The life of freshmen at Middle Tennessee State University can get pretty hard. It’s the first time you are truly on your own and you have so many responsibilities! Freshman year of college is great though, you learn so much about yourself and the way you live. Even though it’s only been one semester, here are some things I’ve picked up on!
1. Attend Connection Points
MTSU has Connection Points where students are encouraged to participate in activities such as Dinner and a Movie, Football Games, Crash the Commons, and so many more. It is a great way to get involved, have some fun, and meet new people.
2. Take Advantage of the Events on Campus
MTSU also hosts informational seminars, panel discussions, comedians, live music, etc. MTSU works very hard to make sure their students have every opportunity to learn and/or have something fun to do.
3. Join a club or organization.
Whether it pertains to your interested career field or not, join a club or organization. MTSU has its own radio station, a debate team, various sororities and fraternities.
4. Get to Know Your Professors
MTSU professors care about their students. Take advantage of their office hours, discuss issues you have with the course, seek guidance on things you don’t understand.
5. Form Study Groups
Forming study groups will contribute to your academic and social life. It will reinforce study habits while allowing you to meet and connect with your peers.
6. Find a Job that May Be Beneficial to Your Desired Career
Murfreesboro has plenty of job opportunities, but it is also close to Nashville. Make the commute if a job there could help you academic and future career goals.
7. Focus on General Requirements
Especially if you haven’t decided a major, focus on your general requirements. You have to have them regardless, so why not start knocking them out in the beginning?
8. Get to Know Your Advisors
You have to meet with your advisors in order to register, but go to them with any questions you have about your degree, courses to take, issues or any confusions you have. They are there to help.
9. Take Some Honors Courses
If you qualify, take some Honors courses. The classroom settings are smaller, which leads to more discussion based classes and more attention with your professor.
10. Bring a Bike
MTSU is a decent sized campus. Invest in a bike. Many people also longboard, skateboard, roller-skate, and ride scooters to class.
11. Make Sure You Have a Good Bike Lock
If you are bringing a bike, make sure you bring a bike lock. Secure your bike at the designated bike stands to ensure nobody takes it.
12. Take Advantage of Your Meal Plan
MTSU has a variety of food opportunities. Visit the Student Union Building for some Steak n Shake, Panda Express, Happy Tomato, or Popeyes. Head over to McCallies or the JUB for some home cooked-like meals. There are many other dining places available.
13. Take Advantage of the Rec Center
In regards to the variety of dining options on campus, also take advantage of the Rec Center. It will help you not fall victim to the Freshman 15.
14. Take Advantage of the Tutoring Center
MTSU has a tutoring center in the library where you can find a tutor for a specific course.
15. Visit the Writing Center
MTSU also hosts a writing center, where people will review and edit your essays, helping you get the grade you want.
16. Hang out in the Library
The James E. Walker Library is a great place to study. Sometimes leaving the comfort of your dorm or home will make sure you focus on studying. The library is comfortable and functional. There are quiet zones, comfy chairs, and group rooms to start!
17. Join Your MTSU Facebook Page
Most classes have their own Facebook page. There are also Facebook pages for various MTSU affiliated organizations and clubs. Stay updated on events and get connected with your peers!
18. Go to Class
It might suck some times, but skipping class will lead to slipping grades.
19. Take Notes
They don’t have to be extremely thorough, or maybe they do. Whatever is best for you, take notes and pay attention. Write down important dates and deadlines. Make note of things you don’t understand to review later.
20. Stay Organized
Staying organized will help eliminate the sense of overwhelming that comes with being unorganized and lost at times.
21. Don’t Procrastinate
We all do it. Wait till the last minute to write a paper, pulling all-nighters. Don’t procrastinate. Doing things ahead of time will also help eliminate some stress that comes with college.
22. Invest in Rain Boots
When it rains, it pours. Get some rain boots for walking around the MTSU campus, or suffer from wet sneaks and soaked socks.
23. Also Invest in a Rain Jacket
Or an umbrella. Whichever you prefer.
24. Know your Tech Staff
Servers crash. Onestop stops working. D2L goes down. Know your tech staff. Such tech staffs are located in the library and the KUC. Call them to see if it’s a problem with your computer or if it is campus wide. You can also visit them for any other computer problems, free of charge.
25. Go to Cookout
Cookout is the college hotspot. Good fast food, and it’s so reasonably priced.
