Tips for Your First Year on Campus

Tips for Your First Year On Campus

Hi there!

Is this your first year on campus? If so, welcome to Fort Collins! We’re so happy to welcome you to the RAMily and the wonderful city of FoCo! Read on for some handy tips for your first year on CSU’s campus. 

9 tips for your first year on campus:

1. Check where your classes are before making your schedule

I made this mistake my first year – it’s hard to anticipate how far away buildings may be from each other before you’re familiar with campus. It is entirely possible to end up with a schedule that has you sprinting across the intramural fields three days a week. Keep a map on hand! 

Gif from Emperor's New Groove
2. Bring a pair of wheels to campus

CSU has a pretty big campus. It’s a good idea to bring some form of commuter transportation: bike, board, scooter, roller blades, whatever you like! Just make sure to dismount in the dismount zones and register your bike with the CSUPD. 

Chihuahua on a scooter
3. Get to know the bus system

Seriously, it can take you anywhere. Check it out here.

The Magic School Bus gif
4. Get involved!

Attend club fairscareer fairs, try joining groups for the fun of it and attend school events! Getting involved takes your college experience to the next level. 

Get ready gif
5. Extra meal swipes? Stop by Ram’s Horn Express or Durrell Express to stock up on snacks to-go

Try to plan to go before Friday night – swipes for the week expire at midnight and the shelves will be barren. 

Gif from Lilo and Stitch
6. Check out buildings on campus, even if you don’t have any classes in them

Did you know there’s a greenhouse on campus? That the BSB has a balcony with an amazing view of campus? That the Natural Resources building has a “living wall” of plants or that the Biology building has dozens of educational displays? Get to exploring! 

Gif from The Hobbit
7. Know where RAMcash works and how much you need

RAMcash can buy you vending machine snacks and food at any coffee shop and in the LSC. It does not work at the bookstore! You get an allotted amount of RAMcash depending on your meal plan. Most times, you won’t need any more, especially since engineers get printing credits! 

Gif from The Good Place
8. Get to know your hallmates

Go to meals together, hang out in study rooms, do homework, play card games. The hall is your oyster! 

Gif from Friends
9. Get to know your classmates

These people may very well be by your side for the next few years! 

Gif from Harry Potter

Check out our sister blog about Tips for First Year Engineers  for some more fun, engineering-specific advice for first years! 

Cam the Ram wearing sunglasses


Kate Boyd, Engineering Student Ambassador

Author: Kate Boyd

Kate is a third-year student studying Chemical and Biological Engineering with minors in Spanish and Environmental Engineering. She is a committed Engineering Student Ambassador and member of the Honors program and Algae Club. She hails from Boulder, Colorado.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to the engineering ambassador team at!