We have the best tips for freshmen at Johnson and Wales University. As a JWU freshman myself, heading into my sophomore year, here are some must know life saving tips for when you become a wildcat.
1. Orientation is very important
When I went to orientation, I was scared and excited. Everyone is nervous, but during orientation you will most likely be placed in a group that has the same major as you. Orientation is very useful and informational. I promise! There are a lot of fun activities as well.
2. Ask Questions
As a freshman, your pretty much clueless, the main reason your reading this article is because you have so many questions. Don’t just wait around and see what happens, ask the questions.
JWU needs to get on board with free laundry, but until then you should know it’s not free. You will be given a laundry card to load money on. I prefer doing it online. Laundry is $1.50 per wash/dry meaning it’s $3.00 to wash and dry per load. Due to these prices, conserve your washes, you can do a relatively big load in the washer and dryer. In my opinion, don’t get the pod, get liquid detergent. This will save you, meaning your parents, money. If you don’t know how to do laundry, learn.
4. Chef whites
If you are not a chef, disregard this information. If you have labs, they are no joke, take them seriously. Iron your chef whites before class or you might get sent back to your dorm depending on your chef. There is a video on YouTube of one of JWU chefs demonstrating ironing. You will need high white sock for labs as well as white T-shirts to wear underneath. Nails must be trimmed and clean. Labs are amazing, but are serious.
5. Meal Plan
For your freshmen year, you are required to have a meal plan. You have the option of doing 14 meals a week with $200 flex (explained later) and 18 meals a week with $100 flex. I did the 18 meals a week with $100 flex and I liked having that many, I never used them all though, so I would recommend the 14-meal option.
6. Meal Swipes
You can ONLY use 3 meal swipes per day. You can use your meal swipes at both the down city and harbor sides Starbucks, Red Sauce, Harborview dining hall, Snowden dining hall, City Burger, and BYOB (Build Your Own Burrito). You can also use your meal swipes at the liberty market down city at BYOB and harbor sides Liberty Market in the Friedman Center. They have things like sushi, vegan options, and sandwiches.
7. Flex Dollars
Flex Dollars are the money you get with your meal plan that a good per term. For example, if you choose the 14 meals per week plan you get $200 flex. It renews every term, but if you have extra/don’t spend it all before the term is over, it disappears. THEY DON’T ROLL OVER INTO THE NEXT TERM. Be sure to spend them before the term is over or your wasting money. You can use them at any JWU dining hall or liberty market or Starbucks.
There are two Starbucks’s at JWU, both accept flex and meal swipes. Hours are early and late. During the week, don’t try to go in between lab changes. Don’t try to go at 6:45, 1:00, or 8:00. Starbucks is always hiring students as well.
9. Dorms at Harbor side
There are three dorms at the Harbor side campus: South Hall, East Hall, and West Hall. Both South Hall and East Hall are quads. West Hall are triples. I lived in East Hall and it was okay I guess, but I would say the best of the three and the smallest hall. The dorms in my opinion are less than ideal, but suggest East out of the 3.
10. Buy Knife Guards
When you receive your knife kit, whether baking or culinary, go to the book store and buy knife guards. They are not included and chefs require them for safety.
11. Nurses/ Doctors at JWU are Amazing
The doctors and nurses at JWU are located at the Health Service Center and acts as a Walk-In. It’s free and they can give you medicine for small things or give you a prescription for anything they don’t have.
12. Bathrooms and Showers are Not the Cleanest
If you live in a dorm with community Bathrooms, there are many showers, but the two by themselves by the windows are better cause they are less likely to be cold. People know this or will learn this, so schedule your timing to get in there. Always wear shoes or a least socks into the bathroom because the floors aren’t that clean. Purchase a shower catty/bag and a rope.
13. Wear Shower Shoes
Purchase shower shoes, please! Showers are questionable so wear shoes. If you don’t, TBH that’s disgusting.
14. Red Sauce
It’s an Italian restaurant that’s the only dining located on Harbor Side. FYI its packed at 1:00 and 8:00.
15. Walmart is Your Friend
Walmart is a great way to stock up. If your parents come up or you have a friend with a car, GO!
16. Utilize the Friedman Center
The Friedman Center has so many useful resources that will be explained at orientation. They have the Residential Life Office, Library, Tutoring office, Student Services, Academic Services, Financial Services, and the Liberty Market. They are helpful and everyone and nice.
17. RA’s (Residential Assistance’s)
You will have an assigned RA based on where you are located within the dorm. That person is there to help you at all times with noise complaints, roommate issues, or just advice. They also host events within the lounge of the dorm so look out for signs. You can apply to become one for your sophomore year if interested.
18. Selecting your Room
Over the summer, you must select where you wish to live and you can even choose which room. Pick your room early! If possible pick the first/bottom floor, makes laundry day easy and move-in/out day so much easier.
19. Purchase Lysol or Cleaning Wipes for Room
For whatever reason the dorm rooms get dusty and dirty very quickly, wipes make it so easy to clean.
20. Fresh Scents
You are NOT allowed to have candles in the dorm, but can have Scensy Candles which are hotplate like things. It melts a scent with a light bulb. Make your room smell good.
21. College isn’t Peaches, there is Drama.
College is stressful and can be filled with drama if you let it happen. College is a whole new experience that you got to adapt to. Be Drama Free or at least TRY!
