All the answers to the questions you’ve been asking about freshman year at CU Boulder
Don’t sweat it, we’ll help you blend in with the upperclassmen Buffs
Freshman year is anything but a piece of cake, but don't worry, The Tab CU Boulder has you covered. We've got the answers to all of the questions you've been asking, along with all of the must-have details on how to be the best Baby Buff.
From dealing with on-campus wifi, to figuring out how to get involved, and everything in between, all your major questions will be answered.
Q: How bad is the wifi?
A: It's not the worst, especially if you live on central campus around Farrand Field. It might occasionally black out, but that's only really an issue if you're in the middle of an online exam or something. The easiest network to connect to is "UCB Guest" and sign-on is really straight forward.
Q: Where are the best dining halls?
A: Sadly, the class of 2021 will never know the GOAT that was Libby's dining hall, but you still have the fairly new C4C (Center for Community) with so many food stations you won't even know what to do with yourself. Farrand Hall has a market and a grab-and-go if you're looking for some quick eats. Central campus dorms and those living it up in Kittredge should aim to spend most of their meal swipes at the C4C and Farrand. Stuck in Sewall? No worries, it's really not the worst. You're closer to The Hill and you have your own personal dining hall and a market right next door. Last, but seriously not least, Will Vill kids, you have truly lucked out with some killer new dining amenities. Don't let the Buff Bus get you down, you honestly have the best food spot at CU, even though it's off-campus.
Q: Are tapestries really banned from dorm rooms?
A: Sadly, yes, if they're larger than 3 feet by 3 feet. But, you can sometimes get away with it. Size up your RA to determine how chill they are. Keep in mind that if they can't see it on your wall from the hallway when your door is open or through a window, you can probably get away with it. Remember to tuck it away during room checks, though! Keep it away from candles, lava lamps, and all that. No one wants to be the reason for a fire alarm being set off.
Q: How do I print stuff?
A: With your Buff One Card! Using campus cash, you're able to swipe at any printer on-campus, some are even in the lobby of select dorms, and print as much as you need. It costs about ten cents per page, though, so don't get too carried away. Your Buff One will also get you into your building, keep track of your meal swipes at the dining halls, and swipe you into The Rec.
Q: What's the best meal plan to get?
A: A lot of Buffs go with the 19 swipe meal plan, but then they'll tell you those meals go to waste. The 15 meal plan offers an extra $50 in munch money, which goes a long way when it's the end of the semester and you're hitting up the Farrand Market for study snacks multiple times throughout the week. Think about how often you eat, how many sit-down meals you think you'll be having, and if you plan on eating out on Pearl Street or off-campus during the weekends, and plan from there.
Q: Do I need to get every book from the book list?
A: Nope! You most likely only need what is marked as 'required.' Sometimes, though, professors will switch things up and if you pre-order your books through CU Bookstore or wherever, you'll end up with things you don't end up needing. No worries, though – Just re-sell or return them ASAP or at the end of the semester. Be warned, you might lose some cash when you do this. You can also try selling them to other Buffs on CU class Facebook pages. Still stressing about buying unnecessary books? Wait until syllabus week, the first week of classes, and see what your profs tell you to get. You can also check Rate My Professor online to see if you'll really need that ten pound chem book.
Q: What do I bring on the first day of classes?
A: The first few days of classes are way chill. All you'll really need, unless a professor or syllabus says otherwise, is a folder to hold onto handouts and printed syllabuses, a pen or pencil to jot things down, and a notebook or two in case your prof decides to jump right in.
Q: What the hell is a 'clicker' and do I need one?
A: A clicker is an iClicker and used by some professors or lecturers to interact with students, give participation credit, check attendance, etc. all through the click of a button. You can buy yours, if its listed on a syllabus or on your book list, through the CU Bookstore or Amazon. They can get pretty banged up, so buying a case isn't the worst idea. Looking for a deal? Ask around on the class Facebook pages to see if anyone has any used clickers they're trying to get rid of.
Q: Should I buy the CU Sports Pass?
A: That depends – are you planning on going to the football games? And really going, not just tailgating and blacking out or napping in your bed by the time Ralphie is running. The major Sports Pass most freshman buy also lets you go to Men's Basketball games at Coors Event Center, which is a lot of fun, albeit a bit of a hike from main campus. If you're into sports and think you'll have the time, the pass is a great option and will definitely give you more fun opportunities for your freshman year.
Q: What's Greek Life like?
A: Greek Life is way different in Colorado than the Southern school stereotypes most kids might be expecting. Sticking with the west coast vibes, Greek Life is pretty chill. You definitely don't need to join to have friends, but it's still a great way to get more involved, make new friends, and stay busy during that first month of school. If you think frat or srat life is for you, give recruitment a go – you probably won't regret it!
Q: What's the party scene at CU like?
A: In case you missed it, CU ranked seventh in the nation for its hard-partying ways. It's what you make it, though. If you want to hit the books hard or become a total ski-bum, you can focus in on those areas and not worry about missing out too much. Finding a balance between books and partying is totally do-able at CU, you've just got to prioritize and figure out what works best for you, personally.
Q: How do I get involved with clubs, sports teams, and all that fun stuff?
A: It's quite simply – keep your eyes peeled! There are an absurd amount of clubs at CU, around 400, and most are student run organizations. During the first week of classes, keep your eyes peeled for involvement fairs, groups tabling at the UMC, and all the flyers littered around campus. Check out The Rec to see what sports teams are looking for new members this semester. If you ask at the front desk or the Club Sports desk, located across from the upper basketball courts, they'll guide you in the right direction.
Feel free to hit up The Tab CU with any other lingering questions in the back of your mind. Oh, and if you're wondering how to join our ~tabulous~ team, we've got the details right here.