23 Tips For Incoming Freshmen at UW-Madison
Sports

To the Class of 2023, Here's Your UW-Madison Declassified College Survival Guide

Freshman year is full of unknowns so here's a little head start.

2369
Sam Li

I was recently talking to one of my friends who is a class advisor at SOAR, the orientation for freshmen and transfer students at UW-Madison. She told me how some of her students had asked where the parties were that night. Freshmen--- please do not ask your advisors about partying and going out because even if they were allowed to tell you that, they wouldn't want to.

Many things you will have to learn for yourself, but the following lists 23 things that you should know that they don't tell you at SOAR.

1. Move-in week is one of the best weeks of freshman year

You have a couple days to meet people on your floor, find your classes on campus, and not have to worry about schoolwork yet! Plus, you'll likely be going to your first football game the following weekend. Literally one of the best weeks of your college experience.

2. Buy season tickets for sports events

Sports at Wisconsin are a big deal. We're BIG10. Football is by far the most popular sport and the most fun one to attend games for. Tailgates are held all over the city at houses, frats, apartments, and parking lots. The streets are a sea of red and the energy when you get into the stadium is a feeling that you will remember for the rest of your life. Please, don't be that freshman who gets arrested at their first-- or any-- game. Drink Wisconsinbly. Basketball is fun when the games are against good teams and intense, but honestly hockey games are super fun no matter who the other team is or how close the game is!

3. Download the Venmo app

Don't have money on you but want Ian's pizza? Have your friend buy you some and you can instantly Venmo them money from your bank account. Uber rides, alcohol runs, food delivery, etc. It's almost as necessary as your WISCard. The app is free and you don't necessarily need to connect a debit or credit card to use it, but you can easily connect one as well. https://media.giphy.com/media/l0Ex2IXvwrzKC0MTe/giphy.gif

4. Download the Uber and Lyft apps

There's no way you're walking a mile from your dorm to Langdon Street in below-zero temperature or in the rain. Uber or Lyft. It's helpful to have both apps because sometimes one is cheaper than the other. Also, if you pay for the ride for you and your friends, they can Venmo you a part of the cost.

5. While you're at it, download UberEats and EatStreet too

Studying? Tired from class? Hungover? Lazy? Don't know what to eat? For little to no delivery fee, you can get food delivered right to your dorm. You will want it, trust me. Also-- EatStreet was founded by former UW-Madison students so support the community!

6. Stock up on tissues

Chances are you'll get sick within the first month of college. There are so many people around you in classes and the dorms, so it's pretty much inevitable. Get the tissues with the built-in lotion to avoid a red, painful nose. Also, you'll most likely have an emotional breakdown during midterms seasons so tissues are helpful for that as well.

7. Find a good place to cry

Speaking of emotional breakdowns, you'll cry a decent amount of times your first year for various reasons. Most likely as a freshman you'll be living in a dorm with a roommate. Sometimes you just need a good cry alone, but if your roommate's there it may be hard to kick them out. The go-to option is probably a bathroom or a close friend's room.

8. Naps-- take all of them

I promise you, after-class naps in your twin-size dorm bed will be the best naps of your life.

9. Try to get a job on campus

There are a lot of campus jobs that pay really well and it's nice to only have to work 10-12 hours a week and see that bank account go up!

10. Embrace your mess

No caption needed.

11. Working out is hard

Ogg is a dorm in the Southeast area and its first floor was turned into a fitness center while the new gym is being constructed. So yes, it's literally a make-shift gym in a used-to-be lounge for the whole southeast campus. Its always packed-- I'm talking lines-for-the-treadmills packed. The other gyms are the Shell, by Camp Randall, and the Natatorium in the Lakeshore area. The Nat is a trek from the southeast dorms but the 80 bus will take you there and back for free!

12. It's okay to not know

It's okay to not know the question to an answer in class. It's okay to not know what you want to major in. It's okay to not know what you want to do in your future. It's okay to not know if you want to be single or hookup or date. During your freshman year you will have to start figuring out a lot, but trust the process and don't expect to know everything about your life right away.

13. Don't rush trying to find someone

LISTEN- most freshmen boys do not want to date. They're at a big school with unlimited access to new girls and being tied down to one girl just doesn't sound like 'the move' at all. Have fun, be yourself, and focus on meeting the best friends who will last a lifetime. If you find a good guy to date in the process, great!

14. Eating healthy is hard

When you go home for break, you will CRAVE home cooked meals and food that doesn't come from a box or a can. The good news is that as healthy eating becomes a bigger trend in the US, UW-Madison has started offering more healthy alternatives on campus. They even have started selling fresh fruit in campus market stores so that you can use your WISCard which is where your meal plan funds are located. Besides all that, it's SUPER easy to reach for the biggest box of Goldfish or family-size pack of double-stuffed Oreos when you're hungry. Don't. Go grocery shopping if you can and try to avoid that Freshman 15.

15. Buy snacks and drinks from Flamingo Run with your WISCard

Buying food and drinks on your WIScard feels like spending Monopoly money. It's better than running to Walgreens or Fresh (the campus' main grocery store) where you have to spend ~real~ money.

16. The D1 athletes probably don't want to actually date you

Sorry, not sorry. I know a handful of girls who have had "things" with athletes and chances are you're not the only girl he's seeing and he's too busy to commit to anything more than a couple of nights a week, if even.

17. Try not to spend all your time watching Netflix in bed

It's so tempting, but just don't. If you don't have homework, then study. It's okay to take breaks but you'll regret spending more than a couple of hours during your day watching Netflix.

