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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Your freshman guide to awesome!

    Freshman student, welcome to the University of Arizona. You have already shown shrewd decision-making skills by choosing the UA over ASU, but college requires more than an astute intellectual capacity (and a high tolerance for alcohol).

    To make it through you need instinct, keen perception and maybe even a sixth or seventh sense. Like the yeti at the top of the Matterhorn at Disneyland, this campus is full of surprises. Don’t fret, though; here are a few tips that will help you last the first week, and, if you’re lucky, maybe even the month.


    Getting around campus presents a myriad of choices. What may have been hip in high school could get you shunned in college.

    The coolest way to get around campus is on a pair of rollerblades. If you work it right and schedule all your classes on the ground floors of buildings, you could make it through an entire semester without having to take them off.

    If you can’t shell out a couple hundred bucks for a slick pair of in-line skates, opt for a Razor-brand scooter. Nothing says “”rebel”” like blazing through hordes of students on an undersized fold-out piece of sheet metal while chugging a Capri Sun.

    More relaxed students choose to cruise from class to class on a longboard. If you elect to use one of these oversized skateboards, make sure to hang loose and wear a pair of sandals. How can you look relaxed if you’re not willing to risk shredding off your big toe?

    Conventional forms of getting from place to place are bike and foot, and they just aren’t cool. If you intend to maintain any shread of dignity while riding a bike, make sure to listen to your iPod (or Zune). Eliminating your ability to hear helps you focus more on the road in front of you.


    Wilbur’s Underground, on the bottom floor of the Student Union Memorial Center, is probably the best place on campus to go for entertainment. “”Dance Dance Revolution”” and other arcade games, which may not have been kosher in high school, are off-the-chart cool in college.

    If you want a more live form of entertainment, head over to the sidewalk west of the Harvill building. The 6-foot-wide stretch of pavement is one of the busiest thoroughfares on campus and is dotted with waist-high parking signs. In between classes grab a hot dog and a drink from the nearby food stand and watch as new students gabbing on their cell phones unsuspectingly crash into the signs and fall to the ground in pain. It’s like YouTube minus the banner ads.


    Even if you’re running low on money and need to fill your belly, do not steal from the U-Mart. Although it may seem like the haphazard design of the store is designed to encourage theft, stealing is against the law. Don’t feel put off by the fact that U-Mart’s exorbitant prices seem to take advantage of poor college students. Money from that $4.50 bagel may help pay for an athletic scholarship or fund some overzealous professor’s failed research project.

    Sustenance is important, but not as much as the UA’s image as a research university. So remember: don’t steal from U-Mart, because it’s U-Mart’s job to steal from you.

    On the other hand, maybe you happen to have a wad of cash burning a hole in your pocket and are looking for some more expensive fare. I recommend the Cactus Grill, Bison Witches or Gentle Ben’s. These are all excellent eateries, and remember, when you get the runs, it’s just because your body is having trouble coping with the delicious taste.

    Social life

    College is like a giant cocktail party for meeting new friends and potential mates. Aside from midterms and finals, professors actually structure courses so students can socialize during class. Personally, I’ve found that lecture courses are the best.

    Outside of class, the best place to find new friends is by getting involved with ASUA, the university’s student government. The group is so polarized; the past few years have seen a revolving door of student officials resigning. You can easily make a new buddy by befriending an ostracized student government leader on the way out or opportunistically filling his or her old role.

    But life at the UA isn’t just about platonic relationships. When addressing a romantic interest on campus, it’s best to be as direct and blunt as possible. When I approach women I often compliment them on their good looks and fertility. Remember guys: Finding a girl with wide hips makes birthing babies all the more easier. College is a place for fun, so why not share that with a child?

    Just remember, as momentous as it is being out on your own for the first time, don’t take college too seriously. Before you know it you’ll be wearing a suit and tie, working a nine-to-five and taking the dog to the vet for a colonoscopy because the kids fed it Hot Wheels.

    Andrew Austin is a senior majoring in alchemy, ninjitsu and sometimes media arts. He can be reached at

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