Navigating your freshman year at Tech

Tech is an exciting place for a freshman: there is a world of opportunities and experiences that will take you more than four, five or even six years to discover.

The most important thing, however, is to have a good footing early on. In your early years it is worth it to find some good direction.

Here is some advice from older Tech students who have been around campus for a few years.

Picking Classes

Talk to upperclassmen, evaluate the professors based on GPAs and ensure the class fits in your schedule well to give you ample time outside of class.

Picking classes is always a gamble and sometimes despite all the prep-work, you are stuck in a class you do not really like.

Rushing

With a big Greek population and a host of fraternities and sororities to choose from, it is important to test out the waters before you commit.

Rush is meant for you, so don’t feel shy in going to as many events as you can and eat to your hearts content.

Ask them insightful questions about them and make them chase you.

But even if you are not looking to join, go anyway, have a blast, meet different people, network and get free stuff.

Dining Halls

Getting the best meals at the dining halls is a matter of experience. Do not go during odd hours, try to befriend one of the chefs or simply experiment with new foods. Be conscious of what you eat.

Safety

Living in a metropolitan city like Atlanta comes with having to be careful at night. Avoid drawing attention to you by being loud or walking casually through neighborhoods at night. Be aware of your surroundings and know how to contact GTPD if something happens. Take a friend along with you when you are out after dark.

Health

One of the dreaded things about college is the pounds that are easy to gain.

Do not sacrifice regular exercise or sport. Try walking to classes instead of taking the bus and be conscious of what you binge on during late night study hours.

Avoid greasy food like the plague.

Socializing

Everyone wants to be part of the ‘cool’ crew, but it is very easy to be typecast a ‘Techie’ here.

A big part of college is exploring ones interests, and Tech has many avenues to do so.

Many Tech students find it hard to get out of their comfort zones and, as a result, find themselves buried in their books.

With an open heart, embrace the people around. There is much to learn from everybody.
Wander around campus, talk to people you do not know and join more clubs.

Do not be overly critical of people who might have different interests, and try to consciously develop interests and hobbies outside of school.

It will do you wonders in the long run to meet new people and try new things.

Time Management

The best thing you will ever do is make an hour by hour calendar. Use Outlook, Google or just plain paper and pen to plan out your day. Though it may sound crazy, plan out when you will study, hang out, eat and sleep.

Football Games

Buy tickets in the SWARM section and scream and yell until you vocal cords give out.

Learn the “Ramblin’ Wreck” and all the necessary cheers.

Use face paint liberally.

Wear old gold and white, and only white for the game against Virginia Tech.

Lastly, cheer on the Jackets as they seek revenge on the Bulldogs this year.

What’s the good word?

Clubs

Like every college there are hundreds of clubs, intramurals, and organizations to join.

To find something you like, simply cast a large net and attend as many clubs meetings as you find interesting.

Stick with the ones that engage you the most and that you are willing to spend the most time in.

The Ratio

Learn to turn the 2-to-1 into the 1-to-2. Don’t stay indoors all day; go out and meet more people. Networking is key.

Discover where all the local hot spots are both on and off campus and frequent them.

Join a fraternity to participate in formals, semi-formals and mixers with sororities.

Transportation

As criminal as it is to have only 10 minutes between each class, you must face the unfortunate reality that if you are not willing to run you will have to use campus transportation.

Not to say that the service is undeserving, but buses and the trolley leave a lot to be desired in terms of timing.

The LED signs above bus stops are typically accurate within a couple minutes, but it takes vehicles a lot longer to traverse campus in between classes when hordes of students are crossing streets.

On the other end of the spectrum, the Stingerette is a wonderful service that will pick you up on a moments notice and drive at any hour of the night. Use it instead of risking the streets alone at night.

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