Freshman Year's Already Over?! Here Are Some Tips!

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Oh gosh, it seems like only yesterday I was moving in for Orientation, but right now, Iíve finished all my finals, packed everything up, and am now awaiting my parents arrival. Looking back, it seems like Iíve done a lot and have lived my freshman year almost to its fullest extent. Of course, Iíve gained a lot of experience throughout the entire year, and Iíve definitely picked up on some doís and doníts.  It would have been nice having my own personal tip guide and I often think, ďwowÖ I wish someone wouldíve told me that earlier!Ē Here are some tips that I have for all incoming freshman to have as pleasant a year that I had:

-Pack LIGHT! Ė I remembered grabbing every article of clothing I had, a cure for every illness, decorations, toys, gizmos, etc. It turns out that many of the things I brought with me I didnít even use. Sure decorations are nice, but not too many; preparing for the worst of weather is good, but reason through the seasons; 3+ pillows makes your bed look inviting, but when you go to bed you end up using one, maybe two. I definitely am paying the consequences right now, I have SO MANY things to bring back home. All the useless items I brought with me plus all my necessities plus all the things Iíve obtained throughout the year makes moving out a hassle, stressful, and extremely difficult.

-Clothes- In the beginning of the year I brought all my hoodies, jackets, and other winter wear, but it turns out that I didnít wear many of them until around Thanksgiving, but by then I was already back home. So donít bring your entire wardrobe, when you go back home to visit your folks, you can always grab whatever you need.

-Fans- Definitely definitely  DEFINITELY bring a couple fans for your room in the BEGINNING of the year. I remember the first couple months was excruciating, the heat was unbearable at times. You probably want a standing oscillating fan for the room and a small one by your bed when you sleep at night. Even then the rooms get hot, but it becomes more bearable.

-Food- Iím not gonna lie, dining hall hours on the weekends arenít the greatest. In times when youíre up late or missed a meal during the weekend, having some food will help you get by. Ramen, Mac & Cheese, microwave dinners, Hot Pockets, etc. all are perfect options when youíre hungry and need a bite to eat when the dining hall is closed. But a mistake I made was snacking on them whenever I felt like it, which depleted my stock fairly quickly, leaving me to have to order food.

-Cash- You wonít know until you get here. Your money goes down the drain quicker than youíve ever experienced before. SAVE money over the summer, get a job, mow the lawn, whatever you need to do to get money, get it and save it. Throughout the year you never know whenever you need to get medicine, food, etc. You really do end up going broke by the end of year, trust me. By the end of the first semester, my money levels were reaching critical levels, and I learned the hard way to spend wisely and not to blow off all my money. Learn the value of a dollar.

-Back Up Cash- Have your parents setup some sort of way you can get money when you have none and are in dire need of it. This could be giving them your bank account information, credit card, etc. I remember not having enough money when I was sick and needed to buy antibiotics, but luckily my mom was able to send me money through my bank account. Oh and the nurses at Health Services CAN prescribe medicine when needed.

-Get Involved!- If you live in Bourgeois  or Leitch, you will constantly see flyers for different activities being held some upcoming day in the common room. I attended many of these activities with my friends and was able to win many great prizes such as a digital camcorder, different school kits, etc. And a tip, if you go to these events, sign your name down in the sign in sheet, the F.Y.R.E.ís (first year resource educators) keep track of how many you go to and will give you a special prize at the end of the year. I didnít know of this, but luckily I went to 7 of the activities and was pleasantly surprised to find out that anyone that attended 7+ got a free trip to Six Flags. So get involved, and get the prizes! Unfortunately I donít know whether or not Fox has a lot of these activities and flyers, my friend who lives in Fox said he barely ever sees any sort of activities.

-Timing- Walk from East -> North and vice versa = approx 10mins.

                Shuttle East -> South and vice versa = approx 20-30mins.

                Shuttle South -> North and vice versa = approx 10-15mins.

-Laundry- Machines here donít use change, only bills. You can put money on a card and then itís $1 washer and $1 dryer = $2. Bourgeoisí money adder machine only accepts $5+, but Leitchís machine letís you add single dollar bills onto your laundry card. Beware of broken dryers! If youíre waiting for a dryer, feel the glass, if it isnít as warm as the other machines, most likely the machine is broken. If you dry your clothes and it doesnít seem like it dried at all, most likely the machine is broken, try a different one. TIME YOUR LAUNDRY.  If you donít come for your laundry, most times it will get thrown on the table with all the other clothes. You donít want this to happen, so make sure you read the time on the machines and come back 2-3 minutes before theyíre done.

-Know Campus Numbers- UML Police/Emergency = 9789342911

                                                   UML shuttle services, brings you places late at night and when the shuttle busses are done for the day Ė 978 934 2222

Thatís all I needed or thought was important, but you get a list of numbers in the beginning of the year.

-Moving Out- Keep the room clean the entire year, and your task will be easier. The lighter you packed in the beginning of the year, the easier as well. If you brought your own car or live close, try to stagger the move-out process, bringing all unnecessary items back home before your actual move-out day to make that day so much easier.

Thatís all I could really think of, but Iím sure youíll find your own tips throughout your college life. Itís been a great year and Iím definitely looking forward for the next year!

Till next time,

-Hai

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14 Comments

Jeff H. said:

Thank you for the tips!

Scott Cofer said:

Great tips here. Glad you enjoyed your first year. 'Pack Light' - a great tip. I made the same mistake you did my first year at Lowell. I even brought a couch for the room ... what a nightmare! Any incoming student would do well following your advice - well done.

seslichat said:

Thanks..Great tips here haha .. Nice post

Jessica said:

I just want to add that you defiantly want to bring EARPLUGS if you are a light sleeper or want any sort of quiet time. My freshman year I didn't figure this out till halfway through and therefore got 5 hrs of sleep or less per night.

Freshman Year's Already Over?! Here Are Some Tips!

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This page contains a single entry by Pham, Hai H published on May 20, 2009 2:39 PM.

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