What freshmen need to know about life at UM

I learned the important lessons the hard way so you don’t have to

My freshman experience at UM was a little bit different. After growing up in Greece, I moved to Missoula, Montana almost two years ago. My goal was to earn in-state residency so I took a year and a half off before attending the University of Montana. Not only was I behind in starting school this year, but I was also the oldest freshman at 20.

The University of Montana is an amazing school and even though living on campus has its ups and downs, I’ve learned so much on how to make the most of my college experience after this semester.

You are required to live on campus, but it’s a good thing

I wasn’t too excited for on-campus because I like having my space and cooking my own meals. My first semester was rough because it was hard for me to live with another person and eating at the Foodzoo wasn’t (and will never be) an exciting experience. But I learned that living on campus is the most convenient living. You can leave 5 minutes before your class and get there on time — and even take a nap in between classes. I am currently in my second semester of living in the dorms and I am loving it way more than my first.

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You might not make friends right away

It takes time to make friends in college, so be patient. It will happen — you just need to learn how to get out of your comfort zone and be social. Most University of Montana students are all from Montana (surprise) so some people already have their cliques from high school. But the other half are from out-of-state and are looking to make friends too. It took me awhile to meet a group of people, but I’ve become super social since the last semester. Go to your floor meetings/snack parties and meet all the people on your floor! Lots of people join Greek life, which is a great way to meet new people.

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Football games are amazing experiences

Despite not exactly being a diehard football fan, I always go to the games anyway because they’re so exciting and the perfect way to spend a Saturday. You get to wear all your Griz gear and support your university football team. I will admit that despite attending all the games this semester, I still don’t understand anything that’s going on — even after my friends try to explain. So I wait ’til it is time for me to yell Montana! instead.

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Learn to love your roommate — you’re stuck with them!

If you are sharing a living space, you might as well share your stories to get to know each other and do crazy things. My roommate Sadie and I became best friends instantly and have had many fun/crazy times. We don’t have any problems but if we did, we would talk to each other because that’s how you solidify a good relationship with your roommate. Even though it’s hard to say something that bothers you, it’s better to be honest so things can change.

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