Eight Things I’ve Learned from my first month at WashU

1. There is ALWAYS something to do.

Nine-day orientation. Nine days. Nine. From meetings to presentations from the professors to a performance from a hypnotist, every moment of those nine days was scheduled with some type of event for us to participate in. Then, once school started, in between classes there were free food stands and mini activity fairs. This was followed by floor meetings, class bonding opportunities, and presentations from different school groups (Acapella Concerts!). Flyers, emails, and Facebook notifications all made sure every student at WashU was informed of all of the happenings around campus. This made for a very busy schedule. It is hard to learn when to study and finish assignments over going to the activities around campus, but it helps with homesickness.

2. Olin Library is not what they said it would be like on the tour. 

“Olin Library is a great place to study and was made even better when they added Whispers Café!” -My tour guide

Although Olin is a beautiful library and Whispers has great food, it is so easy to get distracted when you study. You can go to the quieter levels, but it is very intimidating to do during your first month and if you go with your friends and talk, you will get many dirty looks. There are a lot of other beautiful places to study on campus that are less crowded and more conversation-friendly.

3. For a school with a 7.594 billion dollar endowment, the Wi-Fi sucks.

No matter what day of the week, you are likely to experience a Wi-Fi outage or super spotty connection. One would think with how rich the university is that they could afford more routers in the buildings, but this is too much to ask for. Although the connection isn’t great, it is a high probability that at least one of the 3 servers are working.

4. Saturday nights are for chicken and waffles. 

This was the best discovery of my life. As someone native to Saint Louis, I have not had chicken and waffles before, but my friend urged me to try them and it was life-changing. Since Bears Den (BD) is open until 2 am, they have chicken and waffles in addition to the famous half and halves.

5. College doesn’t even feel like college yet, just a super long summer camp. 

In this first month of school, WashU feels like it is a really hard summer camp. Everyone has such an urgency with everything that they do, like making friends, doing work, and finding clubs to participate in. Everything is fast-paced, so the idea that you will spend 4 years of your life here doesn’t seem real quite yet.

6. Everyone gets sick. 

So far, my suite has pretty much been a sick ward. There is at least one of the six of us that has been sick at a given time. Also, there has been at least one person in each of my classes that coughs out a lung during the lecture.

7. Everything is extremely far.

Walking from the dorms to East End is no joke. McKelvey and Sam Fox students, get ready to live your life down on that east end…20 minutes away easily. They suggest that you buy a bike (and some even used to ride birds, RIP), but the pathways are very crowded, so it is hard to get to classes that are on the main campus. Speaking of foot traffic, it does account for, on average, an increase of about 5 minutes in your travel time. Overall WashU has a beautiful campus, but when you are a freshman living on the South 40, don’t expect to go anywhere fast.

8. Nathan Card and Desirae are real people that go to WashU. 

If you do not know who I am talking about, I am disappointed. That being said, Nathan Card and Desirae are two people who (ACTUALLY) go to WashU but have also made YouTube channels where they vlog about their lives at WashU. The content is helpful and there is a decent amount to watch. If you are anything like my suitemates and I, you will be starstruck when you see them around campus.