18. Yes UW is a big party school, but parties can be hard to find so make connections

Honestly, you don't truly realize what being a freshman is like until it's 10pm, you already did your hair and makeup, you have on a cute outfit, your dorm pregame buzz is wearing off, and you can't find or get into any parties. Walking back to your dorm party-less is the ultimate walk of shame. The more friends you make, the easier it is to find places to party.

19. You may want to invest in a second form of identification ... *wink wink*

Bars are a big deal in Madison. Sconnie and Brats are your best bet to get in. Thursdays are the best nights to go out and get the best deals! Don't even try Red Rock or Whiskey's because they will take your ID.

20. No one cares if you don't drink or go out or smoke

Don't feel like you have to do what everyone else is doing. You can go out and not drink and still have fun. You can stay in, watch movies, and still enjoy your night. If you meet good friends, they will support whatever you choose to do or not do.

21.  Don't use alcohol as a crutch

There will be times when you will be the most stressed you've ever been in your life so far. Go for a run, workout, listen to music, talk to friends, watch Netflix.. whatever it takes that isn't alcohol. It might seem like a good idea to drink away your problems but it only leaves you feeling worse off.

22. Should you join a fraternity or sorority?

The biggest factor for me in whether or not to join a sorority was the cost. Being in the top sororities costs over a thousand dollars just for one year. In addition, you have to pay for themed-party outfits, sorority apparel, and big/little gifts. Sororities have a lot of events throughout the year that you are always expected to go to. On the pro side, you meet so many great friends, go to date parties with other fraternities, and attend fancy formals!

Seeing as though I'm a girl I don't have much inside on fraternities. When you first join a fraternity you are a pledge for the whole semester, and I'm not going to lie-- it's rough. You will be at the beck and call of the initiated members at all hours of the day. The biggest pro is that the brotherhood in fraternities is really strong so you have a bunch of solid friends. In addition, fraternities often throw parties and have a fall and spring formal!

Sororities and fraternities also organize fun events for the school community to participate in to raise money for charity. There is also Humorology. Each sorority and fraternity creates a show in which they dress up, act, sing, dance, and compete against the other groups!

23. Everyone considers dropping out more than once

Failed your midterm exam? Stressed beyond the max? Have absolutely no clue what you want to do in life? Yeah, it happens. You will even go as far as considering jobs that you can make enough money in that don't require a college degree. Stripper...

And if you do seriously want to drop out, that is okay. Your life isn't over. Take a gap semester, gap year, transfer to a new school, whatever. It's your life, and there is no concrete plan that you have to follow in order to live a happy and successful life.

Madison is rated the #1 best college town for a reason. These will be four of the best years of your life. UW-Madison is an amazing school and Madison is an even more amazing city. Enjoy your time here, have fun, meet new people, find yourself.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Politics and Activism

4 Ways The Plan To Deport International Students Is Dumb, According To An Exchange Student

The whole policy isn't very stay-in-place, if you ask me.

Wikimedia Commons

On Monday, July 6, new federal guidelines were announced that do not allow international students to remain in the U.S. unless they are taking classes in person. Which, if you ask me, is stupid.

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

Naya Rivera Is Missing, And She Deserves SO Much More Than Being Labeled 'Big Sean's' Ex'

We are all sending prayers to Naya Rivera hoping she finds them so we can find her.

I woke up this morning looking to find Naya Rivera's name trending No. 1 on Twitter. I was reading all of everyone's prayers wishing to find her so she can be reunited with her baby boy who is only 4 years old.

Naya's son's name is Lord and the entire collective is hoping the Lord is with him right now. I'm a firm believer in the Fear of God, I hope all of Naya's love is protecting Lord right now.

Keep Reading... Show less

With the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic still surging in the United States, where we are averaging 50,000 cases daily, wearing a face mask has become even more important. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, has stressed the importance of wearing a mask and is pleading Americans to take notice of the "disturbing" rise in cases. It would be common sense to listen to him, considering we are dealing with a virus that has a mortality rate higher than what we have seen with other viruses.

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

10 Sex Toys You NEED To Turn Up The Heat This Summer

They say diamonds are a girl's best friend, but...

It's your fairy sex godmother back at it again and here to tell you that masturbating is an essential need, just like toilet paper.

It comes with so many benefits, besides cumming. According to the New York City Health Department, "you are your safest sex partner" during a pandemic, so why not use the best toys to get the job done? Shopping for the best fit can be tricky because there are a few factors to consider — whether it's the price point, experience, sound, and more.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

These 3 Smoothies Totally Cleared My Acne-Prone And Scarred Skin

How I drank my way to flawless skin.

With this summer being the first of its kind for most people to be in the midst of a global pandemic, almost everyone is beginning to have an overall focus on improving their health.

Keep Reading... Show less

Everyone remembers the first time they went to one of the Disney parks. Spinning in teacups and having Goofy wrap his arms around my 8-year-old self were some of my fondest childhood memories, and I'm surely not alone in that.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

These Superfood Beauty Products Show Kale And Matcha Work For SO Much More Than We Thought

Just another summer's day with a cold glass of kombucha on my face.

I've been vegan for about six years now, so a love for fresh vegetables and superfoods has now become a core part of my being. Don't get me wrong. I love my indulgent, creamy pastas and truffle fries more than anyone. But I keep most of my focus on eating clean and healthy so I can indulge guilt-free.

But I'd say about a large part of my diet has always, unknowingly, included superfoods. Being Indian, lentils, beetroot, garlic, ginger, and whole grains have been core essentials on the family dinner table since I could digest solid foods.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments