The Freshman 15: University of Louisville

So, you're going to be a freshman at the University of Louisville this fall? Don't fret, we have you covered. Here are fifteen things you need to know about attending the University of Louisville: 

1. Rave alerts

·      It is important to sign up for Rave alerts, because they notify students of crime or weather related circumstances that could close or delay campus classes.

·      Emails are mandatory and sent to each student, but students can also sign up for text messages.

·      Rave alerts allow students to know what is going on campus immediately to avoid any problems or inconveniences.

2. Weather

·      When you applied to the University of Louisville, you also applied to bipolar weather. Flooding, blizzards, and temperatures that are not complimentary to the current season.

·      You’ll want to buy rain boots, an umbrella, a poncho, and the weather application for your smart phone. Although I will make fun of you for wearing a poncho. But you’ll be dry so that’s all that matters.

·      Be sure to dress for the weather, although it could be sunny and 50 degrees so you’ll likely be hot and uncomfortable one minute and chilly the next. You signed up for this, don’t forget.

3)                         3. Cardinal Worship

·      Do not step on the Louisville Cardinal head as you walk around campus; just don’t. Although you’ll see people walk on it, just trust me and don’t.

·      We worship our athletic programs. Football, basketball, baseball, soccer, cross-country, track; you name it, we worship it.

·      We also worship our athletes. And why wouldn’t we. They are verified on Twitter.



4)                          4. Parking

·      “If you park illegally, they will come” That’s from a movie, right? Just don’t try to outsmart parking services, because they will find you.

·      If you do park illegally and get a ticket, which you will, make sure to pay it off in time, because if you don’t it will raise the price and you’ll be a criminal. Okay, not really, but just pay it off on time because it doubles in price if you don’t.

·      Parking garages are a blessing and a burden. There are many on campus and in convenient locations, but it will cost you at least $2 dollars to park for an hour and a maximum of $8 for the day.

·      There are meters you can park at near Houchans and 2nd and 3rd street, but these are generally only available for an hour before the meter runs out.


5)                            5. Campus layout

·      Don’t worry too much about finding your classes, because you’ll likely only have classes in two buildings, Davidson and Strickler, and they happen to be right across from one another.

·      If you are a student in any particular major, your classes will be in the same building or vicinity.

·      Navigating your way around campus is not hard and you will be pleasantly surprised at how quickly you can get from one building to the other.

6. Eating on campus


·      Each student is required to have a meal plan whether you live on or off campus. This meal plan depends on your enrollment and can be used through your student ID.

·      You can use your ID and meal plan balance at any food establishment, convenience store, or snack kiosk on campus. This is extremely convenient and your ID can be used as often in one day as you would like.

·      Places like Einstein Brothers in Bingham Humanities Building, Chic-Fil-A in the Student Activities Center, or the snack kiosk in Davidson with the sweetest woman in the world are only a few of the many places you can eat on campus.

·      You can check your balance on the Cardinal Card website at any time.


    7. Ekstrom Library

·      Ekstrom library will become your closest acquaintance and you will spend more time here than you could have possibly imagined. How often you actually spend in the library doing homework or assignments will depend on how most you have procrastinated and the library will eventually become a social circle.

·      The East Wing of the library is open normal hours and generally no later than 9 pm on weekdays and 5 pm on weekends. The West Wing is open all week and weekend long until 2 am. You can find the full list of library hours here.

·      The library offers electronics you can rent, computer labs, rooms for quiet studying, and the Tulip Tree café. You can check out the library at their website here.


             8. Signing up for classes


·      Based on your status of enrollment and current hours, each student is given a day and time to sign up for classes. The day is specified by your class status and the time is indicated by your last name.

·      You will want to prepare your classes and have them in your cart prior to enrollment, so that you are able to enroll immediately at the time you are designated. This will increase your chances of getting in the class you want.

·      Rate my professor is a huge asset. This allows you to see how other students have rated particular professors on a basis of their helpfulness, clarity, easiness, and overall quality. Previous students are also given the opportunity to write why or how the professor was good or bad. This is extremely helpful when  choosing a class you are hesitant about.


9)                           9. Supplies

·      Grays Bookstore on 4th Street is my go-to bookstore. They have everything that you need textbook wise and is very easy to navigate when finding books, because they have the class number and teacher on the shelves below the required books.

·      They also carry notebooks, pencils, paper, and every supply you can need for school. Although buying school supplies is not as fun in college as it was in Elementary school. And you are paying for it instead of your parents. Oh, to be in 4th grade again.

·      Louisville also has a bookstore in the Student Activities Center and the Health Science Campus. They also carry every textbook needed for your classes and these books can be reserved online prior to the semester. You can access the bookstore’s website here.


10. Greek Life

·      Greek life at Louisville is great for networking, making friends, and allows you to meet people that will be your friends throughout your time at UofL and following graduation. They will always be there to mentor you and offer advice.

·      Greek Life at UofL includes a lot of nationally top-rated chapters

·      Recruitment is August 16th-21st, so don’t miss out! You can register and have any questions you have answered here.



11. Advising

·      It is important to sign up for advising as soon as you complete orientation, so that your advisor can suggest classes and a path for you to take so that you are on track for graduation upon entering your freshmen year.

·      You must take initiative in choosing your required courses, because it is imperative to remember that your advisor is responsible for over a 100 more students and they cannot be responsible for you not graduating on time.

·      Advising can be scheduled over the phone or at your specific major building. Be sure to schedule your advising in advance, because at the beginning and end of the semester it gets very busy. It is important to always stay ahead of the game.

·      Any questions you have about advising can be answered here.


      12. Orientation

·      Orientation for the fall semester is required for freshmen students. Fall orientation has commenced for the summer, but you can still email to be considered for late enrollment to complete orientation.

·      Orientation is a one day program that begins at 7:30 a.m. Students are taken around campus on a tour of each building and are given help to take care of financial aid, student ID, and placement testing to prepare for the semester.

·      The cost is $75 per student and an additional $40 per guest. This includes continental breakfast, lunch, and all staff/administration fees. Prior to attending registration or if you have any questions regarding registration for future semesters, they can be answered here


13. Working out

·      The new Student Recreation Center is the perfect spot for you to workout to avoid the inevitable freshmen 15.

·      The SRC facility offers intramural sports, informal recreation, sports clubs and general fitness use.

·      You can check out the features, news and events, and the background of the new SRC here.



14. Involvement

·      There are so many clubs and groups that are available for students to get involved in on campus.

·      I would suggest to sign up for OrgSync, which is a free account that students can access by using their Cardmail email and password. Organization use OrgSync for a portal where all enrolled students at UofL can make a login to browse and join groups on campus. Any questions you have about student activities can be found here.

·      There are groups involving student government, clubs with specific interests, LGBTQ, and the Interfaith Center. A full list of organizations per your particular interest can be found here.


            15. Get to know your new city!

·      Don’t be afraid to ask questions, everyone is very friendly!

Louisville, the city and the campus, has so much to offer! So don't be nervous to get out there and meet new people and enjoy college!


Photos courtesy of University of Louisville's facebook.

About Alexis Messmer
Lover of hip hop music, coffee, writing, sneakers, and most importantly, Louisville.
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