23 Tips For Incoming Freshmen at UW-Madison
Start writing a post
Student Life

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.

4033
scontent-iad3-1.cdninstagram.com
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.
Featured

An open letter to my father

What you did sounds dumb to me

6
An open letter to my father
The Truth About My Parents' Divorce

Considering im 18 now & you're one of the best men i've ever met since you have a child; me. I want you to know that I love you, more than anyone, I love you. I don't forgive you for the way you hurt my mother. I'm hurt because you broke our family. Thing went down hill the day you found Laquita. You we're distant & shortly after my mother turned into the coldest, saddest women to walk past me. She's my best friend & so are you. Not one day goes by where I don't wonder what she did wrong. How on earth could you trade your family & the women who loved you unconditionally for a home wrecker? Sounds dumb to me.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Is God Reckless?

Exploring the controversy behind the popular worship song "Reckless Love"

228
Is God Reckless?


First things first I do not agree with people getting so caught up in the specific theology of a song that they forget who they are singing the song to. I normally don't pay attention to negative things that people say about worship music, but the things that people were saying caught my attention. For example, that the song was not biblical and should not be sung in churches. Worship was created to glorify God, and not to argue over what kind of theology the artist used to write the song. I was not made aware of the controversy surrounding the popular song "Reckless Love" by Cory Asbury until about a week ago, but now that I am aware this is what I have concluded.The controversy surrounding the song is how the term reckless is used to describe God's love. This is the statement that Cory Asbury released after many people questioned his theology regarding his lyrics. I think that by trying to clarify what the song was saying he added to the confusion behind the controversy.This is what he had to say,
"Many have asked me for clarity on the phrase, "reckless love". Many have wondered why I'd use a "negative" word to describe God. I've taken some time to write out my thoughts here. I hope it brings answers to your questions. But more than that, I hope it brings you into an encounter with the wildness of His love.When I use the phrase, "the reckless love of God", I'm not saying that God Himself is reckless. I am, however, saying that the way He loves, is in many regards, quite so. What I mean is this: He is utterly unconcerned with the consequences of His actions with regards to His own safety, comfort, and well-being. His love isn't crafty or slick. It's not cunning or shrewd. In fact, all things considered, it's quite childlike, and might I even suggest, sometimes downright ridiculous. His love bankrupted heaven for you. His love doesn't consider Himself first. His love isn't selfish or self-serving. He doesn't wonder what He'll gain or lose by putting Himself out there. He simply gives Himself away on the off-chance that one of us might look back at Him and offer ourselves in return.His love leaves the ninety-nine to find the one every time."
Some people are arguing that song is biblical because it makes reference to the scripture from Matthew 28:12-14 and Luke 15. Both of these scriptures talk about the parable of the lost sheep and the shepherd. The shepherd symbolizes God and the lost sheep are people that do not have a relationship with God. On the other hand some people are arguing that using the term reckless, referring to God's character is heretical and not biblical. I found two articles that discuss the controversy about the song.The first article is called, "Reckless Love" By Cory Asbury - "Song Meaning, Review, and Worship Leading Tips." The writer of the article, Jake Gosselin argues that people are "Making a mountain out of a molehill" and that the argument is foolish. The second article, "God's Love is not Reckless, Contrary to What You Might Sing" by author Andrew Gabriel argues that using the term reckless is irresponsible and that you cannot separate Gods character traits from God himself. For example, saying that God's love is reckless could also be argued that God himself is reckless. Reckless is typically not a word that someone would use to describe God and his love for us. The term reckless is defined as (of a person or their actions) without thinking or caring about the consequences of an action. However, Cory Asbury is not talking about a person, he is talking about God's passionate and relentless pursuit of the lost. While I would not have chosen the word reckless, I understand what he was trying to communicate through the song. Down below I have linked two articles that might be helpful if you are interested in reading more about the controversy.


Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

10 Signs You Grew Up In A Small Town

Whether you admit it or not, that tiny town will always have your heart.

821
The Odyssey

1. You still talk to people that you went to elementary school with.

These are the people you grew up with and the people you graduated high school with. The faces you see in kindergarten are the same faces you’ll see for the rest of your life.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

150 Words For Anyone Who Loves Football Games

Why I love high school football games, even though I don't like football.

1998
Dallas News

When most think of high school they think of friend drama, parties, getting your drivers license, and best of all foot ball games.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics

10 Greatest Speeches In Modern American History

The United States is a relatively infantile nation, but its legacy of spoken rhetoric is one of the richest in the world.

4685
flickr

Rhetoric, in all its forms, arrives under the scrutiny of historians both for its historical impact and literary value. Dozens of speeches have either rallied the nation together or driven it drastically apart –– the impact of speeches in politics, social movements, and wars is undeniable.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments