So you’re a freshman, but don’t worry; I couldn’t tell, and neither will anybody else. I know you’re probably a little nervous about coming to Florida State University; and that’s cool because so is everybody else. I may not be able to put all of your fears to rest about coming to college, but I’ve got twenty tips about being an FSU freshman that just might help ease the pain.
1. Live on campus.
It may not be the most appealing idea; after all, you do have to pack up your whole life and squish it into half of a room. However, living in a dorm puts you in the center of campus life. It’s a great way to get adjusted to college, make friends, and new experiences. Just embrace the dorm life, and submit your housing contract ASAP!
2. Any dorm on campus is a good one.
There are always going to be people who say certain dorms are better than others. The newest dorms might sound the best. If it turns out you live in one of the older ones, it’s no biggie. All dorms are fun for their own reasons. For example, Landis is right in the center of campus and DeGraff is steps away from nightlife at Florida State University. It’s what you make of it!
3. The Degraff Tunnel is not scary.
This tunnel runs from the DeGraff dorms to campus. It is there to keep students from crossing Tennessee Street by letting them cross under it instead. I used this tunnel daily and never had dangerous encounters or sketchy experiences. There is an emergency button inside and surveillance cameras just in case, so no need to be hesitant about using it. Plus, it’s just a few steps long and you’re out.
4. Get a mattress pad.
Especially for a dorm mattress, this two inch piece of foam will totally make a difference. I sunk into my dorm bed every night with a mattress pad on. It’s a life saver.
5. Utilize the school buses.
Even if you have a car, this is super useful. Parking at Florida State University is notoriously stressful and crowded. Sometimes you’ll circle for an hour and not get any luck. If you want to minimize the stress of finding a parking spot, consider using the specific routes FSU buses have. Anywhere from the Garnet route to the Heritage route, there’s a bus to take you to where ever you need. The app “Rider” goes hand-in-hand with this. It tells you which buses go to which stops, so you’ll always know which bus to take.
6. Invest in a comfortable pair of walking shoes.
The Florida State University campus is pretty big, and as a freshman you will probably walk to all of your classes from the dorm. Tallahassee is known for its crazy-steep hills. From your first day of orientation, you’ll definitely notice how many hills there are. To make walking everywhere just a little bit easier, maybe splurge on a comfy pair of sneakers.
7. Don’t take an 8 a.m. class.
It’s a lesson we all learn the hard way. Taking a class before noon makes it hard to get up and out of bed. If you find yourself having to take early classes, maybe find time to nap right after. It is tough to motivate yourself to get out of bed early, but if you live on campus, you may as well go in your PJ’s and go back to bed after. If you are a morning person, then more power to you!
8. It’s cool to be smart.
It’s your freshman year, you’re on your own, and most professors don’t collect homework. Everybody will continually tell you not to slack your first semester, but it’s so true. Even though you are more independent, it is so important to do well your first semester. Stay on top of things, sit in the front of class, take notes, and don’t text through your lectures.
9. Introduce yourself to your professors.
After the first day, it never hurts to go up to your professor and introduce yourself. This way, they’re more likely to remember your name and face if you ever need to go to them for help later on.
10. Online classes can be really useful.
Virtual school in high school was pretty much the worst thing. In college, online courses can really help you manage a tight school schedule. If you have the option to take a class online, consider doing it if you feel like you are a little overwhelmed. It takes self-discipline and a planned-out schedule, but if you are good at managing your time, online classes at Florida State University will be a breeze for you.
11. Not taking classes on Fridays is a plus.
One of the many great things about college is being able to pick your own schedule. Sometimes, certain classes will only be held on Monday and Wednesday, or Tuesday and Thursday. If you can pick a class that isn’t held on Friday, then enjoy a three-day weekend. (And happy hour, of course.)
12. Get a meal plan.
The dining halls and other food options at Florida State University are various. One of the dining halls, Suwanee, is currently being renovated and will open in Fall 2018. This means everything will be brand new! Having dining hall swipes will be super helpful because you really won’t have time or patience to cook in a dorm kitchen every single night. The convenience of using your swipe card to eat at a buffet is all too tempting.
13. Add the VIP to your meal plan.
VIP access gives you the option to swipe once a day at places like Chick-Fil-A, Subway, Steak-and-Shake, and more. It’s only a small extra cost to your main meal plan, so why not go all in?
14. Don’t feel pressured to go out every single night.
In Tallahassee, there is basically some sort of party happening every night. We are all young adults crammed into one college town, odds are we are going to go out to the bars and clubs to pass the time. When you first get here, you might feel like you want to go out every single night. I am here to tell you two things. First of all, it gets old and overwhelming. Second, don’t pass up doing homework or writing a paper to go to a club. The party will always be there when you’re done with your assignments.
15. Tally nightlife.
If you want to give Tally nightlife a try, certain clubs are the place to be on certain days. For example, a simple rule of thumb: Clyde’s on Monday, Recess on Tuesday, White Trash on Wednesday over the summer, Standard on Thursday, Potbelly’s on Friday, and The Strip on Saturday.
16. My take on getting a fake.
I’m going to go all mom on you and just say you probably shouldn’t get a fake ID. Let your friend be the one with the fake. This is one of the things that I personally haven’t brought myself to do. You can risk it, but I don’t think it’s worth it. If you are smart about going out and drinking, odds are you won’t find yourself in trouble.
17. Go to the football games.
If nightlife isn’t your thing, make sure you get out there and watch some Florida State University football. Nothing beats an entire stadium doing the war-chant in perfect harmony. Plus, the tickets are free for students!
18. Strozier Library is packed during finals.
I encourage you to go and study in the library, focus, and ace your classes. However, be warned that Strozier, also known as “Stroz”, is so packed during finals week that you might not even find a spot. Dirac is the other science library and could be a helpful alternative during finals week. It is also usually less crowded.
19. Take advantage of the free things you can do.
Around FSU’s campus and around the Tallahassee area, there are a bunch of things you can do for free. The Reservation is a popular place to relax by the water, go paddle-boarding, and pretend you’re at the beach. On campus, the Student Life Center offers free movies on certain nights. You never know what they’ll wind up playing!
20. Nobody in college judges, so put yourself out there!
This is just a standard rule! This is a fresh start for you in a completely new place. If you weren’t athletic before, why not join an intramural club team? If you weren’t artistic before, why not take creative classes in college? There are so many opportunities to try new things and meet new people. Nobody knows who you were in high school, so it’s time to go out on a limb and try things you’ve never been able to do before.