Flashback to a year ago, I was a nervous wreck trying to prepare for my freshman year at Mississippi State. I had made list after list of everything I thought I needed in terms of dorm decor and school supplies. I watched countless YouTube videos on what to expect going to a university, and how to prepare myself for life away from home.
After all the weeks of preparing, I thought I was ready to dive headfirst into this new adventure in Starkville, Mississippi. I believed I had learned everything I needed to know, and wouldn't have any difficulties at all adjusting at Mississippi State. But, boy was I wrong.
I had grown up being a state fan, but I did not know the first thing about the history, traditions, or even the campus itself. I had to learn these things as I went along throughout the year. And to be quite honest, there are probably still a good number of things about our beloved university that I have yet to discover! But for now, here's my self made Mississippi State survival guide, full of tips and tricks that I learned this past year that I wish I had learned a lot sooner!
Bully Maps is your new best friend
You don't want to be THAT freshman carrying a map around, looking like a lost puppy. BullyMaps is a great tool to help you find your classes, look up SMARTbus routes, and more!
DON'T move your car after the Thursday before a football game
For Mississippi State football, people get pretty serious about tailgating and preparing for the game. Most parking lots fill up on Thursdays with people relocating their cars and out-of-towners coming to stay! Find and keep your parking spot days in advance to avoid frantically searching for a spot blocks away! I had to learn this the hard way.
Perry > Fresh
Trust me on this one.
Check out the Chapel of Memories!!
People cry here. People nap here. People do homework and study here. You have to try doing at least one of these there yourself!
Use the upstairs gym at the Sanderson
If you are like me and don't like to work out around a ton of people, head upstairs to work out at the Sanderson Center! There aren't many people up there usually, and it's a lot less loud!
You don't have time to grab Starbucks between classes
Quite unfortunately, the Starbucks line in the Union is always fairly long. Unless you go before an 8 AM or during an afternoon hour, you will probably have to stand in line at for at least 5-10 minutes.
You can park anywhere after 5 PM!
Parking Services stops giving tickets after 5 PM! Feel free to drive to go visit your friends in other dorms, or to dinner across campus!
Go to office hours!!!!
DO IT!! TRUST ME!! IT HELPS!
The PODS are overpriced
I thought the PODS were super cool and convenient, until I rang up my snacks the first time. You'll be better off just stocking up your dorm or apartment with snacks from Walmart.
Utilize Rate My Professor
ratemyprofessor.com !! This website has reviews of different professors and classes from Mississippi State written by students. This tool helped me so much when I registered for classes!
Einsteins is better than Starbucks
I said what I said. Einsteins is a tad cheaper, and they sell bagels. A win-win if you ask me.
Don't study in the Union
The Union is awesome! But it's always so loud, so I wouldn't recommend studying there, unless you can concentrate in the noise. My favorite study spots are Olmain and the second or third floor of Mitchell Memorial Library!
Random events = FREE STUFF
Keep your eyes and ears pealed for club meetings or random celebrations going on across campus. They might not even be interesting, but more times than not, they provide food, candy, or cool little prizes you would probably never buy yourself.
Have some distinguishing backpack feature
I went into college with a plain black Northface backpack, along with hundreds of others. The first time I ever had to put my bag at the front of the room for a test, I realized what a mistake that was. Go with a colored or unique backpack if you're feeling it! And if not, spruce up your bag with a couple buttons or pins or something that will help you identify your stuff as yours. Thank me later.
Lunch. Fridays. Perry Cafeteria. 10/10 best catfish in Starkville.
SI Sessions for the win!
I hated going to SI sessions. They can be long, and boring, but 9 times out of 10, they are SO helpful! I even realized that some professors will send practice tests to the leaders that are basically the actual test! They can be a drag, but it really does pay to attend them.
Take the SMART buses!
These SMART buses are awesome! They can drop you off at several places around campus and even at locations off campus in Starkville! They are totally free to ride, and are super easy to track and use.
Have an umbrella in your backpack
Mississippi and unexpected rain showers go hand in hand. Carry some type of protection from the rain in your bag at all times, just to be prepared.