We have the best tips for freshmen at the University of Arkansas. As a UARK freshman myself, heading into my sophomore year, here are some must know life saving tips for when you become a razorback.
1. It is about finding friends not a friend group.
Trying to conform or force yourself into a group of people you don’t truly know will only lead you to questioning yourself. Look for real friendship and everything else will fall into place.
2. Resident Reserved Parking > Garland Garage and Green Lot.
Having closer parking to dorms will ultimately make your life easier when it comes to quick campus escapes, going to off campus events, a job, or hauling things to and from your car. It also feels a lot safer being that it will be a shorter walk from your dorm. Make sure you don’t miss your email about it as Resident Reserve is always the first type of parking to go. If you can’t get RR, a parking garage is your next best option.
3. Meal Trade is not a fair trade.
This will offer you fake fast food options- the choices will be restricted to fit the trade. The food will not taste like the real places- expect lower quality and less satisfaction. However, you save money- win some, lose some.
4. Hit the Quads (Fulbright Dining Hall) with a Squad.
The dining halls are hardly ever a hit but they’re not always a miss. It usually takes a couple plates of all the options to find what tastes the best. It is more fun when you go with friends but no one looks at you weird for eating alone!
5. Brough (Dining Hall) is Better.
If you live in Reid, Maple, or Quads Fulbright Dining Hall will be MUCH closer than Brough- but the walk across campus will allow for better tasting food and a few extra options. You’ll feel better about the ice cream you eat.
6. Use your flex $ wisely.
Money on your student ID that will allow you to purchase food at places on campus other than the dining halls. The place all my flex goes to the most is au bon pain!! The amount you get will depend on your meal plan.
7. Tapingo aka Tap and Go is too good to be true.
Popular nearby fast food places delivered to your dorm!! This is perfect for when you’re sick or can’t get away during a late-night study sesh or after a night out.
8. Reid Hall is the farthest dorm from all classes unless you’re an agriculture major.
Living in an all-girls dorm has been so fun- it seems like everyone knows everyone. It is also the safest dorm to live in on campus. You’ll get all your steps in if you choose to live here or Maple.
9. There is more to do than going out 4/7 days a week.
You are missing out if you don’t go out every single night. By that I mean you’re missing out on finding unique things to do around Fayetteville and being in your best health and making your best grades.
10. But still go out and move to your own beat.
Whether getting wasted is your type of partying out or if drinking a few Red Bulls is more your style, going to the fraternity parties is quite the experience. You will get a chance to meet people, see some interesting things, and dance like there’s no tomorrow.
11. Call an Uber or Safe Ride.
As mentioned before, parking is insane here. When going out Ubers are a great solution but never ride alone!! Safe Ride is great for when you’re on the other side of campus late at night and need a ride back to your dorm!!
12. GroupMe App will never be more of a necessity.
As soon as you say you’re attending the U of A you will be put into UARK 2021 Group Me and then your dorm’s group me- this is only the beginning of the masses. If you are a part of Greek life you will have one with every fraternity or sorority. And then there are the clubs and other things you will become a part of and it will be essential for you to check it every day.
13. Go to more than just chapter or the mandatory event for your strat or frat.
If you are looking to getting to know the girls in your PC and upperclassmen you are going to have to be more involved than just going to the weekly meeting. Hang out at the house, watch the bachelor there and study. Also, eat your meals at the house. Join committees and volunteer for events.
14. Make the first move.
No, I am not talking flirting (but you never know what could happen there either)!! You must be intentional with those around you. You do not have the same classes and the same lunch and the same activities as all your friends like in high school. You have to make even more effort to find time to hang out among the conflicting schedules. And asking someone to hang out especially if they’re in your frat/strat, it is very unlikely they’ll say no. A risk worth taking if you ask me.
15. Just because you did not do it in high school doesn’t mean you can’t do it here.
Participate in the intramural sport when you are the furthest thing from sporty. Be a part of a play or on the arts committee. Volunteer. Be the outgoing person you’ve wanted to be.
16. Get to know who is on your floor.
This will make your dorm feel more like a home and make the community bathrooms actually have community.
17. Freshman relationships are rare and should not be forced.
All freshmen are trying to figure themselves out- it is very hard to seriously date someone when most freshmen are not sure of themselves and are often changing who they are.
18. Clean dorm is a happy dorm- you do have time to clean it, you don’t have time to stress about it.
Favorite cleaning supplies: Clorox Wipes, Vacuum, Duster.
19. If you don’t put it on your calendar you aren’t going to make it there.
Have a paper one (this can be like a planner) and a digital one. It is helpful if the digital one is in sync with both your computer and phone. Have the reminder notifications set along with it so you don’t miss a thing!
20. Union and HYPR have bomb workout classes. #FREE
The price for these are included in your tuition. Staying active is so important for both your physical and mental health- both will be tested like never before in college.
