What you really need to know about freshman year at UT

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Photo Credit: Connor Murphy | Daily Texan Staff

After loading up your car for move-in day, your parents probably flooded you with college advice between the goodbye tears. While they might be able offer advice about laundry and money management, it’s been a few years since they’ve hit the books. Here’s the real skinny on how to traverse freshman year from actual UT students. 

Class Tips

• Check out sites such as MyEdu and Rate My Professors when class registration comes up again. Knowing how different teachers grade, how their classes are structured and how easy other students thought the course was will help you find the right class. 

• Don’t stress if your grades aren’t what they were in high school. College is more difficult, especially when you are adjusting to a new environment and different teaching techniques. If you need extra help, check out the free tutoring available at Sanger Learning Center. Each student gets five free one-on-one sessions each semester, and drop-in tutoring is free for all students.

• UT offers more than 450 different study abroad programs. Visit the study abroad website to find programs in your major, and visit the Study Abroad Fair on Wednesday, Sept. 9 at Gregory Plaza.

Dorm Life

• Make your overly-cramped dorm an excuse to explore the city. With a different festival or event going on every weekend, you’ll almost always have something to do. From poetry slams, comedy, improv and concerts, there’s something here for everyone. 

• Don’t lose your key or student ID or forget it in your room. UT will start charging you after the fourth time. 

• The Freshmen Fifteen is real, so be careful with your meals. Try to make your own food in the morning so you can save your Dine In dollars and Bevo Bucks for lunch and dinner. Be sure to check which on-campus dining places take Bevo Bucks and which take Dine In Dollars because your money can run out quickly.

• Be aware of campus dining schedules. They’re not all the same, and nothing’s more disappointing than walking across campus with an empty stomach to a closed dining hall.

• If you’re planning on moving off campus in the future, plan early. West campus is a prime location for student living, and people start signing leases for the following year as early as October. 

 

Connecting to Campus

• Check out the organization fairs throughout the year. Party on the Plaza, an event where students promote their organizations, takes place Sept. 2 at the Gregory Gym Plaza. UT has over 1,100 student organizations. Attending information sessions and trying out different clubs is a guaranteed way to make friends. 

• If you don’t find one you like, start your own. Check out the full list of student organizations on HornsLink.

• Understand that no one has friends during Moov-In week. Reach out to classmates online and in person. Campus Facebook groups can be helpful for finding people who share similar interests, hear about cool events on and off campus and buy and sell items you might need throughout the year. And don’t be afraid to befriend upperclassmen, too. 

Health & Safety

• Don’t pull consecutive all-nighters. Every once in a while might work depending on your needs, but sleep is a must.

• Use the University Health Center ­— appointments are usually only $10. If you are having health issues or feel like you need to talk to someone, the faculty is always there to listen. 

• Set aside time to chill. Between classes, take a break in the Union recliners or nap on the second floor of the SAC.

• Anxiety is the number one mental health concern college students face. Don’t brush it off. If you can’t talk to a friend or family member about it, visit UT’s Mental Health Center or, if it’s urgent, call CMHC’s Crisis Helpline at (512) 471-3515. The services are confidential and great when you need to let college or life stress off your chest. 

• If you go to parties, you should always have someone you can count on to be there with you. If things get weird or you’re ready to leave, you won’t have to head out into the Austin streets alone.