The Louisville Cardinal

Top 10 tips for incoming freshmen to know

By Sydney Hancock–

College means infinite freedom and possibilities to be and do whatever you want. College can be an amazing time. Though it’s pretty great, there are a few things every freshman should know to ensure their college experience is as wonderful as they’ve imagined.

1. Use your meal swipes. As a freshman living on campus, you’re required to have a meal plan. Often times, this meal plan is fairly limited on the flex points but it is CHOCK full of meal swipes. Something no one ever explained to me was the difference between the two. Meal swipes are predetermined meals offered at every restaurant on campus. FLEX points, on the other hand, are used just like real money. You can spend FLEX on nearly anything on campus, but meal swipes are specific at every restaurant. Thus, don’t go too wild with the FLEX, because it runs out fast! Meal swipes, however, are nearly infinite.

2. Don’t overkill the Ville Grill. Don’t get me wrong, the Ville Grill is great, but it can be a bit much for anyone to go to every day. is basically the freshman hangout and you don’t want to miss out on the many memories the VG harbors, so don’t burn yourself out those first few weeks!

3. Utilize your dorm. Freshmen have to live on campus housing their first year, which may seem awful at first. Although residence halls have their downsides, they can be one of the absolute best parts of the freshman experience. There are many students living in one place, meaning it’s one of the best places to make friends.

4. Go to class. You may have gotten by without trying in high school, but college is harder. You’ve got to actually try if you want to succeed. Go to class, take detailed notes, pay attention, do your homework and reach out to your professors. Students are often scared to reach out to professors, but this can be the saving grace of your grade at the end of the semester.

5. Don’t procrastinate. You want to minimize stress and maximize the fun parts of college as much as possible. Procrastinating only makes the assignment more unbearable than it already is, so starting early can save you from the misery of spending a night at the library.

6. Do research on your professor. Professors can make or break a class. Whether it be through word-of-mouth or going on Rate My Professor, picking the right one is crucial when scheduling time rolls around.

5. Take detailed notes. Whether it’s a notebook or a laptop, you’ll always want to take your own notes. Not all professors make study guides for their classes, so those notes may end up being your only study aid.

6. Don’t buy your books before your classes start. Wait until you go to class and see what your professor says you need. A lot of professors assign online articles or excerpts from books. Don’t waste your money on books if you don’t need them.

9. Get involved. U of L has over 400 recognized student organizations. Joining just one can help you find your niche in college and make for a better overall experience.

10. Make a budget. The restaurants in Cardinal Towne are tempting, but going there too much can be detrimental to your wallet. Plan for when you can have Noodles and Company or Mt. Fuji or for when it’s time to go to the infamous Ville Grill.