Take it from me: Advice for the hopeless freshman

May 9, 2016

Joe Hollmann
[email protected]

It may have been your top choice, or maybe it was the last-minute scramble after your other choices fell through.

But at the end of the day, you are here. You are a Mountain Lion.

So what happens after you receive your acceptance letter and enroll for your first semester of classes?

You’ll soon make the realization that all of the dorms are named after ski towns, there are a lot of people who commute and the first time you heard about our athletics was probably on a tour.

But this article is for all the incredibly nuanced, yet critical nooks and crannies of UCCS that will make your time here that much easier and more enjoyable.

Here are a few things I’ve learned during my time at UCCS so far:

1. The bottom floor of Columbine is a gold mine for vending machines. For the days your head pops off the pillow an hour later than it should, those double shot Starbucks mochas and Pop-Tarts might save your life.

2. If you are up for the exercise, there are several cost-free places to park that are 10-15 minutes walking distance from campus.

3. Follow-You-Printing. You are probably going to print your first major research paper for English last minute. You will click print, and have no clue which printer it sent to. The answer: it goes to all of them.

4. If you want to be by yourself during your inevitable freshman year existential crisis, go to the second floor of the library on a Sunday night during the semester. You can cry confidently, knowing you are absolutely alone in this world, while studying for your exams.

5. Give yourself a couple extra minutes if you are in a rush and need to use a campus computer. They take a while to get going.

6. Set up your UCCS email account on your phone. You will find out when campus is closed, when a professor cancels class and
when assignments are uploaded to Blackboard.

7. All of your decisions of where to set up shop with your laptop come down to one question: can my power cord reach an outlet? If not, continue your search.

8. Avoid buying books at the bookstore at all costs. Amazon and Chegg will help pinch those pennies that you can use to buy Chipotle burritos.

9. Create a file on your computer and flash drive for your class syllabi, or put a paper copy in the binder/folder for that specific class. These simple pieces of parchment dictate the entire semester, from assignments and their respective percentage of the grade to material and readings covered in class.

10. UCCS doesn’t have plastic water bottles on campus. So go buy a sweet looking Nalgene and slap a couple of outdoorsy stickers on it so they know you are legit. It’s trendy and sustainable.

11. Know the true definitions of the important places on campus:
-Bursar: The place you pay those bills.
-Student Life and Leadership Office: Where sororities and SGA students hangout.
-Academic Advising: A friendly place to see a free counselor who will help you figure out your life plan.
-Berger Hall: A place where irrelevant events happen.

12. Those friends from elementary and middle school you thought you would never see again will keep materializing. You will have a dreadful moment of whether or not to acknowledge the situation or avoid it for the entirety of your undergrad career. Always lean toward talking to them. It saves you hours of pitiful grief.

13. College isn’t conquered by grand senior theses or brilliant group presentations.
It is conquered in pristine bathroom stalls, nourishing energy drinks in remote parts of campus and good cries in the silent refuge of the library.
So go confidently, equipped with the true tools to success here at UCCS.