Whether you are an incoming freshmen or a returning student, you may have an idea of what makes up the Clemson student experience. As a recent Clemson grad, I have been reflecting on what I learned over the past four years and what specifically makes the Clemson experience so unique. Here’s my list of top 20 things all Clemson students should know:
- Experience as many on-campus events as you can. Especially if you live on campus. Midnight breakfast at Schilletter anyone?
- Get involved. Joining clubs and organizations on campus will make you feel closer to the Clemson family. You will have the chance to meet new people and make connections through these opportunities that you would otherwise miss out.
- Go to a football game (if not all of them!) Even if you’re not a football fan, you will likely become one. The energy and spirit at Clemson is contagious.
- Explore the Clemson area. Don’t miss out on the college experience by heading home every weekend. You only have four years here and they fly by-make the most of every single moment.
- Go to class. College courses move at a fast pace, so it’s easy to fall behind after missing just one class. Studies show that there is a direct correlation between grades and class attendance, so choose your off days wisely. Some professors even reward students who attend class regularly, so it’s definitely worth it at the end of the semester to push your grade up a few points!
- Stay active. Balance out all of that dining hall food by taking advantage of the free fitness classes at Fike.
- Don’t stress the small stuff. That bad photo you took at orientation for your tigerone card? It will be something you keep and laugh at for years to come.
- Meet with academic advisors. Stay on track to graduate on time by meeting with your assigned advisor each semester. If they are not available, don’t be afraid to reach out to other advisors or leaders in your department. They can help you make a set plan. You don't want to cram in 18 credit hours your last semester of Senior year- trust me, it happens!
- Use Degree Works. A great way to keep up with your academic progress is by checking Degree Works on iRoar. This allows you to explore the course catalog and ensure you are taking the correct courses to graduate.
- Take advantage of campus resources. There are plenty of helpful resources on campus that can help you jumpstart a career, amp up your social life or improve your GPA. I did not step foot into the Michelin Career Center until my Senior year and I wish I had gone sooner.
- Study Abroad. You may not want to leave tigertown for a whole semester, but studying abroad is an amazing opportunity you don't want to pass up. Save it for the Spring, so you don’t miss football season--or even get ahead by studying abroad in the summer. Make sure to visit Clemson’s Study Abroad office. They can help you decide on the program that is the best fit for you and your major.
- Avoid parking tickets. If you are a current Clemson student, you know what a pain parking services can be. If you are lucky enough to live in one of the few apartment complexes with a shuttle service, (like at EPOCH Clemson student apartments), take full advantage of that!
- Order books online. The bookstore on campus can be very expensive. Save money by searching for your books through sites like Amazon and Chegg. It’s also a good idea to wait until the first week of classes to determine which books your professor will require.
- Attend office hours. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your professors. This will not only allow you to build relationships, but also to ask any questions you may need to clarify and further understanding for upcoming exams.
- Take day trips. Sometimes you just need an escape from campus. If you have the chance, take trips to explore the surrounding areas of Clemson. Gather your friends and take a day trip to Greenville or Asheville. You won’t regret it.
- Use your student discounts. From buying a computer at Apple to subscribing to Spotify or Hulu, be sure to take advantage of your student status. You can save a lot of money with student discounts. If you aren’t sure if a store offers a student discount- ask! Most places offer them.
- Class schedules. If you’re not a morning person- don’t schedule an 8 AM no matter how much you convince yourself it’ll be a good thing. You’ll regret it halfway through the semester.
- Try all the food. Whether you want to keep it healthy or indulge in southern comfort food, Clemson has it all. P.S. If you haven’t tried Smokin’ Pig BBQ you are missing out!
- Find a “go to” study spot. Explore campus and find where you are most comfortable. That way, studying won't seem like such a daunting task. My personal favorite area was always the tables under library bridge.
- Balance work and play. I can honestly tell you my time at Clemson was the best four years of my life to date. Enjoy your time with friends but also keep focus on what is important. Time flies, remember to enjoy college life while you can!
By: Annie Moeder
Annie Moeder is a graduate of the Clemson University class of 2018. She is now a Client Success Specialist at Indeed.com. In her free time she enjoys traveling, spending time with friends and family and of course attending Clemson football games each Fall.