First and foremost, a huge congratulations to you for getting accepted to the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. This prestigious Journalism and Communications school is going to provide everything from real-world opportunities to mind-opening lectures, and an overall improved approach to interacting with others which is so important. However, as a graduating senior in high school, I'm sure you currently place a higher value on what the immediate returns look like for your freshman year at ASU instead of the long-term benefits, so I'm here to help!
Taylor Place has many benefits, but don't forget to visit the Tempe campus frequently.
Currently, you'll only be presented a single option to dorm in downtown Phoenix which is at "Taylor Place". Overall, it's a typical college dorm room except you only have to share a shower and toilet with a single roommate! You'll realize very quickly how clutch that is. Additionally, you'll typically dorm with other students of your major, making starter conversations that much easier. Downtown Phoenix is bursting with life as a city, but definitely lacks a traditional "college campus" feel. For that, be sure to take the shuttle or light rail down to the Tempe campus every once in a while, so you don't miss out on those experiences. The Tempe campus is the best for sports and various clubs and ASU engagement activities in my opinion.
Downtown Phoenix is the perfect hybrid city.
Downtown Phoenix, so I've been told, has come a long way over the past decade. Still today there is a lot of construction, hinting at its growing popularity. You are surrounded by a melting pot of people from fellow students to businessmen to sports fanatics, as you are just a few blocks away from Talking Stick Resort Arena (where the Phoenix Suns play) and Chase Field (where the Arizona Diamondbacks call home). The beauty of being in a city is that you won't be searching for many necessary resources. There are a ton of restaurants, banks, pharmacies, entertainment hotspots, and hotels at your disposal (within walking distance). I've found public transportation to be very simple and cost-effective as well. Overall, growing up on the East Coast where my main picture of a city was New York City, I was dumbfounded at how much cleaner, quieter, and charming downtown Phoenix is. It's not for everyone, but I love it.
There's a restaurant for all kinds of tastebuds.
I won't bore you with addresses because that's what Google is for! "Harumi Sushi" serves incredible seafood rolls using their signature purple rice, which is well worth the try, and they have excellent lunch specials. "Trapp Haus BBQ" is a tiny meat lovers paradise for brisket and pulled pork. The "Panda Express" they just added next to Taylor Place is so clutch and takes university currency which is an added bonus for freshmen. "Mi Amigo's" serves large plates of traditional Mexican cuisine. For a college freshman, though, you cannot get any better than a 24/7 coffee and pastry shop called "The Grand". They have a very retro vibe and it's the perfect place to relax, study, or enjoy a late-night snack.
Are the bars just as plentiful?
I can't answer this one because I'm still a few months away from being able to legally drink. That said, I've walked past plenty of bars in downtown Phoenix, so they aren't hard to find.
The sporting and school spirit events that every Sun Devil must experience.
You must attend at least one ASU football game at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, the energy is electric. My second favorite sporting event would be our ice hockey team because you are so close to the action and they always have great giveaways, like marble white ASU beanies, for example. Also, freshman always attend traditional school spirit events like whitewashing the "A" or "Taylor Fest", both of which I highly recommend. I'm a sucker for school events, but if there was one thing I think you should avoid its "Devils on Taylor". They run a cool mini celebration, but the football pre-game festivities in Tempe are so much more intense.
The heat is no joke!
Shorts and T-Shirts, I cannot stress this enough! In Phoenix, it stays around 100 degrees sometimes until Halloween! In the winter it gets chilly but never unbearable. The most layers I've ever put on during my two years here are single sweatshirts and sweatpants. Substitute any and all winter coats and gloves in your suitcase for warm climate clothing and dress clothes for potential career opportunities during your studies.
You'll begin to utter words only fellow students and staff would understand.
You'll very quickly adapt to short abbreviations to buildings on campus such as "TP", "Cronk", "UCENT", and "SDFC". It is also widely joked about just how ridiculous the edit bays become the last two weeks of each semester because of final projects. It's not an inside joke, but it is something I can guarantee only downtown students deal with and it leads to memorable events, like when I had to go get my roommate dinner, so he didn't lose his edit bay spot.
Bon voyage to all those headed to the desert.
I wish you nothing but the best during your journey in any and all communications fields during these next four years. You will deal with nonsense classes, such as taking up to four semesters of a foreign language, or grammar 101 for journalists. But believe me when I tell you, these initial hurdles flood into countless opportunities and connections. I've had once in a lifetime experiences I could only dream of like calling D1 play-by-play on Blaze Radio for an ASU football game…in Oregon! You'll meet professors with stories that stick to you like glue and improve your communication skills and understanding of ethics within journalism. Even if you decide to change your destination (I'm a sports journalism major who now wants a career in digital marketing after graduation), the Cronkite School provides the courses, connections, and creativity to prepare yourself for the real world, no matter where your journey takes you. No this isn't a sponsored article, I truly believe that, and this university has done nothing but silence the thoughts of school selection doubt. Hope to see you around!