Whether you’re an incoming freshman coming from down the street in Stow or a plane ride away in California, adjusting to college life can be difficult. You don’t have your parents to take care of you anymore so being on your own for the first time can be difficult and overwhelming, but the twenty tips below are guaranteed to help you navigate throughout your freshman year at Kent State University!
1. You might not meet your best friend right away.
Finding your “forever friends” can’t happen overnight, so don’t have high expectations for finding your group within the first few days. I met my best friend a month after settling into school, so it may take you awhile to get use to the idea of finding new friends and a new person to be your best friend.
2. You will get sick of the dining halls around campus very quickly.
Around campus, there are over 10 places to use your meal plan, but you will eventually become extremely sick of every place to eat. During the first few weeks of school, you’ll love going to get pizza from the hub or getting a sandwich from Boar’s Head Deli in Eastway, but it’ll become boring and you will be begging your friends to eat downtown with you.
3. Eastway stir-fry bar will change your life.
Although I just said that you’ll get sick of the dining halls on campus, the stir-fry bar at Eastway will NEVER get old. There’s always a variety of veggies and sauces to choose from, and the choice to add rice or pasta. Not only is this option always a go-to, but it’s also healthy compared to other options on campus.
4. There’s a gym in Tri-Towers that is amazing.
Since the Rec Center is a far walk, you’ll never be motivated to go. Instead, use the gym location on the second floor of Tri-Towers. This gym is a smaller version of the Rec Center, but is exclusively for students who live on campus.
5. Explore downtown Kent on the weekends.
Rather than sitting around your dorm room bored out of your mind during the weekend, go explore downtown. There’s something downtown for everyone to enjoy, from coffee shops to boutiques. A few of my personal favorite restaurants downtown are Bar 145, Twisted Meltz, and Newdle Bar.
P.S., Newdle Bar has half-off sushi every Tuesday throughout the entire day.
6. It’s okay if you and your roommate aren’t best friends.
Try not to come into your freshman year expecting to be best friends with your roommate because of what you’ve seen in movies. As the year progresses, you guys will probably grow apart which is completely normal. You’re bound to get annoyed and frustrated with each other at some point when you live in a confined dorm room together.
7. You will still make friends if you decide not to rush.
Greek Life on Kent State’s campus is prevalent, but deciding not to be a part of it does not mean you will make no friends. I personally decided not to rush and I have made so many friends by talking to people in classes with me and on my floor. Both of my roommates during freshman year joined a sorority and have a lot of friends as well, so no matter if you decide to rush or not, you will make friends here.
8. Wait until the first week of classes to buy your textbooks.
When you log into your Flashline account and go to order your textbooks, hold off until classes begin. Nothing is worse than buying an expensive textbook only to go to your first class and find out you won’t be using it this semester. Do not try to go into the campus bookstore during the first week unless you want to wait in line for 30 minutes, instead find out exactly what books you need and order them online.
9. There’s a lot of organizations to get involved with, but don’t go overboard.
At the beginning of the year, Kent holds an event called ‘Blastoff’ where you can get information about the clubs offered on campus. There are over 300 clubs to be involved in, so be careful about how much you decide to do your first semester since transitioning from high school. While it is good to be involved on campus and begin to build up your resume, joining a lot of clubs right away may cause you to be overwhelmed.
10. Go out for Thirsty Thursdays.
Thirsty Thursdays are by far the best day of the week to go out and party here at Kent State. It’s always a lot of fun to get dressed up to go out and let out all of your stress from the long week by dancing with your friends at the frat houses.
11. That being said, NEVER take an 8am on Friday’s.
No matter how much you tell yourself you’ll wake up for your 8 am class on Fridays after a long night of partying, you will wake up but only to turn off your alarm. Try to pick a later start time on Fridays so you don’t have to have the cute TA see you hungover.
12. You will get VERY sweaty at the frats at night.
Trust me when I say you will be sweating no matter what you wear. Don’t bother to do your hair or wear a full face of makeup. Also, try not to wear any color that will show your sweat, bring an extra hair tie, and wear extra deodorant and perfume. Even though you are sweating profusely, everyone around you is too so don’t be afraid to dance your heart out and have a blast.
13. You will not see a single sober person at Rosie’s on a Thursday or Saturday night after midnight.
Rosie’s Dine and Market (AKA Rosies) is the only place open on campus 24/7. It is located on the first floor of Tri-Towers, and is a hot spot for intoxicated people to grab their late-night munchies. If you want to grab a late-night waffle and watch drunk people try to act sober, Rosies is the best place to be any day of the weekend after midnight.
14. Insomnia Cookies and Hungry Howie’s deliver on campus until 3am.
For those late nights spent studying at the library or the drunk cravings, getting cookies and pizza delivered right to your door are a must.
15. Laundry here is expensive so bring enough clothes to not do laundry every week.
A load of laundry is $2.75. Enough said.
16. College boys are sometimes only fun and not long term.
Don’t expect to come into your freshman year and find the “perfect boy” right away, things take time. The beginning of freshman year is stressful, don’t let a fuckboy distract you from your work or friends. Most guys are looking for a hookup and nothing serious, so be careful when letting your guard down. Boys come and go, but friends are forever.
17. Go to school sponsored events to earn FLASHperks.
Here at Kent, we have a program called FLASHperks where you earn points to win prizes by getting involved on campus and attending activities. The more points you get, the bigger the prizes become. Some prizes include Kent State apparel, free pizza for a year, and even free tuition. All you need to do is swipe your Flashcard at the designated events and your points will begin to accumulate.
18. Use ratemyprofessor.com to see what the ratings are for professors before you sign up for the course.
I made the mistake of not checking this website while making my schedules for fall/spring semester of my freshman year, and I regret it. This website is made for students to give their professors ratings and to give feedback on the course they took. The professors I had a bad experience with throughout my fall semester were rated poorly on this website; if I had checked this site and changed my schedule, I would’ve had a better learning experience.
19. You aren’t lame for calling your parents all the time or for occasionally going home for weekends.
Your parents have been there for you for the first 18 years of your life, so leaving them is just as hard on them as it is on you. Your parents are going to miss you more than anything, so on your walk to classes give them a call. It’s normal to get homesick occasionally, so it’s ok to go home to see your family, even if you really are just going home to see your pets ;). No one will judge you, if anything they’ll be jealous you get to go home and they’re stuck on campus.
20. Before you realize it, the friends made here will turn into family and Kent will soon become your home.