are, you will forget one in class one day and you’ll be very thirsty until you get a new one.
31. Check your email!
You’ll get emailed about events on campus, when you have something at the mailroom, or about class cancellations/changes. Or, if you’re like me and love online shopping, emails about makeup on sale.
32. Go to the free events advertised on campus with friends.
Free Events=Free Food/other items. Go to them. Plus, there’s usually a good, free movie in the Damen Cinema. Plus, free popcorn.
33. Accept whatever dorm you end up in.
I ended up in Mertz, even though that was the last dorm on my list. I ended up loving it! You get used to whichever dorm you live in and see the perks of it.
34. Use your Ventra.
When you have time, go see what Chicago has to offer, which is a lot. Go to different neighborhoods and explore.
35. Check your grades.
You could be slipping behind and not even know it until you get that email during midterms saying that you’re failing. Don’t let it surprise you.
36. Ask questions.
Nobody expects you to know exactly how things are done as a freshmen. Professors know that you are still getting used to college and how things work so don’t be afraid.
37. The IC is open 24/7.
Go if you need to study. Or need a quiet place. Basically, go whenever you want. It’s going to be open.
38. Don’t be afraid to be open about any issues you have with your roommate(s).
Don’t let things escalate! Be open with issues!
39. Also don’t be afraid to be open about any mental health issues you might have.
Your roommate might accidentally be triggering something and it’s not going to get better unless you bring it up.
40. If you find someone that you want to room with, reach out to them ASAP.
Most people don’t want to go random, and a lot of people talk to several people about rooming. If you find someone you’re compatible with, ask them about rooming. Although, random isn’t as bad as most people say.
41. Invest in microwaveable meals.
Sometimes you’ll be so busy, you’ll forget to eat. Then it’ll be 11:30pm and you’ll be hungry but the dining halls are closed. Or you’ll be in the middle of a paper or a Netflix binge and you won’t want to get up to go to the dining halls.
42. Know which places have student discounts and which accept Rambler Bucks.
Lifesaver for when you don’t want to spend a lot or want something other than dining hall food.
43. Check your Rambler Bucks balance.
It’s easy to keep spending Rambler Bucks because it doesn’t feel like real money. But you won’t want to find out that you’re broke at 8am after an all-nighter and before your 8:30, trying to get coffee.
44. Get a Keurig if you drink a lot of hot beverages.
You’ll save a lot on buying coffee/tea/hot chocolate. Plus, you can get Insta-worthy study pics of cute mugs and notes.
Come and Study with 30 East! We will be providing free coffee, espresso, lattes, and food! So take a break from studying and come by Hero Coffee on December 13th from 5-7pm to refull for a full night of studying! #uic #roosevelt #columbiacollegechicago #depaul #robertmorrisuniversity #loyolachicago #northwesternuniversity #universityofchicago #eastwestuniversity
45. Get to know the people on your floor.
If you are going to be sharing a living space, it’s just nice to know your neighbors.
46. Find common ground with people on your floor.
Maybe your roommate isn’t interested in hitting up Second City, but the person three doors down is. That way you’ll have someone to go with and have a friend.
47. Get to know upperclassmen.
They can help you if you’re having general college problems or have questions. Plus they might be or know someone with the same major as you that you can buy books off of or can answer questions.
48. Don’t take 8ams if you can avoid it.
You’ll think that you did it in high school, you can do it now. You can’t. You might stay up until 4am to write a paper you forgot about and when your alarm goes off at 7, you’ll turn it off.
49. Set up motivation in your room.
Whether it’s a motivational quote, or a picture, or someone that inspires you. When you’re questioning why you’re even in college or why you’re doing what you want to do, it’ll remind you.
50. Find yourself!
This might sound cliche, but it’s true. It’s basically a fresh start. Unless someone from your high school came to LUC, nobody here knows you. You can be whoever you want to be.