Being a freshman anywhere is hard enough as it is. Freshman year is full of weird and new things. Most of the time, you are learning as you go or learning from the mistakes of others. Here are some things you want to know to help you better survive your first year at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville because it is going to be amazing.
1. Be picky!
When picking the person you are going to room with or the people you are going to suite mate with, be picky. You do not realize before you get to college how different it is to live with someone. Especially if you did not know them at all before. Picking your roommate is almost like dating. You want to have similar qualities with the person but you do not by any means have to be best friends.
2. Try new things.
When you get to school, you have no one telling you what to do or when to do it. You do not have your high school friends around, so you are having to start all over. Try everything. Be adventurous freshman year. Do not wait until you are a sophomore or junior. Do the things you want to do NOW! Right when you get on campus. Be the girl you always wanted to be. This is your shot.
Even if you are iffy about being in a sorority or rushing, do it anyways. The worst thing that could happen is you do not find your right fit so you do not do it. Super incredible experience to just give it a shot though.
4. Don’t bring everything from home.
It is going to be so hard to overpack when you move into your new home for the year aka your dorm. But do not do it. The spaces are already small enough as they are and you do not need every single T-shirt you have ever owned in your dorm.
5. Go to every home and away game you can.
Fall semester will literally fly by. You may be reading this thinking “no way” but it happens to every freshman. Game days on Rocky Top are like a holiday and it is one you definitely do not want to miss. Go and cheer on the Vols as loud as you can because those will be some of your best memories. Then, spring semester will roll around and there will be no game days and it will go by so slow.
6. Game day outfits are a must.
Game days are not just for the games but also like a mini fashion show for every girl on campus while they tailgate before the games. Get cute or be super festive in Vol gear. But when you are packing for your dorm, make sure you bring your go to outfits for the games.
7. No 8 a.m. classes.
Unless you are a morning person, do not do it to yourself. It will run you down, you stop going to class, and then it is just all downhill from there. If you have to have one, try to get one for only Tuesday and Thursday.
8. You don’t have to know.
There are so many misconceptions about freshman going into college having to know what they are going to do with their whole lives. News flash, you do not. You can come in undecided and figure out your major and what you want to do. You have way more time than you feel like you do to figure it all out.
9. Stalk your professors.
When you get registered for your classes and are picking between professors, go look on “ratemyprofessor” so you can get a sneak peek of who you are about to have for a whole semester. You could save yourself.
10. Go out!
Make it a point to go out with your new girlfriends, your roommate, or your suite mates. Even if you are not feeling up to it, sometimes it is good to make yourself get out of your room.
11. You can say no.
When you have a test, a lot of homework, or even an 8 a.m., you do not have to go out. Know when to go out, but also know when to say “no” to a late night. At first, you are not going to want to miss out but I promise that you will not miss much.
12. Be yourself.
You may feel intimated when you get to campus and a lot of girls seem to have it together and be super confident. Do not try to change for these girls, some girls you will not want as friends. You will find your group, but stay true to you
13. Be obnoxious.
Do not be afraid to be loud at games. It is all about the atmosphere, so let loose and be a part of that.
14. Go to class.
Even the days you just want to skip, just go. Being there is half of the battle and if you just go it will help so much.
15. Dress comfy.
There is no reason to dress up for class. Dress comfy. Wear your shorts and big T-shirts or leggings and comfy sweatshirts. No make-up. Just be cozy and go to class and get it done.
16. Take care of yourself.
You kind of forget to take care of yourself freshman year. You stop eating so good because you are eating in the cafeteria or studying late or sleeping in and missing breakfast. Freshman year is emotional, but do not feel like you have to do it alone because you don’t and shouldn’t. University of Tennessee, Knoxville has so many resources you should definitely take advantage of.
17. The drunk frat guy doesn’t love you.
Go to parties and have fun, but also stand your ground. The drunk frat boy who is telling you how pretty you are, even though you are, does not actually care about you. Keep that in mind. Be careful.
18. Don’t expect to meet your soulmate.
So many girls come into freshman year thinking that this is their time to meet the guy they are going to marry. More than likely you are not going to meet him freshman year and that is okay! Find yourself first.
19. Make the library your bestie.
Hodges will be and should be your go to place. There are floors to work with others and be social and cubicles if you need to work in a quiet space independently. Don’t be scared to go to the library, it is the perfect little get away to get all your stuff done.
20. Take advantage of your professors.
They are there to help and they actually want to. Go to your professors office hours and show them you care. Even form a relationship with them. It is harder to fail someone you know.
21. Say “bye bye” to privacy.
You seriously have very little privacy sharing a room and bathroom with someone. It is very personal and people are constantly around you. By the time thanksgiving break comes around, you will be happy to be back in your own space for a little bit.
22. Work out.
In high school you were involved in sports or worked out with friends. It is much harder when you get to college. You are eating more than you realize and not working out everyday. Find a workout partner and go to the T-rec a few times during the week. Skip the freshman 15.
