When I first decided to come to WVU, I was intimidated by the grandiosity of the campus. I went from a high school of roughly 500 students to a college with 30,000 students. I was afraid I would feel lost and homesick. Despite my hesitation, Morgantown made me feel like home the moment I started unpacking my first box in my dorm room. Here are some helpful hints to make the Morgantown community feel like home to you, too.
1. Buy a planner.
You may think that you don’t need it, but trust me. You’re going to get overwhelmed, and a planner helps you keep up with ecampus quizzes, review sessions, exam dates, and appointments.
2. GO TO REVIEW SESSIONS!
Go to the review sessions: even if you are completely comfortable with all of the material. The TA’s and professors have made the review session for all of the students, and a lot of them review EXACTLY what is going to be on the exam.
3. Keep up with your dining dollars and meal swipes.
For a lot of people, they run out of meal swipes with a month left in the semester. For others, they end up with 90 dining dollars left and you’re headed home for Christmas break (guilty as charged). Make sure you’re keeping up to date with how much you have left and how many weeks are left in the semester.
4. Take advantage of the library.
When I tried to study in my dorm, I wound up on Netflix watching The Office within 10 minutes. Going to the library helps keep your mind focused on studying. Don’t forget to check out books, either! English and literature classes require extra books for class, and the library is a way to get to use the books for free.
5. Find. The. Brooks. Elevator.
In case you haven’t figured it out yet, WVU is built on a mountain. There are steep hills all over campus. One of the worst things on campus is the Life Science Building stairs. Most days, you’ll take the stairs, just because it’s convenient. Some days, you won’t want to kill your legs, or it’ll be raining or cold, or you’re just too tired to walk. Find the elevator. Take it. Thank me later.
6. Go to brunch at Summit.
Many students think that Summit Dining Hall isn’t that great, but there is one thing we can all agree on: brunch at Summit is the bomb. Sunday biscuits are worth the hike to Summit, no matter what dorm you are living in.
7. Study as much as possible, especially during the day.
There are a lot of things going on in Morgantown every single day of the week: especially the night. Your friends are going to want to go out and do something a lot of the time. Go with them. Make sure you study before you go. School comes first, but friends come in at a close second.
8. If you can, bring your own printer.
You’re going to be printing a lot: from study guides to PowerPoint slides and notes you take in class. Even though the school’s printers only cost 6¢, those 6¢ add up quick. If you can afford it, try to bring your own printer: especially if you and your roommate can split the costs.
9. Go to as many games as possible.
For me, my biggest regret for my freshman year was not going to more games. So my advice to you is to go. Win or lose, there is something magical about being with all of your classmates cheering for your Mountaineers. You’ll have fun; you just have to get a ticket and go (they’re free, by the way).
10. Pack more clothes than you think you need.
This is college. You are going to get lazy. You will not want to do laundry. Make sure you have enough clothes to go a couple of extra days without doing laundry and not have to
wear dirty clothes.
11. Don’t bring your car.
If you are living on campus, you do not need your car. The PRT takes you to any part of the campus you need to go, and there are buses that run all over town. There is even a bus to take you to the mall. If the bus schedule doesn’t work with your schedule, there is Uber. You’ll also make local friends, who probably have their car in town (and may let you hang out of their sunroof when you’re feeling down).
12. Don’t be afraid to get help.
Whether it is with schoolwork or mental health, it isn’t embarrassing to get help. Talk to your professors. Go to office hours. Visit your TA’s. Get a tutor. See a therapist. Go to group therapy. Talk to your doctor. You have to take care of yourself first.
13. Bring a coffee pot.
You know you’re going to need it. Just get one. You can only afford so much coffee at The Grind and Blue Moose.
14. Go to WVU Up All Night.
Late night free food? Yes. Free movies? Yes. Free stuff? YES.
15. Go out on holiday weekends.
Halloween, St. Patrick’s Day, all of the holidays. WVU students go all out for every single holiday and even start throwing Christmas parties the weekend after Thanksgiving. Make sure you have all of your schoolwork completed so you have time to enjoy yourself (and recover).
16. Learn to hate Pitt.
You’re in Mountaineer nation now. We don’t like Pitt. We sing about how much we hate Pitt. Sing along.
17. Learn the words to Country Roads.
Every. Winning. Game. Whether it’s football or basketball or baseball, everyone sings Country Roads. They play this song at house parties, clubs: you name it. Country Roads is the anthem of Morgantown, and you’re going to want to know every single word.
18. Go to FallFest.
Not every college gives free concerts to its students. Free food AND free music. Even if you don’t particularly enjoy the bands, you’ll be glad you went.
19. Download Pocket Points.
Pocket Points is a free app that gives you free stuff for not using your phone during class. Not only does it keep you off your phone and force you to pay attention, YOU GET FREE THINGS- free t-shirts, free coupons, free cupcakes, you name it.
20. Utilize the Rec Center.
It’s a free gym for all students. The facility is beautiful, and there are a nice pool and a hot tub. There is even a giant rock wall in the middle! The freshman 15 can happen to anyone. Use the Rec. Really.
21. Don’t buy your books early.
Many professors have to say online that certain books are required/recommended, but in reality, the exams will be on the lecture slides. You won’t know what books to buy until you get to class and talk to the professor, and they usually give you a couple of days to get your books if you do need them. Plus, it’s an easy way to save money.
22. Don’t lose your ID.
Your ID is a lot of things. Some halls use it as a key to your dorm. Your ID allows you to get into your dorm after hours. Many professors require your ID before you can turn in an exam. Don’t lose it. It’s also $25 to get a replacement.
23. Don’t rent an iClicker – buy it.
You’re going to use it over multiple semesters. It’s a lot cheaper to buy it once than renting it every single semester.
24. Learn how you learn the best.
Whether it’s writing all your notes on your laptop during class or taking detailed notes on every single page of a textbook, learn the way you learn the best. Figure out what works best for you and do it.
25. Most importantly – enjoy your freshman year.
There is a lot of stress in moving into a new town and starting a new chapter in your life. Figure out what you enjoy and do it. Make sure you leave enough time for yourself. Morgantown is whatever you make it be, so make it the best. Before you know it, your freshman year is gone, so enjoy it while you can!