Survive Your First Year at FSU

By Gabriella Orta on September 19, 2017

The major league is about to start now that high school is over. You say to yourself, “Alright, I can do this! I went through 12 years of slavery in school; I can take four more years and this time I’m going Django Unchained” (see what I did there?).

Image via Pexels

Without any doubt, college is one of the most important phases in any student’s life. If you are studying abroad or you are simply studying in another state, you get to be even more independent. You do not have your mom or dad to call the doctor when you are feeling sick, you are responsible for cleaning your mess, and most importantly you are now officially in charge of grocery shopping. In other words, you understand the meaning of no parents once you get to college.

Today, I bring you some hacks to help you survive your first year at FSU.

1. Syllabus week

This is your first time going to class in college. You are nervous, but you keep a positive attitude. You decide that you are going to be on time for all classes this week. You still don’t know the place well and it is probably going to take you a while to find the buildings and the classrooms. You have to be responsible, at least for this week.

Image taken by the author

Personal Hack:

If you log into myFSU, you will see a section under the name “My Courses.” Here you will be able to see the classes you enrolled in. Now, next to the course name there is a red underlined and clickable word: the name of your building and the classroom. If you click on the red word, another tab is going to open and you will be able to see the location of your building on a map. You can even use Google Maps to get there.

2. Parking on campus

So your class starts at 9:30 a.m.? You better be at the parking garage by 8:30 a.m. because YOU ARE NOT going to find a parking spot.

Florida State University provides its students a Campus Parking Map (click here to see the map). This map helps you find parking garages you did not even know existed. On the map, the student parking is marked by the color yellow.

Personal Hack:

•Find the closest parking garage to your first class of the day.

•Take into account what time it is. For example, if it’s 10:00 a.m., you know that in 15 minutes people would be getting out of class.

•Wait in your car, next to the pedestrian exit. Once you see someone coming into the garage, ask if he/she is leaving and follow them to their car.

I know it is weird and creepy as heck, but I am sure people at FSU are used to being chased in parking garages already and I am not talking about clowns.

3. Taking the bus

Honestly, this is the solution to a lot of your transportation issues. You already know that parking on campus is a nightmare and sometimes it’s just too hot to be walking out there.

The Seminole Express Bus Service — as it is formally called at FSU — offers transportation to, around, and from campus to various Tallahassee areas. There are seven buses with different routes available, including the Nite Nole which operates from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m. All others operate from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Personal Hack:

To make everything easier for you, just download the TransLoc Rider app on your phone and select the FSU transit system. This way you can view and track the buses in use in real time.

P.S: Always remember to select your bus stop on the map. This helps you know when the bus will arrive.

4. Dress code

Image via Flick by Emma

You can totally forget about this in college. You want to go in your pajamas? That is on you. Nobody is going to judge you for that. Chances are, most of the people in your class are wearing shorts or sweats and a couple of flip-flops. You can wear whatever you want as long as you are comfortable. Trust me, I have seen many things, from a girl wearing frog slippers to a guy wearing one of those ridiculous dinosaur costumes.

5. Making friends

At first, it is really hard to put yourself out there and start a conversation with someone. You literally feel like a loner in class because you don’t know anyone.

What to do?

Take advantage of the first day of class. Professors usually take the first day to introduce themselves and to get to know their students. Here at FSU, at least in my experience, there is always that professor that basically forces you to talk to one of your classmates.

It might seem awkward at first, but try to be friendly and perhaps find something in common to talk about with your classmate. It is always good to have someone you know in class.

Personal Hack:

Always say hello, smile, and ask how they are doing. This is all you need to keep a friend in class.

Every spring and fall semester the university organizes a student fair during the first week of class: the Involvement Fair and Seminole Showcase. This fair allows students to get involved with sports, clubs, and other activities giving them an opportunity to meet new people, explore new interests, and create new experiences. (AKA, an awesome way to make friends!)

6. The Greek life

Sororities and frats are great places to make new friends and their parties are probably some of the best in town. The only problem is the pledging process. Things can get a little bit out of hand if your semester is already full of hard classes.

Joining a sorority or fraternity becomes a new responsibility. You have to learn about every single member, bond with them, learn about the history of the fraternity and its founders, etc. I know it sounds boring at first but once you are done with all that, you are going to realize that it actually was an extraordinary experience and you got to make a lot of friends.

7. The turn-up session

When you finally find friends to hang out with, you are going to learn what true stupidity is. Partying is crazy. It is like we don’t know what else to do for fun. Every weekend everything revolves around drinking and it ends at 3:30 in the morning. Recess, The Strip, and Coliseum (RIP) would be the constant reminder of your worst hangovers.

You are drunk and your friends are probably near to their deaths. What to do? EAT!

You are now going to fall in love with Whataburger, Wendy’s, and the incredible paradise of Chick-fil-A for the after party. The sad news is that Chick-fil-A is closed on Sundays. So if you went out on a Saturday, forget the magic of the chicken.

On the other hand, I’m asking you to be careful. You can have fun and drink all you want, but everything has a limit. I’m sure you do not want to end up being hurt or, even worse, arrested.

If you or one of your friends notices that the partying situation is becoming more of a habit and it is hard for you or your friends to stop drinking, Florida State University offers an alcohol/drug harm-reduction program called Smart Choices (click here for more information) and it is completely free only if you are registering in the program willingly.

Image via Pexels

8. Game Day

This is probably one of our holidays especially if it is against the Gators or UM. You need to go to the football games if you consider yourself a Seminole. That’s it.

One more thing … tailgates. Tailgates are basically pre-games and they are definitely the right places to kick people’s asses at beer pong.

How do I get tickets?

All FSU students have free tickets. You just have to go to the Official Athletic Side of Florida State University, click on “tickets” and select “student tickets.” You will then activate your account using the information that was sent to you by email from the Seminole Ticket Office regarding your account activation.

These were my hacks to help you get through your first year in FSU. You do not necessarily have to do everything I say here, but I’m pretty sure I was able to tell you something you did not know.

Peace out!

International Student at Florida State University. Majoring in Editing, Writing, and Media with a minor in psychology and Italian. Obsessed with music and theatre.

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