Tips to kickstart freshmen year 

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Welcome to the University of Connecticut! Navigating your freshman year is always a challenge, but here are some helpful tips to make transitioning to college easier:   

Be a good roommate 

Whether you go random or not, there will always be the possibility of roommate issues. Roommate horror stories spread like wildfire; we’ve all heard our fair share. But know that the requirements to be a good roommate go both ways. You can’t expect much more from your roommate than you’re contributing yourself. Don’t let issues drag. Instead, communicate with your roommate or RA, if need be. Moreover, don’t be discouraged if you don’t end up becoming good friends with your roommate! Not everyone clicks, and as long as you’re in a healthy living situation, that’s okay. 

Read the syllabus 

While college isn’t as scary as high school teachers may make it seem, staying on top of deadlines is of utmost importance. Assignments aren’t usually accepted late; if they are, there’s a significant point penalty. The best way to avoid this is to read the syllabus! As soon as you get access to it, bookmark the page or jot down deadlines in whatever planning system you use.  

Scout out campus before class 

Walk to classes before your first day! UConn has a pretty big campus, so getting a feel for it beforehand is key. Google maps will be your best friend for the first few weeks of class. Don’t be embarrassed if you don’t know your way around; you are not alone! Explore the inside of buildings as well — finding exactly where a classroom is can be a challenge at times. Also, keep track of what dining halls or cafés are closest to the classes you have around mealtimes.  

Carve out time to eat  

Carving out times for meals takes some getting used to, but it’s important to do — especially if the dining hours don’t align with your typical mealtimes. Furthermore, everyone has different schedules, so don’t stress if you don’t always have someone to eat with.  

Learn laundry etiquette 

What you will soon come to find is that getting your laundry done in college is no easy task. Free washers and dryers are hard to come by during peak times, such as evenings and weekends. Times vary per building, but the average washer cycle is 50 minutes; set a timer and show up early to transfer your clothes to the dryer. If not, someone will probably move your belongings. 

Take advantage of resources  

UConn has a plethora of resources available to students: there’s the Rec Center, study rooms, UPass, shuttle system and more. Go to office hours and use the cultural centers; take advantage of as much as you can. Ultimately you’re paying for these things, so why not utilize them?  

Read the paper  

Finally, pick up a copy of The Daily Campus now and then; if you’re reading this, then you’ve already got a head start! The student-run newspaper is a great outlet to keep up with events, activities and resources available to UConn students. The paper is offered at dining halls and several other campus buildings, as well as online at dailycampus.com

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