Prepping for Your First Year at Iowa!

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Your freshman year at The University of Iowa is both the most exciting, but also the most intimidating! If you’re like most freshmen, you don’t know too many people coming to the University. Meaning, you’re mostly going to be on your own! Since I will be going into my senior year at Iowa, along with living in a house across the street from the East Side dorm, it’s really gotten me thinking about my freshman year, and tips I wish I would’ve known! So here it goes, my list of tips, tricks, and ideas to prep for your first year at The University of Iowa!

First things first, think about what you want to do! That might seem intimidating, but even going in as an open major you should be thinking of things that peak your interest! If you already have your major planned out, most of your classes will be laid out for you. But if you do happen to be an open major (which more people are than you think) it’s good to have an idea of what kinds of classes you might want to take. Think of it as exploring multiple interest in the coming years can help you narrow down what kind of degree you’d like to ultimately work towards!

Next ,think about getting involved! Iowa can be a pretty big place if you don’t know anyone. Getting involved with a campus organization is a fast, easy way to meet new people! I didn’t know any coming to Iowa, but by getting involved in the Hawkeye Marching Band as well as a Panhellenic sorority, I was able to meet some of my best friends!

Now this next tip, will be the most handy during your orientation! As soon as you get your new student ID, memorize your ID number! You’re going to need that number a lot more than you think. It will make your life, as well as the people who need that number’s lives a whole lot easier!

Another good thing to do, is contact your future roommate as soon as you get their information! That way you can kind of get a feel for things. I know when I contacted my first roommate one of the first things we discussed was the mini fridge and microwave. I brought the fridge, and she brought the microwave. It’s best to share those things, because lets be honest, you’re not going to have space for you to each have your own! I’ve also known several sets of roommates who discuss they’re decorations! Some even buy matching comforters! The things you can talk about with your future roommate are endless. You just have to be willing to put forth the effort to connect with them before moving in!

Also spend some time getting to know campus before classes really sink in. I know after I moved in I walked around campus with my class schedule to get a feel of where I would be heading on a weekly basis. I also made sure to look up where certain amenities might be. For example, I lived on the west side, so I made sure to head over to the east side of campus so I wouldn’t get lost. That may sound excessive, but in the end, I was never that freshman looking lost and confused asking for directions. So when the weather is beautiful, just take some time to explore. No time constraints, or agendas. Just walk around, and take in your new home!

An important thing to take into account basic money managing skills. If you’re anything like me, I had lots of loans taken out in order to attend college. So in my savings it¬†looked¬†like I had large amounts of money, but reality check, that is NOT for you to spend! Be mindful of your spending, and what exactly your spending money on. You’re not going to be able to afford to eat out all the time, no matter how sick you get of eating dorm food. So keep yourself in check when it comes to your funds.

Something to keep in mind is just learning to be open and friendly! Especially at your orientation. Again, if you don’t know anyone, how are you going to meet people? Also don’t be afraid to break away from the people you first meet. Something I see very often is that people will cling to those they meet, or that are on their floor, and they typically don’t consider them great friends. So don’t feel like you can’t explore different friendships! I’m not saying you can’t meet your BFFL on your floor, but just try not to limit yourself. You’re going to be meeting new people every day!

Now a tip for your actual classes. Keep and agenda and/or a calendar! Some people like a physical notebook, while others like to use the one on their computer or phone. Whatever your preference, just make sure you’re keeping track of all your work, and even social things! It college its SUPER easy to overbook, and overwhelm yourself. So stay organized. Trust me, you’ll need it!

That might be a lot to take in from one blog post, but hopefully it was useful!

Good Luck Future Hawkeyes!