21. Don’t lose your fob, your keys, or your Student ID!
Replacing these things is a huge pain. Plus, you won’t be able to do much without them!
22. Bet you haven’t heard this before: Save your $$$!!
You will be so broke. Save now and save later. Savor any extra cash your parents give you when you see them.
23. Study for tests EARLY.
There is no such thing as memorization in college, it’s all conceptual deeper understanding. Do not study in your room.
24. GO to class and NEVER skip a review
Lots of classes take attendance points and you will find that each teacher takes attendance differently so it is important to keep up with how it is done.
25. Everyone is struggling with something different
Don’t wear yourself out with realizing you aren’t the perfect freshman.
26. Take alone time for yourself
Make this more than just sleeping or scrolling through your phone- make an awesome playlist, get crafty, journal, etc.
27. Change your days and locations up- go to library, coffee place, or outside to do homework etc.
Switching up routine keeps things stimulating!! College should not be a drag- it’s “the time of your life!!”
28. Set goals- short and long term, big and small.
29. Check your university email more than once a day.
But don’t forget about your other email accounts because this one is such a prime focus.
30. Check your blackboard once a day.
This is what shows your class grades and announcements.
31. Get the blackboard, google docs, and Gmail app on your phone.
Easy access = less stress.
32. Social Media distorts college life; it misses the best and the worst things, honestly you can’t put your life on social media.
Watch how much you spend on social media- it’s proven it will make you depressed- the snapchat stories aren’t as cool as they seem.
33. Take tons of pictures, even of the stupid things
It’s funny because you might take pictures at the beginning of year with people you don’t know at the time only to be best friend’s months later.
34. Back up your phone to your computer often, you never know what’s going to happen to it.
Your phone may break, get stolen, misplaced, or lost and you don’t want all your new contacts and pictures getting erased!!
35. Call your family, it’ll make their day.
Finding privacy to talk on the phone can be hard, especially if you live in a dorm where you don’t have your own room. Consider taking a walk, going to your car, or to a living area on your hall or in your building.
36. If you were lucky enough to have true best friends in high school that go to different schools, keep in touch and show each other unconditional love and grace.
Visit each other and have reunions at home. It is so fun catching up and seeing how much each other has grown. Do not have any expectations of who they should be or standards they should be meeting. Love them for where freshman year has brought them so far.
37. Home will be bittersweet.
Home will feel the same in many ways but not in all ways. The differences are significant. The relationships you have with your family are what make it so special.
38. Save money when it comes to functions.
For the formal functions: borrow dresses from friends, use Curtsy app
For the themed functions: go to goodwill and use Amazon- consider getting an Amazon Prime account.
39. Include others.
“You will never regret being kind.”
40. An enemy of your friend is not an enemy of yours.
Decide your opinions on others for yourself. No one truly knows anyone here and everyone seems to always be changing so seek out the truth about others for yourself.
41. Always have your multivitamins and insurance card.
You will get sick. Take multivitamins every day and make sure to have your insurance card for when you have to go visit Pat Walker Health Care center on campus. Also, have a large supply of allergy, cold, and pain medicine.
42. Air filter and air purifier are have-to-haves for a clean dorm.
Reid Hall can be disgusting. Purchase an air filter to tape over your vent and an air purifier to knock out the mold spores and dust that are so commonly found in dorms.
43. Netflix can be detrimental to your use of time.
Beware that starting a show during all the new responsibility freshman year brings will set you back.
44. Make time for laundry and beware it is a war zone.
There are only a set number of washers for a mass number of people. Try to figure out the day and time that people do not do laundry. Sunday afternoons are hopeless.
45. Just because your professor says something, it doesn’t make it true.
It is so healthy to question your own beliefs but make your own opinions on things, don’t just let anything that is said to you by a professor go.
46. Be on the lookout for jobs- 2nd semester is more realistic.
You will want to check out the town and start making connections to get the kind of job you want during college. You will soon learn that school is your job and to truly succeed you should treat it as a 9am-5pm day. Therefore, it may be best to wait to get a job second semester or later so you can have a feel for your schedule and aspiring to mastering balance.
47. Plan your schedule where you can attend CFF on Fridays.
CFF = Chicken Finger Friday. It is lunch at a sorority house. This is such a good way to meet people within your strat. You also will be able to take a guest or go as a guest some weeks and that is exciting.
48. Value importance of an 8 hour sleep schedule.
You will want a comfy bed- invest in good sheets, blankets, pillows, and most importantly a mattress pad.
49. Chances are you won’t make an A on your first college test.
Don’t beat yourself up about it- it’s hard to learn the format of tests and you haven’t been at school in months. All you can do at the end of the day is try your very best.
50. It’s okay to freak out, you will be more than okay.
While freshman year is one of the hardest, all the changes that come with it will grow you like never before. Take it in for all it is because it goes so fast.