URI Freshman Survival Guide

Going into your freshman year of college can be a little confusing and scary. After getting through my freshman year and now being a junior, there were definitely a lot of things I wish I knew before my freshman year. I’ve decided to give a little bit of my advice I’ve learned through the experience of the unknown things about freshman year and college in general.  

Freshman Orientation

Okay, freshman orientation is not fun - let’s just put that out there. I’m sure there are people that have fun at orientation, but for me personally and for a lot of people I know, it’s not a good time. After I learned that I had to sleepover for orientation, I tried my absolute hardest to get out of it. Unfortunately, that’s not possible. Being a decently shy person and having to enter orientation without knowing anybody and not even knowing who my roommates would be, I was pretty stressed out. The two days were filled with awkward icebreakers and games and everyone trying really hard to make friends. But one thing I learned that I wish I knew before orientation is that you do not need to make friends, odds are you are never going to see these people again. It’s totally fine to walk around alone and do your own thing during the free time they give you. Nobody is going to judge you and if they do, oh well! I have probably seen my two roommates from orientation a couple times around campus, but that’s about it. So don’t worry if you’re having an awful time and just want to go home, because I bet most people feel the same! After orientation, I was scared that I would hate college because of the awful time I had but I promise, when you actually get to school, it is 20 times better than orientation.

Move-In Day

Move-In Day can definitely be an overwhelming experience! My biggest piece of advice for this day would be to get there really early. If you are a person that gets easily stressed or anxious, getting to the dorm early and being able to move in your stuff before your roommates get there is a huge help. Also, if you get there first, you’ll be able to pick which bed you want. I was supposed to be the first to move into my room, but my sneaky roommate got there before me and picked the bed I wanted. I was a little bitter at first, but I ended up being completely fine with living on the top bunk. Top bunks are not as bad as you might think! After you and your roommates move in, I would suggest going around to everyone on your floor and introducing yourselves and saying hi. If you don’t make any friends the first day, don’t stress! I didn’t find my real friends until the 3rd day at school. Always making sure your door is opened and you’re being very friendly is all you need to be able to make friends. Everyone is in the same boat and it’s totally not weird to go around from door to door and start up a conversation.

Finding your way around campus

One of my biggest fears, when I came to college, was that I wasn’t going to be able to find my way around campus. At first, it can be insanely confusing and getting lost will most likely happen. To ensure that didn’t happen to me, I made sure I had the campus map up on my phone anytime I was walking anywhere. Also, the day before classes started, I made sure to walk around campus with my friends as we found our class buildings and classrooms. Also if you really get lost and can’t find your way to your class, don’t be afraid to ask someone! It’s completely normal to ask where to go, I’m sure the person will be more than willing to help and won’t judge you!

8 AMs

Just don’t. Going into freshman year you might be thinking that you can handle an 8 am class, but unless you’re an extreme morning person, I promise you, it’s not a good idea. I had one 8 am my first semester freshman year and I thought, “Oh it won’t be too bad, I got up at 6 am every day for high school!” This is completely different! In college, and specifically freshman year, you will be staying up late most of the time. When you’re making new friends, everyone is always wanting to hang out. Whether you hang out until the late hours of the night, or you just hang out all throughout the day, you still need to find time for your school work. It can be very difficult to balance your school and your friends your freshman year. I often found myself going to bed as late as 4 am. So if you think you can handle getting 4 hours of sleep, I don’t recommend 8 am classes.

Dining Halls

Ugh. Dining hall food is not the best, let’s be honest. With that being said, there are definitely things you can find or make that are 20 times better than the meal they serve each day! First, let’s talk about Butterfield. I, personally, am not a huge fan of Butterfield although they do have ice cream, that’s probably the only good thing about it. They have the quesadilla station, the burrito station, and the sandwich station. The quesadillas are decent (how can you mess up a quesadilla?), the burritos, are not good, and the sandwich station doesn’t have a grill!? They make all the hot sandwiches and grilled cheese in a weird oven that I do not understand. Mainfare is by far the better dining hall... sorry Butterfield fans! They have pasta stir-fry, Asian stir-fry, hamburgers, hot dogs, fries, and an actual grill at the sandwich station. Not to mention they have pasta with a variety of pasta sauces every day. Who doesn’t love pasta!? They also always have meatballs by the pasta every day, which are surprisingly good. In addition, there is also Rhody Market that has amazing smoothies, pretty bad pizza, calzones and chicken fingers, and of course the infamous Razzbulls! Last but not least, Rams Den. Do not, and I repeat, DO NOT go to Rams Den if you’re in a rush as they will take about 20 minutes to make a grilled cheese. But the sandwiches in Rams Den are pretty good. Of course, this is all my opinion and what I know others believe too.