22. JWU Link
You whole JWU life is on the JWU link. Learn to love it. Download the app. If has your schedule, dining hall hours and bus schedules and much more.
23. CHECK YOUR EMAIL
I think one of the most important things I can tell you is to always check your email. All school related info about classes and school is sent to you JWU email. Check every day and if you can link to your phone.
24. College is not about partying— SLEEP
You need to sleep, getting a good sleep is what every college students need to be successful. Don’t be stupid!
25. Finals Are No Joke
Finals for academics and Practical’s for Chefs are no joke, take them seriously. They are big chunks of your grade. The Monday and Tuesday of the week of finals, students in academics get those days off from school to study before finals. Use them, Don’t Play.
26. Don’t wait till the Last Minute
Take this advice, if you wait till the last minute, you will fail or stress yourself out beyond belief. They give you plenty of time to finish the assignment with ease.
27. JWU Printers
Black and White ink is free, print as much as you want. They are in the computer lab, library, and all the halls. However, if you need color, that’s going to cost you. The cost to get colored ink is 50 cents a page.
28. Respect Quiet Hours
They start at 11pm so respect the quiet hours. Don’t be rude!
29. Amazing WIFI
Sometimes the service is horrible, but the WIFI is awesome. That’s one less thing you got to worry about.
30. Utilize the Computer Lab and Library
The computer lab and library is very spacious and I recommend it due to the computers in the Halls log out every 5 minutes. Important to know.
31. Always Shine in Labs and Classes
Throughout college, to do things, you need recommendations. You don’t want bad ones so shine.
32. Be on Time
This might sound like common sense, but some college students don’t get it. Being late will affect your grade and overall view of yourself. You or your parents are paying a lot of money for classes. Minutes your late costs money. Don’t be late.
33. Don’t forget your Family
As much as you love your freedom and having fun, call home every occasionally. I call my mom every day, sometimes just a few minutes. Call your family.
34. Having Roommates ins’t always great
College isn’t always like the movies when you become best friends with your roommates. Most likely it’s not going to happen, so accept it. RA’s are there to help, but due to drama in my room, I moved out. Don’t be afraid to move out.
35. Study Groups
Make friends within your classes to form study groups. This is a useful way to both study and socialize. Now you can’t say I didn’t have time to study.
36. Purchase a Timer
In labs, a timer is needed and very useful. Due to your cell phone being a feeding ground for bacteria, you are not allowed to have access to the timer on your phone. You don’t want your stuff to burn, so buy a timer.
37. Capture Every Moment
College is a huge part of your life, don’t let it pass you by. As much as you want to just sit in your room and watch Netflix, you must get out and make memories. Whether in labs, at the mall with your friends, or at the gym, take pictures. Capture a huge part of your college life.
38. Lock Your Doors
Even though JWU is safe, theft does occur so always lock your doors to stay on the safe side. In addition, don’t lose your key or its $100 out of your pocket. If you leave your key in the room, its $10 to get the RA to open your door.
39. Micro-Fridge Info
When you move in the micro-fridge will already be provided; however, you must pay for it if you wish to keep it within a month or so. You must discuss with your roommates about money, but if you do not decide to pay for it, you may not have a microwave in your dorm.
40. Room Tours
At the beginning of the year, before you move in, you will get an email you will get an email about the opportunity for room tours. Room tours means that your room is eligible/signed up to be a room that guests or people of interest can see your room as a reference to what a room would look like. I recommend this to insure the room will stay clean. In a reward to signing up, you get a $100 Visa card per term. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
41. Forget a Broom, bring a Vacuum
At Walmart, there is a red small vacuum that works great and is only around $25, it works on carpet and the floors in the dorm.
42. Bring a Floormat or Rug
This is important because it decorates the room and after you get out of the shower and you change in your room, you have a clean comfy surface to stand on.
43. Alcohol and Haven
In your JWU email, you will receive a notification on a survey/assignment that you must complete. It is time consuming and can be annoying, but if not completed they can put a hold on your account. Be sure to keep an eye on your email, there will be two parts.
On the JWU App or link the bus schedule can be found. The buses are free with the visual of your school I.D. They come about every five to ten minutes.
45. The Must Need for Extension Cords
You’re not going to know where your bed or desk is going to be located in your dorm. There are outlets within the room, but not nearly enough. You will need long extension cords for different electronic devices and chargers.
Winter means snow and in Rhode Island it will happen. Be sure to pack a large snug coat. This is extremely important when the winter arrives.
47. Packing Clothes by Season
With limited storage space, there is no need to bring all your clothes. Pack by season meaning when you first move to your dorm in September, pack some winter clothes but mostly for warm/fall weather. When you go home for Thanksgiving, take your summer clothes with you, and bring back winter clothes.
Utilize the great gym JWU has. It’s a great way to get in shape, its free with your school I.D. and a great way to socialize with friends, while getting healthy at the same time. Its located in the Wildcat Center upstairs.
In case of an emergency or need someone to jump start your car, safety security is always there. Their office is in the Friedman Center next to Liberty Market. The good thing to know is if you ever need a ride from the hospital or airport, they will give you a free escort.
50. Identifying your Equipment in Chef Knife Kits
In the security office, there is an engraving station to initial your knife kits. Every knife kit is the same. You want to be able to identify whose item it belongs to. You don’t want to misplace your equipment because everything is needed.