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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I'm That Girl With A Deep Voice, But I'm Not Some Freak Of Nature

I have learned to hold back tears when someone tells me that I sound like a man.

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My voice is deep. Always has been, always will be. I joke that rather than getting higher, my voice got lower throughout puberty.

My voice is deep. Always has been, always will be. I have learned to laugh when my family members say "Hi Todd" when they pick up the phone when I call. Todd is my brother. I am a girl.

My voice is deep. Always has been, always will be. I have learned to laugh when I have been asked by other females if they're "in the right bathroom" when I tell them "I'm not in line" or "someone's in here" when there's a knock on the stall.

Keep in mind that in most female bathrooms, there are no urinals present and there is a sign outside the door that says "WOMEN." Quite obviously, they're in the correct bathroom, just thrown off by the octave of my voice.

For the girl who asked me if she was in the right bathroom because she was "caught off guard and thought I was a boy," I'm just wondering...

What part about my long hair, mascara, shorts not down to my knees, presence (small presence, but a presence none the less) of boobs, and just my overall demeanor was not enough validation that you are, in fact, in the correct restroom?

My voice is deep. Always has been, always will be. I have learned to hold back tears when someone tells me that I sound like a man. Or, when someone calls me over to talk to their friends so they can see how "offsetting" my voice sounds to them.

My favorite story is when I was in a store, and I asked one of the women there a question about a product.

This woman had the audacity to ask me when I "went through my transformation."

She was suggesting that I was a transgender girl because of the sound of my voice. Please recognize that I respect and wholeheartedly accept the trans- population. Please also recognize that I was born a girl, still am a girl, always will be a girl, and asking someone if they are a different gender than they appear to be is not the best way to make a sale.

Frustrated, I told her that she should find a better plastic surgeon and walked out.

My voice is deep. Always has been, always will be.

And, to make matters worse, I am not your typical "girly-girl."

I die for the New York Rangers, have maybe two dresses in my closet but three shelves full of hand-me-down sweatshirts from my brother and Adidas pants. I do not own a "blouse" nor do I plan on owning one except maybe for business-casual occasions.

Naturally, when a deep voice is paired with a sports-oriented, athletic short-loving, sarcastic girl who couldn't tell you the difference between a stiletto and an average high-heel, I GUESS things can seem "off." However, regardless of the difference you see/hear, no one has the right to make someone feel bad about themselves.

What I always struggled with the most is how (most, moral, common-sense) people will never tell someone they don't know, who may be overweight, that "they're fat" or that they don't like the shirt that they're wearing. Yet, because my voice is not something physically seen, it has become fair game for strangers and acquaintances alike to judge and make comments about.

I used to break down into hysterics when I heard a comment about my voice, whether I was six years old or seventeen years old.

There are times that I still do because I am so fed up and just completely bamboozled by the fact that at the age of twenty, there are still people who just have a blatant disregard for others' feelings and a lack of understanding of what is okay to say and what is not okay to say.

But, just like I ask those people not to judge me, I suppose I can't judge them on their lack of common sense and respect for others.

I'd be lying if I said that the hundreds of thousands of comments I've heard and received targeted at my voice growing up did not play a role in my life. I used to want to be a sports broadcaster. I no longer want to be heard on the radio or seen on TV; snarky comments about my voice being one of the reasons why (among others, like a change of interest and just overall life experiences).

I'd be lying if I said that my struggle with public speaking didn't partially stem from negative feedback about my voice.

I'd be lying if I said that there weren't days I tried to talk as little as possible because I didn't want to be judged and that I am sometimes hesitant to introduce myself to new people because I'm scared my voice will scare them away.

I would also be lying if I said that my voice didn't make me who I am.

I joke constantly about it now, because half the shit that comes out of my mouth mixed with my actions, interests, beliefs, etc., would sound absolutely WHACK if I had a high-pitched "girly" voice.

My voice matches my personality perfectly, and the criticism I have and continue to receive for my "manly" sounding voice has helped shaped me into who I am today. I have learned to love my voice when people have relentlessly tried to make me hate it. I have learned to take the frustration I felt towards my voice and turn it into sympathy for those who have something going on in their life, and therefore feel compelled to make a comment about me, a stranger's voice, to make themselves feel better.

I've learned that to laugh at yourself is to love yourself.

And, I say this not for sympathy. Not for someone to say, "Wait, Syd, I love your voice!"

I say this because I want it to be a reminder for people to watch what they say, and use that noggin before you speak. I say this because I also want to be the voice (haha, get it, 'voice') for those who feel like they've lost theirs.

My voice is deep. Always has been, always will be. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

So no, I would not be a good alto in a choir because I think I'm tone deaf. And, when you call MY phone number, it is very unlikely that it is my brother or dad answering. Just say hello, because 99.9% of the time, if it's ME you're calling, it's ME that's answering.

Dr. Suess said, "A person's a person no matter how small."

Now I'm saying, "A girl is a girl no matter her octave."

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To The Teacher Who Broke My Spirit

Education should not be like this.

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No one should have to sit in a classroom and feel absolutely horrible about themselves. No one should have extreme dread going to office hours. Education should not be like this.

I have always been an A+ student my entire life. Even throughout college, I have remained a diligent and hard-working student. I've loved being involved and engaged in all of my classes. Up until you, I've enjoyed going to class and learning.

You have broken my spirit.

When I walk into your class, I feel completely incompetent. I doubt myself and intelligence every single day. I feel like no matter how much effort I put in, I get nothing out. I could study and do homework for hours on end, yet I still only get below average grades. Every time I have to email you or attend office hours, I have extreme anxiety. Anything that involves you or your class makes me cringe. I know may this sounds super dramatic, but we've all been there at one point or another—and it flat out sucks.

Although you have made my life an absolute living hell, there's one silver lining to having to endure your class. You've made me appreciate all of the incredible professors I've had in the past. You've taught me what a real teacher is, and that is not you.

A real teacher is someone who genuinely wants his/her students to succeed, in both academics and life. They are not the easiest professors in the world, but they are kind and approachable. That is all I ask. I am not looking for an "easy A" from you or your class. I am looking for a teacher that has compassion for not only the topic but for the students too. You give the teachers who genuinely do amazing work a bad rep.

At the end of the day, you have taught me a life lesson...that not all people want me to succeed. In life, there will be people and things that stand in my way of achieving my goals. You have broken my spirit, but only temporarily. If anything, you have taught me to rise above the criticism and the negativity. I am not defined by the grade you give me or the way you treat me. I refuse to sink to your level.

You may have broken my spirit for now, but you will not keep me down for long. As Winston Churchill said,

"Kites fly highest against the wind—not with it."

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