How To Survive Your First Week of College

By Samantha Klaassen

New to SMU and still have a million questions? From tour guides and athletes to our very own student body president, these leaders on campus have the answers you’re looking for.

That's a wrap for the semester! Good luck studying for finals! Can't wait to see you all in the fall!

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Sunday – 9:00pm

After the whirlwind of orientation and corral, you’re finally settled into your dorm and ready to be an official college student. You’ve bought your textbooks and saved a photo of your schedule to your phone, so it’s finally time to pick out that first day of school outfit. What are SMU students wearing to class these days?

“My go-to outfit at the moment is a jean skirt, plain white tee, colored flats and a bandana around my neck.” – Meredith McBee, Communications Chair of Student Foundation, Hilltop Mentor, & Chi Omega

“I used to wear tons of t-shirts and leggings to class, but I recently returned from a semester abroad in Milan, Italy and realized that European college students wouldn’t be caught dead in such a faux-pas. This semester you’ll usually find me in my incredibly comfortable Madewell jeans with a number of comfy v-necks or blouses. Or, if I’ve given a tour that day, I’ll spotted in my fashionable red SMU golf polo.” – Blair Betik, SMU Ambassador, Vice President of Communications for Not on My Campus, & Gamma Phi Beta

“I typically go with nice jeans or chinos with either a polo or oxford. Linen and seersucker are great, especially the first semester when the walk to class is pretty hot.” – Davis Wells, Student Body Secretary & Student Foundation Family Weekend Committee

“I love to wear rompers because they’re comfortable and easy to just throw on. Also, I always bring a sweater to class because it’s usually freezing inside all buildings!” – Anna Kortepeter, SMU Relay for Life, SMU Dance Marathon, & Panhellenic Rho Gamma

Monday – 8:50am

After grabbing a quick breakfast in the dining hall, you’re off to your first ever college class. Armed with that snazzy outfit you picked out last night and a bag full of shiny new pens and notebooks, you’re ready to take on the hilltop. On your way up the boulevard, you quickly realize you have no idea where you’re going.

“Just ask someone walking by for directions! Everyone on campus is really friendly and should be willing to help.” – Lauren Harrington, Captain of the SMU Women’s Soccer Team, Alpha Kappa Psi, and Kappa Kappa Gamma

“Use the SMU app because it has a map built into it, or simply ask anyone you see. Everyone is willing to help.” – Charles Woodside, Cox Senator for Student Senate, Vice President of Phi Delta Theta, & VP of Recruitment for the Interfraternity Council

Got an A in wellness, so

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Tuesday – 1:30pm

You’ve been in Texas for almost a week now, and, guess what? It’s still hot. How do SMU students beat the heat? [Editor’s note: Want to Texas-proof your beauty routine? Check this out.]

“Stay hydrated, wear sunscreen (especially on your face!) and go for runs/walks in the morning or at night. Even though it’s hot outside, it’s always freezing in class, so I always keep a jean jacket in my bag.” – Meredith McBee

“I’ve been a big fan of both the tanning pool at Dedman and the Barr pool (next to Mac’s Place). Other than that, Cryotherapy will cool you down REALLY quickly and help you recover from your workout.” – Davis Wells

It's all about balance, right?

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Wednesday – 12:00pm

As you’re walking out of Dallas Hall, a friend you made in class asks if you want to grab some lunch. Where’s the best place to eat on campus?

“Chick Fil A in Hughes-Trigg” – Avery Kout, Development Alumni Relations Coordinator for Student Foundation, Mission Comfort, & Alpha Chi Omega

“On campus food trucks” – Blair Betik

“Mac’s Place is a steady and quick option that’s centrally located between all the commons.” – Davis Wells

“Subway” – Charles Woodside

Thursday – 5:00pm

Despite meeting more people than names you could possibly remember, you’re having trouble finding a group of people to hang out with.

