As the third week of classes comes to an end, many freshmen are feeling a little more at home than they did before, while others still appear dumbfounded by their college surroundings.
As I was once a freshman myself, in addition to being an international student, I have to admit that it can take a little while to figure out and adjust to everything that goes around the campus.
So here are a few tips and guidelines that can perhaps assist the newbies of college to adapt better to everything Troy has to offer. Some of these can help your academic interest, while others can be valuable for your personal endeavors. Either way, they can be rather beneficial in maximizing your college experience.
- Herb’s Place
The little convenience store on the backside of Trojan Village 400 is still unknown to some of the “freshers.” Herb’s Place is a handy spot to buy things from candy bars and chips to laundry detergent and air fresheners. Designed specifically for college needs, you can buy everything with your flex points, and it is the perfect place to go to satisfy your 10 p.m. ice cream cravings.
- Doing laundry
All on-campus residents know the hunt for quarters to do laundry a little too well. Fortunately, there is an alternative. You can always put some money in your ID card at the Adam’s Administration building or the library, then swipe your card to wash your clothes. If you are confused about the procedure, ask your resident assistant for help.
- Library services
Don’t have a printer? Not a problem. The library provides pages of free printing for all students in addition to services such as photocopying, or even renting a laptop. You can also get study rooms to work on group projects and access to thousands of online databases and journals for your research papers.
- Eldridge hall
Another place to go for your computing and printing needs is Eldridge hall. However, the biggest assets in Eldridge are perhaps the writing center and the natural science center. When confused about research paper formats like MLA, APA, Chicago, or even if you’re confused with how to structure papers — the tutors at the writing center are there to guide you in the right directions. Similarly, if you need extra help with mathematics, chemistry, biology and physics classes, the natural science center will also provide you with tutors.
As easy as general education classes are, they can become a drag for many, especially if you pay for your tuition out of pocket. Spending hundreds on a class you do not even want to study can be irksome. College Level Examination Program (CLEP) exams allow you to take a test for a certain subject at a certain cost and if you score a 50 or higher, you get full credits for that class. The list of CLEP exams available for credit transfer can be found on the university website.
While this may not be relevant now, it will be when October rolls around. If you want to avoid early 8 a.m. classes and get a much-demanded professor’s class, register early. While freshmen registration opens after the upperclassmen’s, if you are first in line on registration day, you will get your picks.
Another important tip for registration: pay all your bills. Any pending tuition charges, parking tickets, or even overdue library books can stop you from getting the classes you want.
Talk to your advisers regularly. They are here to assist and guide you because they can make sure you are taking the right classes needed for your major. If you have doubts or concerns about your major or possible career paths, the wise and experienced faculty members will help you out.
As you may have figured out by now, college textbooks can cost you an arm and a leg. Buying or renting used books can be a much cheaper alternative and plenty of online websites are available to offer you the best price. Going halves with a classmate on a book is okay and so is selling those books at the end of the semester.
Golden rule: Do not buy books until you are 100 percent sure that you will need them for the class.
- Saga is most crowded at noon.
If you go to the dining hall, or any other food court at noon, you probably will spend at least 30 minutes waiting in lines. So if you can, get your lunch at 11 a.m. or 1 p.m. Avoid bumping heads with other hungry and frustrated students.
- Shuttle service
Believe it or not, some students do make it without a car in Troy. One way to do this is to use the university shuttle service that runs every 30 minutes from the bus stop in front of the soccer fields. The shuttle runs back and forth between the campus and most of the student-based apartments around Troy. The shuttle even takes you to Walmart three times a week.
- Experiencing the Trojan spirit
Even if you are not a football fan, make sure you watch at least one football game in Troy. The Trojan warrior spirit that you may have heard about will not be more evident elsewhere than at a home football game. As students come together wearing cardinal and earnestly cheering for the Troy Trojans, you can truly feel the spirit of unity and pride.
Tip: Learn the fight song before you go!
- Explore the campus
There are over a 100 campus organizations at Troy. From Student Government Association to anime club, from dance repertoires to math clubs, there is something for everyone. This is essentially how you network in Troy and, by extension, have fun. So go out and explore what Troy has to offer.
- Free food
An essential tip for broke college students: there is always free food somewhere. This again goes back to exploring the different student organizations at Troy. With involvement comes a privilege: free food. Stay active and before you know it, your Wednesday night dinners will always be sponsored.
- Ask for help
Everyone started out where you did, so there should be no shame in asking for help. In fact, seeking assistance will help you more than it will hurt you as you learn better ways of doing things. Never hesitate to ask questions.
- Have fun
To make the best out of your four years here, you need to learn to have fun. Find your interests, explore them and utilize them. Let go a little and be a bit impulsive. Take an impromptu trip to the beach or take a scuba diving class just because you can. At the end of the day, you are more likely to remember that one time you stayed up with your friends to watch the sunrise than that one genetics lecture you had to sit through.