1. Avoid looking like a freshman. Do not wear your ID around your neck – dead giveaway. Don’t walk down Russell Boulevard with more than two people at night. People will yell “Freshman!” out their car windows. Try not to carry a map with you at all times, and just FYI: most people don’t wear a bike helmet (although it is safer).
2. Attend Picnic Day and Whole Earth Festival. These are two of UC Davis‘ most well-known traditions. Picnic Day is UCD’s official open house in April and a magical day for students, alumni and the Davis community to come together in celebration of Davis. You have to experience it to understand it, so don’t go home that weekend. Whole Earth is during Mother’s Day weekend in May and is generally known as a “hippie fest.”
3. The Open Course List (OCL) is your friend. Look up what classes are actually available-not just which ones are offered-right before your pass time. It’s online, easy to use, and up-to-date. http://registrar.ucdavis.edu/ocl/opencourses.html
4. You can make a bunch of good meals at the DC that aren’t on the menu. Experiment with the salad bar and make your own sandwich. Put chili soup on fries for chili fries or chicken on your salad for chicken Caesar salad. You will appreciate your experimentation later when you have to shop and cook on your own next year. Also, use your DC swipes as an operative to attract older students, with cars, for rides or booze.
5. Daviswiki.org is a good source of information. You can look up anything and everything about UC Davis and the city of Davis itself. Plus, it’s great to check out store hours, biographies and comments from people who have already been there done that.
6. $5 Tuesday movies are a good deal. Movies that have been out for two weeks (two Fridays) are only $5 on Tuesday at both Regal Cinema theaters. Varsity theater offers a $7.75 Tuesday night discount.
7. Get a bike and fenders to avoid the Freshman Stripe. The Freshman Stripe is the lovely stripe that many freshmen sport during the raining season when the mud and wetness of your new bike tires splatters on your back, or backpack. Fenders don’t cost much and you can avoid looking silly. Also, bike in a straight line, don’t text and don’t talk on your cell while biking. People behind you will hate you.
8. Discover Shields Library before spring quarter. It’s a great place to study, but also not the only place. Try Wellman Hall, the Memorial Union study lounges, or Mishka’s Café downtown.
9. Try not to sleep with anyone on your floor. At least during fall quarter, things can get awkward. Also, long distance relationships can be difficult in college. Most people advise to avoid them or end them early so that the jealous misery and petty fights don’t get in the way of your fun freshman year.
10. Public intoxication is illegal, as is biking without a light. You can actually get a BUI (Biking Under the Influence), which is probably more embarrassing than a DUI. See our Safe Party article and bike safety article in this issue.
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