Written by Luis Moreno
When we think about college life, we usually just think about the homework and classes, but we don't think about the time that we will spend on it. Between 4 and 5 years, you will be on the same campus, in the same city every day, so it is important to know some aspects before starting your university life.
As a personal experience, I am a student at Florida International University. It is an awesome school with a great campus, professor, and students, but I missed many things because of my lack of information about the awesome opportunities that FIU offers. So, I will share with you the five things I wish I knew before attending FIU.
1. Make friends from the start! One of the hardest things for me when starting in a new place is meeting new people. Some of us are shy, and others are more extroverts, but we can all benefit from some help to integrate into the student's social life. For all the freshmen, FIU offers the Panther Camp, which is an event in summer where many students camp together and realize different activities to interrelate better. In this way, you can start your university's life, accompanied by other new students.
2. Find the best way to commute! In my case, I was not staying in the university's residence, so I had to commute to the campus. Florida is not especially known for its public transportation. There are a few buses, so if you lose one, you will have to wait some hours until the next one gets to your stop. I would recommend living in the residences or close to the campus. Also, if you have a car, keep in mind that their parking lots are small, so you would have to get there earlier to find a spot before class.
3. Study your campus! Another important factor when attending FIU is to know the campus. Their campus is really big, with many buildings, so it is easy to get lost. Nowadays, on their webpage, they offer all kinds of views on their campus. You can even an onsite view of their building. By having some noxious of the campus locations, you will avoid having to ask around how to get to your class in the first semester as I did.
4. Learn how to save money! As a freshman, I spent a lot of money because of my lack of knowledge about the discounts offered for being an FIU student. They not only give you discounts in their bookstore, but you can also get discounts on businesses outside of the university's campus. For example, you can get discounts on fast food locals saving you some money with your daily launch. They also offer other awesome discounts for technological materials.
5. Be part of the student’s events! Football games, parades, or guest's speeches are some of the activities that I have lost because I thought they were silly, but FIU offers multiple activities around their campuses. You should always try to attend the events organized by your university if they are of interest to you. You do not know the opportunity that you may be losing of learning something new.
Going to college is not just an academic experience, but it is also an opportunity to learn about yourself and find new things that you like. I have learned to take more advantages of the things that my university offers me, and since then, my college experience has improved incredibly.