51 'Bear Necessities' Every Baylor Student MUST Do On Campus For Freshman Year

51 'Bear Necessities' Every Baylor Student MUST Do On Campus For Freshman Year

This is the ultimate Baylor on-campus bucket list.

No car? No problem!

Freshman year is the best year to participate in all of the on-campus activities at Baylor.

Here's a list of things EVERY freshman should mark off of their Baylor Bucket List during year one.

1. Go to the Big Event.

Best Welcome Week event EVER.

2. Dance at Howdy.

Pi Phi hosts a night filled with lively music, country dancing, funnel cakes, and farm animals!

3. Kayak or paddle board at the marina.

Spend some quality time with friends for FREE on the Brazos River.

4. Cheer on our football bears.

Win or lose, show your support and you'll have a SIC time!

5. Walk in the Homecoming Parade.

You won't want to miss out on participating in or watching the country's oldest and longest homecoming parade!

6. Join an Intramural Sport.

Not a star athlete? No worries. Baylor offers a wide variety of fun team sports to join and play through intramurals.

7. Attend the Homecoming Bonfire.

This homecoming tradition is a MUST.

9. Feast at the Thanksgiving Dinner.

Celebrate an early Thanksgiving alongside friends and the rest of campus while dining on FREE pie, turkey, rolls, vegetables, mashed potatoes, and more!

10. Bake in the campus kitchen.

Tired of dorm food? Make food with friends in your dorm's campus kitchen.

11. Grocery shop at the free farmer's market.

Bring a bag and snag some free vegetables, fruits, desserts, and more!

12. Play tennis across from Penland.

You don't have to be a tennis star to rally with a friend every now and then.

13. Attend a Sundown Session.

Baylor's Sundown Sessions include laser tag, giant foosball and pool, mini golf, hypnotist shows, escape rooms, trivia nights, and more!

14. Worship at Vertical.

Join your entire Baylor community every Monday night for a time of worship and devotion to our wonderful God.

15. Celebrate with friends at Christmas on 5th.

Join the entire univeristy in taking pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus, decorating Christmas cookies, riding in a horse-drawn carriage, touring Candyland, viewing a live nativity scene, attending the Christmas tree lighting, and more!

16. Decorate gingerbread houses.

Grab some friends and graham crackers for a night of fun inside your dorm!

17. Spread Christmas cheer by decorating your door.

Most dorms will host hall door decorating competitions. Put some colored paper to good use and spread some Christmas cheer!

18. Randomly go fountain hopping.

Every night is a prime time to spontaneously fountain hop!

19. Spend a rainy day marathoning movies in a fort.

Pull together a few chairs and clip blankets together for hours of quality friend and movie time together.

20. Have a board game day.

Playing board games can be a great way to spend time with friends.

21. Snack at Penland Late Night.

Still hungry at 9 p.m.? Never fear... stop by Penland Late Night!

22. Learn how to play racquetball at the SLC.

Fulfill your Wii Sports dream and play racquetball at Baylor's Student Life Center.

23. Go to Dr. Pepper Hour.

Every Tuesday from 3-4 p.m., Baylor serves FREE Dr. Pepper floats! Go!

24. Take a sewer tour.

Don't forget to grab a flashlight, a pair of tall boots, and a group of friends to guide you through the sewer maze!

25. Host a girls' movie night.

This is bound to be a classic night of laughs and much-needed girl time.

26. Hang up your hammock around campus.

Baylor has a ton of perfect trees to hammock on! This will become your favorite way to study, I'm sure of it.

27. Meet Matt Rhule.

Only a few people will have the privilege of meeting head football coach Matt Rhule.

28. Chill out in the hot tub or pool.

There's even a slide!

29. Roll out in the Chi Omega/Alpha Tau Omega Bed Races and Chili Cook-Off.

When else will you have the opportunity to race someone on a bed? Plus, the homemade chili is worth tasting.

30. Go to Sing! Do it.

This is a Baylor tradition that you MUST see for yourself.

31. Then, you have to go to Zing!

ZZZs take on Sing will have you laughing in your seat all night long.

32. Spend a Friday night at Blacklight Bowling.

Baylor's bowling lanes are FREE and a great way to have fun while saving your money.

33. Visit Lady and Joy, Baylor's live bear mascots.

What other university has two LIVE mascots on their campus? When having a rough day, go take a peek at these two lovely bear friends.

34. Go to a ZZZ party. Klub Koolaid anyone?

ZZZ parties are alcohol-free and a great opportunity to wear the wildest clothes in your wardrobe.

35. Scare your socks off at Fiji Fright Night.

Cute frat boys will have you screaming your lungs out during this 15-minute haunted house!

36. Run the Bear or Cub Trail.

Working out is a necessity in college. If you love to run, the Bear and Cub Trail will be perfect running destinations for you!

37. Get your late night snack fix at Penland's Midnight Breakfast.

Karaoke, matching pajamas, and FREE breakfast foods will be the perfect way to spend a lazy weekday night.