“Whether you’re trying to bond with suitemates or students living on your hall, I stand by the idea that a kind smile and a gutsy hello are the key ingredients to a blossoming friendship.” – Blair Betik

“Go to the events that your commons hold. There are lots of events where you can meet plenty of people in your commons with similar interests. I found my six closest friends freshman year in Virginia-Snider. We all joined the same fraternity and now, three years later, we’re all living together in a house off campus.” – Charles Woodside

“Try leaving your door open every once and awhile. The people in your hall will be who you see and interact with most.” – Avery Kout

Friday – 7:00pm

You put yourself out there and made some friends in your dorm! As a group you decide to take on the Dallas food scene. Where should you go?

“If you want to grab a quick bite within walking distance of campus try Nekter Juice Bar for amazing smoothies and bowls or East Hampton Sandwiches for lunch! If you want to venture further try Eatzi’s, Torchy’s Tacos, Common Table, or Standard Pour.” – Whitney Wilkerson, Director of SMU Spoon University & Pi Beta Phi Junior Delegate

“Rusty Taco – highly recommend the breakfast tacos.” – David Shirzad, Student Body President, VP of Operations for the Interfraternity Council, Best Buddies, Peruna Handler, & SMU Ambassador

“A hefty percentage of my life is spent in the Sonic or Whataburger drive-thrus on Greenville, if I’m being completely honest. Hop in that new friend’s car, blast some dope tunes (probably Broadway ballads in my case), and cruise on in for some mozz sticks or honey butter chicken biscuits.” – Blair Betik

“I think the first place I went with my new friends on my floor was Bandito’s in Snider Plaza. It’s walking distance, a University Park staple, and really low-key. You also can’t go wrong with The Rustic.” – Davis Wells

Saturday – 11:00am

You’ve heard that no one does brunch like Dallas does, so you want to try out a Dallas hotspot. What’s the best brunch in Dallas?

“That’s tough but I would have to say Henry’s Majestic.” – Anna Kortepeter

“Breadwinners” – Lauren Harrington

“Old Monk” – Claire Krizman, Panhellenic Vice President of External Recruitment


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Sunday – 11:00am

Syllabus week has officially come to an end and your first quiz is tomorrow. Where should you go to study?

“Fondren Starbucks—I’m there every day!” – Meredith Mcbee

“If I want to really study without interruption I prefer the basement of Bridwell or the Law library.” – Davis Wells

“Mudsmith on Lower Greenville.” – Blair Betik

“Toasted Coffee + Kitchen!” – Whitney Wilkerson

Welcome class of 2021! #smuclassof2021 #ponyup #smu #worldchangersshapedhere #itallstartsatcorral

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When in doubt, remember that upperclassmen have been in your shoes. And even though we’re always here to give advice, each of us is still figuring it out one day at a time.

“Be brave. Sign up for a random club even if you think your friends at home might judge you for it. Ask the girl sitting by herself in the dining hall if you can eat with her. Go knock on your neighbor’s door and introduce yourself. No one will remember if you embarrass yourself in the process.” – Meredith McBee

“Pace yourself! The first week of college can be super overwhelming so make sure you don’t put too much on your plate.” – Whitney Wilkerson

“Get outside of your dorm room. You won’t meet anyone sitting in your room watching TV. The only way to make friends on campus is to get out around campus and meet people.” – Charles Woodside

“Don’t tie yourself down to just a few people. Meet as many people as you can! There will never be another time in college where making friends is so easy.” – Claire Krizman

not pictured: @harlow_can_you_go #hwgs

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It’s important to remember that you have an occasionally awkward, sometimes stressful, and always exciting year ahead of you. Summer will be here before you know it, and these are some of the things you have to look forward to.

“I had the opportunity to carry the homecoming banner in the homecoming parade which was so neat and I’ll always remember it as a highlight!” – Meredith Mcbee

“I know you hear this all the time, but it really does all start at Corral and I still hang out with the friends I made in my group.” – Davis Wells

“Running Peruna across the field after our first touchdown of the year.” – David Shirzad

“One of my favorite memories from freshman year was when it snowed second semester and we had several days off of class. It never snows in Texas so everyone was loving it.” – Lauren Harrington

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