Thursday, September 21, 2023

Five freshman favors: Helpful information for all incoming students


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Featured Photo courtesy of Middle Tennessee State University

Story by Lillian Chapman

Starting college or attending a new campus can be intimidating. It can bring on feelings of worry and stress, but it doesn’t have to. This new chapter could be just as easily exciting.

Middle Tennessee State University upperclassmen offer their support in sharing some college lifesavers.

So take a nice, deep breath and read on. Here are five ways to ease the campus transition.

1. Get involved on campus

Ronald Zaragoza, Rodrigo Sierra and Sam Perez soaking up the rays in the quad. (Photo by Zoe Vecchio).

Many upperclassmen encourage new students to join clubs and attend the events hosted at MTSU. These activities are a great way to make new friends and feel closer to classmates. 

“If I was an incoming freshman I would want to know about the event schedule. I missed a lot of super cute events the first semester before I knew the schedule,” said Grace Bria, a sophomore.

Campus activities are posted at MTSU Events and updated regularly. This includes club, sporting and academic events.

Abigale Oglesby, a Junior, said, “I would definitely want to know to not be afraid to reach out, whether that be professors or peers. It is a big school, but the community is close and it makes it feel small. If you need something, someone would be more than happy to help you out.”

2. Get the mobile app – MTSU Mobile

MTSU Mobile keeps track of class schedules, bus routes and provides quick links to D2L, MTmail and myMT. 

“It’s got the map on it and I still use it because I always get lost,” said Lucas Casavan, a Senior. 

With the app, students are able to look up specific buildings which will provide them with quick directions to their classes.

3. Become familiar with parking

Finding convenient parking at MTSU can be a struggle sometimes.

There are four different color passes that provide access to different parking areas. Commuting students are designated a green pass, on-campus students are given a red pass and blue passes are assigned to students with disabilities. Faculty and admin have white passes. 

While it may be tempting to park in the closest available spot, parking in an incorrect zone or not having a pass will result in unwanted tickets and fees. For more information about the passes go to MTSU Parking Service.

4. Know the operating hours for the dining halls and P.O.D.s

Students eat in the new dining hall Farmers Market.
Students eat in the new dining hall Farmers Market. (Sidelines archive)

Campus offers lots of tasty dining options, such as the Farmer’s Market, McCallie’s Dining Hall and more. Knowing the opening and closing times of these restaurants is important to enjoying a good dinner and avoiding going hungry. 

There are five P.O.D.s located around campus which have quick and easy snacks or drinks. The operating hours vary between P.O.D.s.

MTSU Dining Service contains the business hours and daily menus for restaurants on campus.

5. Be prepared for walking and unexpected weather changes

Students walk to the Student Union during the first day of classes on Jan. 17, 2017. (Photo by Andrew Wigdor).

The amount of walking may come as a surprise to many incoming students. Wearing a comfortable pair of shoes can make it easier to get around campus.

“I wish I had known how much walking there would be,” said Nataly Monroy, a sophomore.

Several students can also relate to the unexpected rainstorm that seems to hit just as classes change or it’s time to go home. Keeping an umbrella can be handy. Dressing in layers and being sure to hydrate can be a large help, too.

“Keep a big water bottle and a jacket at all times, no matter the weather, because those classrooms get cold,” Bria said.

The university offers a warm welcome to new students. Everyone is encouraged to make the best of their time at MTSU.

To contact Lifestyles Editor Destiny Mizell, email For more news, visit, or follow us on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines or on X at @MTSUSidelines.

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