38. Study, meet a friend for coffee, or go to a concert at Common Grounds.

Common Grounds is the place to be, believe me.

39. Play dorm foosball, ping-pong, and pool games.

Take advantage of your dorm's basement. It's a perfect way to kill time during a study break.

40. Cheer on the Baylor Baseball boys.

Hot dogs and home runs await all those who venture over to a Baylor Baseball game!

41. Enjoy a day off during Dia del Oso.

DIA will be a gift from God come the second semester. It includes goat yoga, zip lining, freed food from food trucks, a petting zoo, mini golf, and so many more activities!

42. Climb the 53-foot tall rock wall.

If you're adventurous, you'll love Baylor's very own rock wall.

43. Have a spontaneous dorm dance party.

Please, never take studying too seriously when you're in your best friends' dorm.

44. Take a tour of the Mayborn Museum.

This museum has many hidden jewels. They are even bringing a Titanic exhibit soon!

45. Snag an invite to an A-List dinner.

Once in a while, Baylor Dining's chefs will cook up a special meal for a select few.

46. Scare and give candy to your professor's children at Treat Night.

When else can you dress up in a Halloween costume and pass out candy to a bunch of cute kids?

47. Enjoy a Baylor Theatre show.

Students at Baylor are so talented. It will be worth your time to snatch a ticket to a Baylor Theatre Production show.

48. Listen to a concert in Waco Hall or in the Glennis McCrary Music Building.

These musicians are talented too! Spend a night listening to spectacular music with your friends.

49. Take a stroll in the Secret Garden next to the Armstrong Browning Library.

This is a lovely, hidden study spot!

50. Help out the community while surrounded by friends at Steppin' Out.

Join your dorm or favorite extracurricular club in helping out the Waco community!

51. Go sailgating before a home football game.

The Brazos River is ideal for spending time before the real game begins!

Cover Image Credit: Bryanne Sanchez

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The Post Grad Phase No One Talks About

Graduation is all fun and games until you remember everything you're leaving behind.


"Congratulations!" It's such a small, exciting word. The weekend I graduated from college, this was the only word I seemed to hear. It left me feeling confused. Congrats on leaving all my best friends behind? Congrats on never finding comfort in that morning stroll across campus again? Congrats on leaving a town I have called home? Congrats on leaving the school that has taught me some of the most valuable lessons? I just couldn't seem to find the excitement in this word-- all I could think about were the things I was going to miss.

5 -- The Local Restaurants, Bars, Shops

To be completely honest, it's almost insulting having to leave behind all of the restaurants, bars, and shops in your college town. After years, you have finally found all of your favorite hot spots-- places to day drink and avoid going to class, a spot to grab a pizza to celebrate a Friday, a boutique for a last minute game day outfit, and even your favorite local coffee shop.

So, it doesn't quite qualify as a restaurant or a bar, but the local Target (that closed at midnight!!) was my hot spot. My roommate and I would go there for any and all reasons. We would go to buy school supplies to mark a new school year. We'd go late at night to buy our favorite binge worthy snacks. On our many and short "let's be healthy binges" we would buy a ton of fruits and vegetables we never ate. We spent a ton on Christmas decorations and Valentine's Day candy. The house that built me, ya know what I mean?

4 -- The Campus

You walk on campus so many times during your college career. Unfortunately, most of the time, you take your surroundings for granted. But remember these things: the campus saw you on your worst and your best days, the campus saw you crying to your mom on the phone when you knew you had to change your major, your campus saw you when you got the call letting you know you got into graduate school, and these buildings let you sit on the steps when you needed a chance to breathe between classes.

You'll take all of these buildings and campus surroundings for granted, until it's your last walk. My last walk around campus as a student was hard. It was suddenly even more beautiful than I remembered. It had been my home for four years, and somehow four years had gone by in a blink of an eye.

3 -- Game Days

If you're fortunate enough to go to a football school, you know how fun game days are. Game days in the south are all about dressing your best, getting up early to tailgate (because you can't drink all day if you don't start early), and cheering on your team. You get to spend an entire day with all of your best friends at your favorite school.

It's weird leaving the student section for the last time. I remember we all looked around and said "Thanks Bryant Denny," knowing we'd for sure be back in the fall as alumni, but our time as student fans had officially come to an end. One of the hardest things about this goodbye is that it's the first goodbye you really have as a senior. When the season comes to a close, you have yet to finish your first semester, but you realize how fast it's flying by.

2 -- Greek Life

Similar to game days, if you were lucky enough to join Greek life, you know how hard it is to leave. Going to a big school, you realize how communal Greek life has made your college experience. Somehow, everyone knows everyone. You start seeing the same faces around campus, and it's served as a comfort for you. You have made endless friendships in your house, but you've also made friends in other houses. The people in your house have become your family for four years.

I ate every single meal at my house. I studied for all my exams at my house. I complained to my friends about annoying classes. I celebrated my successes and the successes of others at my house. I found my people at my house.

