19 Tips Every Incoming Rhody Ram Should Know Before Arriving At URI

19 Tips Every Incoming Rhody Ram Should Know Before Arriving At URI

Keep these words of wisdom in mind as you go out there and slay your first year as a ram! Welcome to Rhody!
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1. One word: hills

Get ready for your legs to be in the best shape they've ever been, whether you were planning on it or not. Seriously, invest in some good walking shoes — you're gonna need 'em.

2. Never leave for class without checking the weather

New England weather is unpredictable, so be prepared for absolutely anything. It's totally possible for it to be bright and sunny outside when you're heading to class, but by the time you get out, there very well may be a monsoon happening.

3. Walk to all the buildings your classes are in BEFORE the first day of class

URI Kingston is a pretty big campus, so be sure to familiarize yourself with your buildings before the first day. There will be people around to guide you in the right direction the first week or so, but that last thing you want is to ask someone for directions and find out you're a 15-minute walk away from a class that starts in five minutes.

4. Dorms are tiny, so keep them clean

It will make your life a heck of a lot easier and more organized if you do.

5. Not all dining halls are created equal

Each dining hall suits different needs, so choose wisely. Butterfield (AKA "Butt," home of the famous "Butt Nugs") is a fan-favorite for its variety of options, but beware: it's only open on weekdays. Hope is also revered by many, and unlike Butt, it's open every day. Mainfare is a bit of an underdog, but its consistency in offerings puts it a step above the rest when you're looking for something tasty and reliable.

6. Take advantage of office hours

Especially in a lecture course. Office hours are wildly underutilized and can be the difference between passing or failing a class. The second you start to fall behind or get lost in a class, go to office hours. Not only will it clarify concepts for you, but it allows you to build meaningful relationships with your professors and shows them that you're serious about your learning.

7. GET! INVOLVED! ON! CAMPUS!

I know you're sick of hearing this, but listen to the people telling you! Join Greek Life, or a club for your major, or Student Senate, or something totally out of your comfort zone — just get involved. First Night is an awesome way to check out some of the organizations on campus. Take it from someone who didn't get involved (and wishes now that she did): it's going to be a boring and lonely four years if you expect friends and fun to just come and find you.

8. Ladies, never go to parties alone

URI is infamous for its party scene, and whether you participate in it or not, never ever let a girl go to a party alone.

9. Your roommate may not end up being your best friend, and that's OK

Living in close quarters with a stranger is going to be a whirlwind of an experience, and it may not always be a positive one. You're going to have to keep the lines of communication open and be willing to compromise if you want to have a successful dorm experience.

10. If you're a commuter, be prepared to leave for class two hours early

Parking at URI is...scarce, to say the least. If you're not looking to fight to the death for a good parking spot (AKA one that's not a 20-minute walk away from your building), you better be getting to campus by 8AM every morning.

11. Get off campus and explore everything Lil' Rhody has to offer

URI is located in the heart of one of the most scenic areas in Rhode Island. Grab some clamcakes and chowder from Iggy's, an ice cream cone from Brickley's, and head on down the gorgeous Narragansett Seawall for an afternoon.

12. BYOP: Bring Your Own Printer

Having your own printer is about a million times more convenient than having to make a trip to another building just to print something. Plus, printing costs 10 cents per page — when you're printing out eight-page papers each week, it adds up pretty quick.

13. Meet Sakai and e-Campus, your two new best/worst friends

These are the portals URI uses for classes and student records. Sakai is where your professors post resources, assignments, and announcements, and e-Campus is where you register for classes and can find all your academic and financial information. And, like every other piece of technology, be prepared for tech issues and site glitches.

14. Keep track of your student ID

Every other day, someone is posting in the "Class of 20XX" Facebook groups with lost and found IDs. Keep yours in a safe place, because you'll need it for food, printing, purchasing textbooks, and more (but never, ever wear your lanyard around your neck — in the words of Regina George, "it's social suicide").

15. There's always something happening on campus

There are always student organizations providing entertainment for students on the quad or elsewhere around campus, and the Ryan Center brings in some top-notch talent every year. This school year alone, URI has hosted Migos, Bill Nye, Whoopi Goldberg, Woody Harrelson, Khalid, and more.

16. The emporium can provide you with (almost) anything you may need

The Kingston Emporium, located right next to the Alumni Center, is full of businesses that can fulfill any need you may have that can't be filled on campus, including cheap places to eat, a CVS, a yoga studio, hair and nail places, and more.

17. Towing cars is administration's favorite activity

If you think you can get away with parking illegally on or around campus...haha, oh, you are so very, very mistaken.

18. Never leave your stuff unattended in the library

Don't worry, there are neon signs posted around the lib reminding you of this, too. But seriously, laptop theft is a big trend on campus, so be mindful of what you're doing.

19. Be smart, be kind, and have fun

People always say that college will be the best four years of your life, but I think that's totally and completely wrong. Your college life is what you choose to make of it — if you want it to be great, you have to be the one to make it great. Take advantage of new opportunities, meet people who come from different walks of life than you, and don't be afraid of failing.

Now, keep these words of wisdom in mind as you go out there and slay your first year as a ram! Welcome to Rhody!

