As a freshman, I was the little out-of-state kid who knew nobody when I walked in to College. I thought I was too cool for this place and didn't need anyone's help. Soon I learned that all of that was a mistake. To save someone else from falling for that trap, we have come up with a little guide to success for all you Baylor freshmen.
DO: Go to your Welcome Week activities.
More often than not, you will get grouped with people in your major or freshman experience class. They will be your immediate friends right off the bat. Also, who wants to be bored during the first week of classes? Go be a part of Welcome Week. There is fun to be had and real friendships to be made.
DON'T: Try and study exclusively at "Club Moody".
Hitting those whiteboards on the garden level or sipping on your Starbucks is great for most of the semester, but prepare for anarchy when finals come around. Find a lesser-known study spot ahead of time so that you are set to hunker down. (We suggest the lobby/study area of your dorm, the Bobo, Carroll Science Atrium, or the SUB.)
DO: Familiarize yourself with Baylor student traditions
To summarize: Take a picture with Judge Baylor, go to Dr. Pepper Hour, go to a random concert at Common Grounds, buy an Eno, go to every Homecoming activity, go fountain hopping, go tortilla tossing at the suspension bridge, hit up all the local parks (Cameron, Hewitt, Woodway, East Brazos, etc,) play disc golf, attend Christmas on 5th, DIA, Sing, and much, much more!
DON'T: Wear your "I Know Where I'm Going" shirt.
Ever, ever, ever. We all know where you're going. Also, don't ever wear crocs, apparel from another school, or camo cargo shorts... Unless you are asking to be made fun of on Yik Yak.
DO: Get online, reserve your Line Section ticket, and run the Line at a home football game.
Nothing compares to the energy you feel when running for the first time. Sure, you'll sweat. Sure, you'll feel a little like cattle being herded. Trust us, it's worth every minute.
DON'T: Put a massive amount of effort into your first day of class outfit, hair/makeup included.
As much as everybody loves a good first impression, you will sweat. You will sweat hard. Prepare accordingly.
DO: Call home.
I don't think I ever needed my parents' help more than when I first came to college. Whether it was a mechanical issue that my dad knew how to fix, or a roommate problem my mom could work me through, my parents guided me through my freshman year. And if you have older siblings, they probably know the college life better than you do, and I'm sure they'll always be there to help.
DON'T: Limit yourself to Waco perimeters.
Tons of big cities are within driving distance from Waco: DFW, Houston, Austin, and even San Antonio. Go out on the weekends. You can always find concerts, sporting events, or friends from other towns.
DO: Walk out your classes ahead of time, and make a tentative schedule when registering for the following semester's classes.
And be smart. Don't sign up for 5 heavy-homework classes if you're not trying to die freshman year. These strategies are SO important to you being on your game academically. Basically, minimize your stress levels, and everyone will come out happy. Along with this, make sure you research your professors and grab the good ones.
DON'T: Be afraid to put yourself out there.
At first, college will feel like an extended high school/summer camp hybrid. That being said, nobody knows you like they did in high school. Use this time to be confident. Don't shy away from an opportunity to make new friends- they're everywhere. We promise.
DO: Get to know your professors personally.
This isn't high school. A lot of college professors are actually cool people. And also, you won't have your parents to back your grades up, so it is important that you have a friendly relationship with your professors. In addition, they can always help you down the road with internships, jobs, recommendations, and personal help if you stay in touch.
DON'T: Sign up for 8 A.M.s
Just don't. It sucks.
And, if you plan on rushing:
DO: Learn how to speak Greek.
Not literally. Familiarize yourself with how the fraternity/sorority system works, which groups fit your personality, and all that jazz. But most importantly, get to know people before you rush through Greek events, SUB Dinners, and simple meet-and-greets.