Campus & ATX

20 Tips For Longhorn Freshmen – Ultimate Survival Guide

Being a fish ain't easy. And, bein' a fish at The University of Texas at Austin can be tougher than an Aggie trying to comprehend 1st-grade math. But, don't worry. We've got you covered. Here are the best tips we've put together to help you survive your first year on the 40 Acres.

Photo: Bevo XV from Joe Mac1 on Flickr

 8 AM Classes 

Do NOT. I repeat…DO NOT choose an 8 AM class unless it’s the last class you need to graduate and if it’s the ONLY time being offered. You may be thinking, “I can do it. I used to go to class by 7:30 AM in high school.” No. You can’t. Quit trying to make 8 AM classes happen. They’re not going to happen.

Getting Lost

You WILL get lost. It’s the 40 Acres after all. Use the UT web app map to know where all the buildings are, or simply look for someone who looks older, tired and wise. They are probably seniors who are done with life but can still help you get to where you need to go. To make things easier on your first day, walk to your class buildings a few days before classes begin. It will help you be more confident on your first day and will prevent you from being late to class.



Y’all actually need to study here. Your days of magically getting A’s without picking up a book in high school are over. Find study groups and participate in Google Docs. Classes that struggle together, fail together…and get huge curves on exams.

Here are other online study tools that you can use to hack your life through college.




The Internet is your best friend when it comes to buying textbooks. Sometimes you need them, sometimes you don’t. Sometimes you get lucky and the whole book is online for free. As a Freshman, you may want to have all of your books bought and ready to go on your first day. Don’t do this.

If you want to save your money, go to class for a week or two to see how much of the textbook is needed for class before you buy. The only thing worse than 8 AMs is buying a $300 textbook to only ever open it once the whole semester.

*Actual video of me buying textbooks I don’t need*

Choosing Professors 

The Internet is also your best friend when it comes to choosing a professor for a specific class. is genius and can help you save your life. Plus, you get to see if your prof is hot or not.


Pace Yourself

Do as much or as little as you can. Simply try your best. It’s OK if you only take 6 hours in one semester while your friends take 57 hours. It’s a marathon, not a race. You do you, little Longhorn. You do you. You’ll get out of here eventually.



Financial Aid 

You might want to keep applying for scholarships and financial aid ALL FOUR YEARS. There’s a lot of help out there, even after your freshman year. Although it may seem like you have a million things to finish, you’re never too busy to apply for free money.



Get a mentor who specializes in your area of interest. They will help you for the rest of your life. Whether it’s a professor, a boss, a colleague, an alum, or even an older student, find someone that can guide you and help you reach your goals.


Organizations & Clubs

Join organizations. The people you meet will become your friends and possibly the best part of your college experience.



This is where “Don’t Procrastinate” would be, but we damn well know no one will listen to this.



Always pre-game before going to going to 6th (after you turn 21 obviously). Drinks are expensive AF on 6th and you’re a poor college student.



Your Bevo Bucks will be gone faster than you can say “OU SUCKS.” Spend them wisely. Plus, once that FinAid check hits your account, don’t splurge on that MacBook Pro you’ve been eyeing. Take it easy, my friend. You don’t want to call your parents at the end of the semester asking them to cover your December rent.

Office Hours

Don’t be afraid of going to office hours and talking about your class struggles. This is why the professors get paid. Be smart. Be creative. You never know what kind of magic they can do at the end of the semester.


Summer Courses

If you can – and have the time – take some classes at a community college during the summer. It will save you time, money, and possibly GPA points in the long run.


    On Campus

Find a good place to poop on campus and stick to it. You will be drinking a lot of coffee and will need to take care of business in comfortable fashion.


Signing Up For Classes

Treat signing up for classes as if you are buying Beyonce tickets. Forget everything else and refresh the page until it is your turn to sign up. Nothing is worse than being waitlisted for all of the classes you need to take.


Studying Abroad

If you can, study abroad. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience you won’t ever forget. You won’t regret it. Just don’t act like a dumb American while you’re there.


Freshmen 15

Freshman 15 is VERY real. Beware. Eat well and stay in shape. Gregory Gym is your best friend.


Try New Things

College is about 3 things: learning, changing, and having fun. Combine all of those three things together and shit becomes magical.


Get Your Horns Up

But most of all always keep those HORNS UP.


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