Cover Image Credit: University of Rhode Island / Facebook

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6 Things I Didn't Really Need in My Freshman Dorm, And 6 Things I Wish I Brought Instead

I promise you, being Pinterest-worthy just doesn't make sense in a dorm.
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As I packed up my dorm room and unpacked it all once I got home, I kinda felt stupid. I moved in with 2 cars full of stuff (yes, I know how extra that sounds and yes, it was indeed that extra) and I didn't end up needing half of it. Now, I'm swimming in stuff I need to get rid of while holding on to the stuff I didn't realize I would need and ended up buying mid-year. No matter how much you think you know everything, first-time dorm residents, please listen.

6 things I DIDN'T need but swore I did

1. All my personal books

I mean, I'm an English major and I love to read, but no one, and I mean no one, A) has free time and B) uses that free time to read in college.

2. Keurig

There's a coffee shop I can use my cafe credits at on my way to class. I never woke up early enough to brew my own coffee, and I never craved it bad enough in the afternoon to feel like I needed to make my own immediately. It was nice to make tea with though.

3. Dishes and Silverware/Excessive Mugs

All you need is 1 mug and a couple of water bottles. I promise you paper plates and plastic silverware are all you need.

4. An overabundance of office supplies

I didn't use all those fancy office supplies in high school, so as much as I love them, I have yet to reach for them in college.

5. T.V.

The T.V. I had was only slightly bigger than my laptop screen and the wifi at my dorm wasn't good enough for streaming. I hardly used it, but I know others used theirs a lot. Just a personal preference!

6. Tons of wall art

I totally believe wall art has the power to make a dorm room feel less institutional, but I wish I had brought more pictures from home to make my room personal. Pinterest dorm rooms just aren't real, and they aren't what you want when you're homesick.

6 things I wish I had bought before school started

1. ID Lanyard

I personally love these ones from Vera Bradley , but honestly, any way you can carry your ID, money, and keys all in one is a life changer.

2. Earplugs/Eye Mask

Dorms are loud even during quiet hours and sometimes your roommate stays up later or gets up earlier than you do. Amazon couldn't ship these to me fast enough.

3. Wireless Headphones/Earbuds

Personally, I'm an earbuds girl, but either one does the trick. It's nice to not have to deal with cords and to be able to connect to any of your devices without an adapter.

4. Laptop Shell/Stickers

Almost everyone ends up ordering stickers to put on their laptop to express themselves to those around them. On a practical level though, you're probably going to have the same laptop as 5+ other students in your lecture and you will probably throw your laptop in a bag and run at some point. A shell and some stickers will provide more protection than you realize. Check out http://www.redbubble.com for some great options.

5. Small vacuum

This is especially important if you get a rug. Sweeping is not pleasant, and the vacuums at your dorm are probably older than you are.

6. Pictures from home

Like I said before, wall art isn't going to comfort you when you want to go home. A picture of your dog or best friend sure will though.


Cover Image Credit: Lauren Gherna

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I'm Not The Person I Was In High School And I'm Not Sorry I Changed

I'm sorry, the old me can't come to the phone right now.

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If those who knew me in high school hung out with me now, they probably wouldn't recognize me. If my friends from college hung out with me around two years ago, they probably wouldn't recognize me. It's safe to say I've changed... a lot. I definitely find the change to be for the better and I couldn't be happier with the person I've become.

In high school, I would sit at home every night anxiously waiting to leave and go out. Now, honestly, going out is the last thing I want to do any night of the week. While everyone in college is at a fraternity party or at the bars, I prefer to sit at home on the couch, watching Netflix with my boyfriend. That's an ideal night for me and it is exactly the opposite of what I wanted to do a couple of years ago. There's nothing wrong with going out and partying, it's just not what I want to do anymore.

I craved attention in high school. I went to the parties and outings so I could be in Snapchats and photos, just so people would know I was there. I hung out with certain groups of people just so I could say I was "friends" with so-and-so who was so very popular. I wanted to be known and I wanted to be cool.

Now, I couldn't care less. I go to the bars or the parties if I really feel like it or if my friends make me feel bad enough for never going anywhere that I finally decide to show up. It's just not my scene anymore and I no longer worry about missing out.

If you could look back at me during my junior year of high school, you probably would've found me searching for the best-ranked party schools and colleges with the best nearby clubs or bars. Now, you can find me eating snacks on the couch on a Friday night watching the parties through other peoples' Snapchats.

Some may say that I'm boring now, and while I agree that my life is a little less adventurous now than it was in high school, I don't regret the lifestyle changes I've made. I feel happier, I feel like a better person, I feel much more complete. I'm not sorry that I've changed since high school and I'm not sorry that I'm not living the typical "college lifestyle." I don't see anything wrong with that life, it's just not what makes me happy and it's not what I want to do anymore.

I've become a different person since high school and I couldn't be happier about it. I have a lot that's contributed to the change, but my boyfriend definitely was the main factor as he showed me that staying in can be a million times better than a night out. My interests and my social cravings have completely transitioned into that of an 80-year-old grandma, but I don't regret it.

Change doesn't have to be a bad thing. In fact, it can bring a lot more happiness and comfort. The transition from high school to college is drastic, but you can also use it as an opportunity to transition from one lifestyle to another. I don't regret the lifestyle flip I made and I couldn't be less apologetic about it.

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