West Virginia University, a special university in a special town. I visited many colleges, had a lot of options, but something about this place really stuck out to me. Now, as the year is ending, I decided to extend the knowledge that I acquired during my first year to share with upcoming freshmen of the future. This is the unofficial Freshman's Guide to West Virginia University.
1. Annex, Annex, Annex.
Chances are, you didn't hear about Annex on your tour of the university, but there's no way your guides didn't know about it. This is a club unlike any other of the many you'll go to downtown. You might have to go a few times to get the hang of it, but it'll soon become your go-to Thursday night destination. Never pass up on a chance to go to Annex, you never know when you may run into president Gee.
2. Make friends in Boreman.
This is the closest and most convenient residence hall to downtown now that Arnold Hall is being shut down (RIP, Arnold, my home freshman year). If you're living in Towers, Lincoln, or anywhere else, you're definitely going to want to have friends in Boreman so that you can crash at their place after a night out downtown. You're not going to want to ride the bus all the way back to Evandale.
3. Eliza's Coffee Shop=YES.
This little gem is housed in the Downtown Library, and you're going to love it. They have all kinds of wraps, sandwiches, bakery items and a ton of different coffee drinks to order. Additionally, you can use your dining dollars here! (You're going to have a ton of dining dollars left over at the end of the semester, may as well use them at Eliza's.)
4. Most of the dining halls/eateries are really, really awesome.
There really isn't anything that's downright disgusting, so you're in luck in the food department. I will say, not much compares to the chef's pasta in the Towers dining hall and anything at Evansdale Crossing is super good, too. Be sure to grab some sushi in the Mountainlair if you're feeling something different than Chick Fil A, too, it's made fresh each day and is super delicious.
5. Having school spirit is cool.
It may not have been that way in high school, but it definitely is now. Go to as many football games and basketball games as you can. We have an awesome student section, the Mountaineer Maniacs, and almost all of our teams were nationally ranked this year. We're also home to the National Champion Rifle team, and the first USA gold medal in the Olympics went to our very own Ginny Thrasher, so get excited. Whenever you hear "Let's go", you better be ready to scream "Mountaineers!!!"
6. You actually probably should go to class.
I know a lot of people will probably tell you that since you're going to such a big school, attending class is going to be a struggle because your classes will be so big. However, in a university like this, that's not always the case. WVU does a great job of having a big school atmosphere with small classes, so attend class. Attendance is likely a part of your grade.
7. Give yourself an hour to get from Evansdale to Downtown, and vice versa.
The PRT may be super cool and one of a kind, but it's not always so reliable. Definitely give yourself time in case of an error so you aren't too late to class. Of course, professors are generally really understanding of the PRT fiascos, so they should cut you a break once or twice.
8. High Street is really awesome.
On one end, (AKA North High Street) you have Frat row, and as you make your way down the hill, you enter the promised land. Not only do you have all of the clubs, you've also got some awesome places to eat. Tailpipes, Casa D'Amici, The Boston Beanery, and so many more.
9. You're going to take a zillion pictures in Woodburn Circle.
And that's okay! It's the best place to take pretty pictures of campus and it's mesmerizingly gorgeous. In fact, every time you walk through, you're probably going to stare up in amazement at the big pretty buildings surrounding you. It happens to all of us.
10. Greek Life is a big deal.
Don't feel pressured to rush if you don't want to, but some of the best times you'll have on campus will be at frat parties and the Greek organizations each have rewarding philanthropic events in addition to the social aspect. Not to mention, we have service based organizations too. But, if it's not your thing, you can have plenty of fun and meet plenty of people outside of Greek Life, too.
11. Whether you're an in-state student or not, West Virginia will become a big part of who you are.
There's something seriously special about this state and the love it has for this university, I'm not a WV native but after spending almost nine months here, I feel like a part of the strong tradition that stands behind this school and this state.
12. Ubering in Morgantown is expensive but sometimes it's necessary.
I'm not saying Uber to every class, by any means. But, this is a huge campus. If you've been out and about for hours, the last thing you're going to want to do is walk all the way back to your dorm. Definitely save some money for emergency Uber trips.
13. You're going to miss Morgantown the second you leave.
And you're going to continue to miss it during every break, every weekend at home and over the summer until you're back again. I thought I was going to go crazy over winter break, a month away from Morgantown is way way way too long.
14. Tailgating is a sport.
You may not be on any athletic teams, but at WVU, tailgating could literally be considered a D1 sport. Rise and shine at 7:30 a.m. on game days to get ready to tailgate, and if it's a night game, you'll start just as early. I've been to a ton of college football games, and no one does tailgating quite like we do it here at WVU.
15. Never, ever, ever cheer for Pitt.
I don't care who went there, your twin brother, uncle, cousin, mom's distant relative... we hate Pitt. No matter who they're playing, we want them to lose.
16. We're nationally ranked for partying, and we should be.
Okay, yeah, every big state school is going to have a party or two, but WVU earns their national ranks for a reason. However, you don't have to go out every night to make friends and have fun, honestly, not many people do. The weekend starts for some on Wednesday, sure, but a lot of others only go out a couple times a weekend. As long as you keep up with your work during the week, you shouldn't have to worry about becoming too obsessed with the party scene.
17. Learn every single word to "Country Roads" by John Denver.
This song is undoubtedly vital to the university, that's why we sing it after every single home win. There's nothing quite like a big win at Milan Puskar Stadium with 65,000 of your closest friends all singing along with you to your favorite song. Odds are, after a few weeks here, "Country Roads" will make a permanent spot on at least one of your playlists.
18. Get ready for the best four years of your life.
You're seriously in for the time of your life. You're going to be challenged in your classes, make so many friends, go outside your comfort zone and most importantly, you're going to the best place in the entire world to do all of that. There's no place like Morgantown and there's no better school out there than West Virginia University. Welcome home, Mountaineer.