1 -- Your People

Your people are what you'll miss the most. Your people are the reason the word "congratulations" is so daunting. You're leaving your support system. Your people are starting jobs or continuing their education, but not with you. Your people will be scattered all across the country.

This is the absolute hardest part of leaving college. This is the reason I cried all the way home with my car packed to the brim. My girls have been with me through the good and the bad for four years. Even weeks after graduating, it's hard to write this without shedding a few tears. To my girls: I already miss Netflix and wine nights, I miss Snapchats after a night out at the bars, and I miss walking over to your houses just to do homework. You are all so special to me, and I will be cheering you all on throughout your next adventures. Can't wait to plan many trips together!

You will miss these things, and this phase will be one you'll go through. But the point of the matter is, you'll have these memories and these people forever. So, congratulations! Congratulations on an unforgettable college experience. Your future is bright.

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5 Tips For Incoming College Freshman

Remember when everyone told you that high school was going to be the best four years of your life.. and then it wasn't? Well now for some of you, comes the BEST and WORST four years of your life. Here's a little bit you need to know in order to be prepared for the eventful year to come.


Yes, believe it or not your parents, friends, and teachers were right. College is SO much different than high school in so many different ways. Luckily, I just survived my freshman year so I was in your place literally a year ago today. Everyone tells you how different college is from high school but they don't tell you how and that's what I'm here for! Lets just start with the 1st difference....

1. A whole new world

You will feel like your in a new world because in a way you are. You will suddenly be surrounded by so many groups of people, new cultures, different lifestyles, different languages, everything is so NEW. Not only are you not going to class with the same people everyday that you have seen in the hall for years but you are going to classes with complete strangers from all over the states and sometimes even the world. You are suddenly going to have to share a room with a stranger or even a best friend which can also lead to some issues. But what is most important to know is that even though you feel alone the first few weeks or even months... trust me so does everyone else, its okay to feel overwhelmed its normal. We all have absolutely no idea what we are doing we are all just pretending like we have somewhat of a plan. I met most of my friends my freshman year through being completely LOST on campus.

2. Making new friends

One thing that you aren't taught how to do in high school or honestly by anyone is how to make friends. I knew most people in my classes throughout high school so when I started college I hardly knew anyone besides my roommate. It definitely took me a while to branch out and start making friends but I had to remind myself to put myself out there and eventually I met some wonderful humans. Remember to always be yourself and you will attract people that WANT to be your friend. It takes time but once again, you are not alone. It will look like people already have their group and stuff but everyone is struggling just as much as you most likely.

3. Responsibilities 

The new responsibilities you will have... get prepared, they will hit you like a truck or at least they did me. You will suddenly be responsible for cleaning your room, doing your laundry, feeding yourself, doing your homework, remembering specific dates, paying bills, honestly the list becomes never ending because you are slowly becoming an adult :(((( I remember a time when I wanted to be an adult, now all i want to do is be in kindergarten taking a nap LOL, Luckily I already was familiar with most of these things as were others im sure but there are also people that haven't had to do some of the things by them selves before which can be overwhelming at times. You will eventually fall into your own personal routine and get your own system going and things will become second nature. Don't be afraid of this, just be prepared in order to have the most stress free incoming year.

4. Academics...

The real reason we are in college in the first place. Yeah, here is where your parents and teachers were right... high school courses and college courses can be either very similar or very different. It honestly depends on what the course is and who your professor is but, for the most part, college courses and professors are much different. Professors do not like to repeat themselves and expect you to remember any important dates they mention. They expect you to write it down, no excuses. In high school you teachers would give you a break but that's not really how college works. Some professors may cut you some slack but most wont. Do NOT waste a professors time and remember that even though you are paying to go to school there, you can get kicked out in a heart beat so don't risk it. Refrain from talking in class, and show up!!! you can miss one thing and the next thing you know you have a 5 page paper due in a few days. Save yourself the stress and just pay attention for the whole 50 minute or hour and a half class you have.

5. Packing 

PACK LIGHTLY!!! I packed so much unnecessary clothes, decorations, etc, that I ended up not needing or never even using. Safe as much space as you can because your dorm room will definitely get cluttered fast and you will accumulate more things throughout the year. So, pack the clothes and decor you NEED. Try your best to not over pack (as hard as it is (; )

6. Homesickness

No one:

Every college student ever: "Ugh I can't wait to go to college I hate living here!"

You know we've all said it but you will most likely get homesick at some point. My house is not far from the College at all and even I still was homesick sometimes. Its one of those things that everyone goes through so remember you are not alone. Luckily, we live in the 21st century too so you can always video chat your fam and send them some love. Its okay to be homesick just try to get more involved and do things you would do if you were at your own house. I always try to bring a few things from home too just to look at and remind myself that I will see my family soon.

Freshman year was difficult for me to adjust to as im sure it was to others, so hopefully you keep these tips in mind this summer as you prepare for your first year of college! I am excited for you all to start this next chapter, welcome to the beginning of adulthood class of 2023!


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