23. Be prepared.
Come prepared to class and take notes. Be engaged even if that means you aren’t talking in discussions.
24. Be smart
It is your freshman year, you are going to have every opportunity to go out and drink. Whether that is in your dorm room with your girlfriends or at a frat party. Don’t overdue it because you think it is “cool.” Never drink anything someone else hands you or leave your drink unattended
25. Find yourself.
You will learn more about yourself freshman year then any other time in your life. You grow so much in such a short period of time. Get to really know yourself.
26. Have fun.
Don’t be so serious all the time. Let loose and have fun. Do not worry about everyone else or what they think.
27. It is okay.
Do not worry about how you look walking, eating, or sitting alone. No one cares. Everyone will eat in college alone and this year you will do a lot of stuff alone and there is absolutely no shame in that.
28. Study in advance.
Plan your schedule accordingly. You have to study and prepare multiple days in advance. Cramming just does not work as great in college.
29. Leave your dorm open.
When you close your door every time you get into your dorm. you are sometimes being secluded. On occasion, leave your door open. This gives you the opportunity to get to know your neighbors and meet new friends.
Everyone needs it, but you do not get so much of it freshman year when you are trying to figure everything out. Try to manage your time and plan when you are getting enough sleep most nights.
31. The past is the past.
This is a new start here at University of Tennessee, Knoxville. No one knows you or maybe some people do. Regardless, the past is in the past. Whatever happened in high school, whoever you dated or were friends with, and whatever you did, it does not matter. Embrace your fresh start.
32. Don’t judge.
Do not be quick to judge someone or something new right when you meet them. Be open and give it some time.
33. Eat at the campus “spots.”
You will figure out quickly that Gus’s and Cookout are the go-to late night spots so be prepared to eat not so healthy food and to see everyone there. You definitely want to go and get the full college experience.
34. Embrace your parents.
When you move in, you might not want to be all sentimental and hugging your parents. Let them help you with your room, hug on them, cry that you are starting a new chapter, tell them you love them, and most definitely call them when you need help. Even though you are growing up, they still are your biggest supporters so let them still help you on this journey.
35. Ask for help.
Do not struggle all semester and never ask for help. It is okay that you need help and super good to ask for it. University of Tennessee, Knoxville has free tutors and academic coaches and so many other resources. Take advantage of these things so you can be the best student you can be.
36. Get practical shoes
Grab a super comfy pair of tennis shoes because University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s campus is big and hilly. You never know when you are going to have to trek all the way up the hill to Ayres and you definitely need some comfortable shoes to do that.
37. Befriend older people.
Upperclassmen will be your besties. They have already been through what you are going through and know where everything is and know how to do it. Ask them for help. Ask them questions. Be their friends.
If you did not like coffee in high school, I promise coffee will be your new best friend now. You will most likely drink it everyday. Good thing campus has Starbucks in different places and Golden Roast near by. You will quickly figure out where they are because you will thrive off coffee.
39. You are going to mess up.
Freshman year is hard. You have a lot of learning points. So you are going to make mistakes and mess up. That is okay. Learn from them, but you are not your mistakes so don’t dwell on them!
40. Stay away from the drama.
When you get to college you are pretty sick and tired of all the high school drama and will not tolerate any drama. Steer clear of any drama because it is a waste of time.
41. Make an album.
Yep, use Facebook, make a freshman year album, and take way too many pictures. Your parents, relatives, and all their friends back home will thank you so they can keep up with you. Take pictures of everything. You will want to be able to look back on your time at University of Tennessee, Knoxville. You will not regret all your goofy, embarrassing, and fun pictures.
42. Get involved on campus.
Join a club or an organization. You can check out PED walkway and you will find all sorts of people in booths set up. Approach them and ask questions!
43. Utilize your RA.
Your RA is an awesome resource. She is not that much older than you so talk to her and ask her for advice. Become friends.
Maybe you were never a napper in high school but you will live for naps your freshman year and sometimes a nap is exactly what you need so take one
45. Check on your besties from high school.
Maybe you only keep in touch with two or three, but check on them. Have weekly FaceTime dates and talk to them about their experiences. It will strengthen your friendships and make their day.
46. Be friendly.
Everyone at University of Tennessee, Knoxville is so friendly. We are in the south for goodness sake. If you are lost or have a question, ask a stranger because finding classes can be hard
47. Don’t worry about everyone else.
Don’t compare yourself to anyone else. Worry about you and put yourself first. You will thank me later.
48. You are at University of Tennessee, Knoxville for a reason.
You are where you are for a reason. Don’t question it. Be confident that you are where you are supposed to be and go kick butt.
49. Off campus.
Do things off campus too. Go eat somewhere in Knox, go to the movies, or on a hike in the beautiful smokies. Knoxville is just as much as part of University of Tennessee, Knoxville so take advantage of all the cool things it has to offer
50. Have fun.
All in all, freshman year is a roller coaster and you will love it. So have fun because this year will go by so much faster than you think. Then, you will be a senior graduating. These are some of the best years of your life, so soak them in.