How can I make the most out of my first year experience as a college student?

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Answered by: Christina, An Expert in the College Life - General Category
Living on campus is an integral part of your freshman year. With over 14 halls reserved for freshmen on the East and West ends of campus, University Housing offers a 10–15 minute walk to classes and countless opportunities to make new friends and build relationships.

The residence halls are designed to make the First Year Experience as smooth and fun as possible. Living on campus allows students the opportunity to get to know many different kinds of people. Learning to live with other students is as much a part of a college education as anything one will learn in the classroom. Students shouldn’t fear the idea of roommates, either. Whether they are living with a friend from home, someone they met online or going “potluck,” students should keep an open mind and learn to respect one another and they will be fine. Remember to talk about any concerns and expectations in order to avoid issues.

Having private space within a shared room can also be easily achieved. Purchasing lofts creates more floor space for things such as a futon, TV and microfridge. Residence halls also do not have to be bland or bare. Many students use rugs to make the room more comfortable and utilize the corkboards and wall space to display pictures, posters and other decorations. The room can be an expression of each student’s personal style and interests showcasing a fun and trendy personality.

Getting to know the other students on the hall multiplies the friends students have to grab lunch at Harcombe with, watch a favorite TV show with, set-up study groups with and to meet a great workout partner.

Not only does campus living offer the opportunity to make new friends and learn about yourself and others, it also offers an unmatched convenience to classes and other campus locations. Redfern Health Center, Cooper Library, the Academic Success Center, Fike Recreation Center and the Michelin® Career Center are all at your fingertips and designed to help you succeed. The availability of these resources can relieve your anxieties about your classes or health.

To make accessing all of these resources stress-free, the University strives to keep our students safe with several safety initiatives. With Tiger Transit — a safety shuttle that runs from 6 a.m.–6 p.m. — and emergency telephones placed strategically in high-traffic areas of campus, students can always feel confident they will arrive at their destination safely.

Students do not have to give up the convenience and intimacy of living on campus after freshman year either. Living on campus another year avoids worries such as paying bills, collecting money from roommates, commuting to campus — and during the 2009–2009 academic year, sophomores on campus had an average GPR of 3.20 compared to the average GPR of 2.95 of off-campus sophomores.

There are several options for sophomores and upper classmen to live on campus comfortably. For most of the Greek community, it is required for sophomores to live on their fraternity or sorority halls. This opportunity allows sophomores to stay involved on campus and build relationships with their pledge class. Other options include living in on-campus apartments at Lightsey Bridge I and II, Calhoun Courts or Thornhill Village.

Campus living is a fundamental part of the Clemson First Year Experience that students will never forget. You will maintain the relationships you make with your residence hall mates for the rest of your time at Clemson and for years after. Take advantage of having Bowman Field, Cooper Library and Death Valley in your backyard. Take advantage of the short walk to class, the dining halls and Fike Recreation Center. And most important, take advantage of the inimitable opportunity to make lifelong friends and grow as a person and an essential member of the Clemson Family.

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