26. Microwave Popcorn
If you live on campus, invest in a microwave so you can invest in popcorn. It is generally low calorie (as long as you aren’t soaking it in butter) and it is a quick, filling snack.
27. Invest in a Brita Water Bottle
To cut down on purchasing water bottles, buy a Brita Water Bottle to fill up at water fountains, sinks, etc. Clean, fresh water and it saves the environment as well as your pocket.
28. Get to Know Your Roommate Before You Move In
Get in touch with your roommate before moving in. It will help to ease your mind and get to know them. You will have someone on campus ready to take things on with you.
29. Create a Budget
College has a habit of breaking your bank. The vending machines here even take Apple Pay. How easy to just blow some cash on a drink? Make sure to create a budget.
30. Get Used Books
Odds are you are never using your books after a course, and most courses require new additions in the following years. Invest in used books instead of new ones. Visit the MTSU Phillips Bookstore or Textbook Brokers in Murfreesboro.
31. Utilize Your Student Discounts
Student discounts are offered at many places around Murfreesboro, but you can also get discounts from memberships like Amazon.
32. Get to Know Your Campus Police
MTSU has its own police force. They also offer escort services, good for late nights and long walks to your dorm or car.
33. Download the MT Mobile App
The MT mobile app gives you a map of the campus, your schedule, and so much more.
34. Check Your Email
No joke. This should be one of your number one priorities. Professors will contact you if needed through email, special dates and deadlines will be sent to you, various opportunities will be made aware to you, and any issues you may need to address will be sent to your email.
35. Visit Your MTSU Health Center
MTSU has its own health center where you can go if you are feeling ill. It’s located in the Rec Center.
36. Find Healthy Locations Eat
Happy Tomato is one of the healthier places to eat on campus. Also check out the JUB and McCallies for some tasty salad bars.
37. Keep Some Fruit in Your Dorm
Fruit like bananas and apples are easy to grab and quick to eat.
38. Pack Snacks
Also leave some snacks in your backpack. Don’t let yourself get “hangry”!
39. Hole Punch Your MTSU ID
You can hole punch your MTSU ID (hopefully it’s obvious not on the strip for scanning) and hook it to your keychain. This makes it easier to enter your dorm and buildings, and also prevents you from losing it.
40. Get a Lanyard
A lot of people lose their keys on campus. Get a lanyard and keep your keys around your neck or attached to your backpack.
41. Find Your Classes Before the First Day of School
Even if you think you have a general idea where everything is, take a stroll and run through your schedule before class. Being late the first day will stress you out.
42. Go to Career Fairs
MTSU Career Fairs will connect you to various employers and allow you the opportunity to introduce yourself. If you need a job, this is a great event to attend.
43. Go to Club/Organization Fairs
MTSU hosts fairs for their clubs and organizations. Even if you don’t end up joining, you will meet a lot of new and different people. Build that social circle!
44. Go to Study Abroad Fairs
Study Abroad fairs will also help get you interested in maybe studying abroad. It can open you up to ideas you never imagined and opportunities you could get nowhere else.
45. Don’t Dwell on Deciding a Major
You don’t have to have everything figured out. If you can’t decide a major, just get involved. Expose yourself to new ideas, join clubs, go to different events. Part of college is finding yourself. Everything will eventually come together. Maybe start worrying the end of your sophomore year ;).
46. Take a Walk
MTSU has beautiful scenery. Enjoy it. Get outside and take a walk. Studies show getting in touch with nature through walking or hiking can be extremely beneficial to your mental and physical health.
47. Prepare to be Overwhelmed
Assignments will end up piling on top of each other. You are in a new environment. There are new people. You may feel scared, but MTSU has such welcoming staff and upper classmen to help you settle in and deal with all the stresses of adulthood and freshman status.
48. Find Balance
One of the main reasons people drop out is due to prioritizing a social life over their academic one and not being able to handle the freedoms of a college campus. Prioritize your schoolwork. It may be hard to sit a party out, but your grades will benefit from it.
49. Take Time for Yourself
While you need to find balance, it can’t be all work and no play. Take some time for yourself. Take a nap. Skip an 8am. Go to that party and write your essay later. Remain responsible for your actions, but give yourself a break sometimes. You deserve it.
Keep. It. Simple. Stupid. Don’t overthink everything. Take on one thing at a time. College is stressful. It is a major change in your life. It may challenge you at times, but it will be some of the best years of your life.