Dear freshmen: Here's a bit of advice before starting college

Thursday, July 30, 2009 | 12:00 p.m. CDT; updated 12:39 p.m. CDT, Thursday, July 30, 2009
From left, Alexander du Plessis, John Testa, Jillian Kramer, Judith Ngai, Mamta Bhatt, Charlotte Buckley, Olivia Berry and Min-Zhui Lee, visit MU in July. The journalism students are from Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia.

Dear Mizzou Freshmen,

Welcome to Collegetown.

Be prepared for an exhilarating four years, as you grow, explore and learn about college life in Columbia.

Without a doubt, you still have questions about the University of Missouri. This section aims to give you a fresh, new look at what MU and the town of Columbia can offer.

Living at MU is an opportunity to make new friends, but more importantly, it is a place to figure out how to live with strangers, manage your time and learn how to study effectively.

Roommates, class schedules and the layout of campus can be challenging, so this section explains how to handle these experiences. There are also rundowns on medical and counseling services, financial aid and dining plans.

In addition, there are previews of most central campus facilities.

Understanding the early bird system at the MU Bookstore can help you get course materials together, for example. Tiger Tech has a friendly staff to steer you toward the most suitable technology.

The MU Recreation Complex is a state-of-the-art center for workouts in the pool, the gym, the water park, fitness rooms and more. It is considered among the top — if not the best — recreation facility on any campus in the U.S.

Once books, gear and supplies are gathered and the course schedule mastered, Ellis Library and its branches are great places to knuckle down and study — after all, that's the point.

After an exam or on the weekend, if there's time to take a break, see a movie, shop, dine or just hang out. From trendy budget-clothes shopping to great and inexpensive restaurants to free entertainment options, Columbia promises a varied mix of social experiences.

The writers for this section spent a considerable amount of time gathering detailed information to help new students make the most of their first year at MU. So, this may be a good place for them to describe who they are:

"We are a group of eight Australians from Macquarie University in Sydney who came to MU to spend most of July at the School of Journalism.

"It has been an experience we will remember with lots of laughs, fun times and hard work. We hope the results in this section are informative and entertaining.

"And we’re pretty sure that if eight Australians, who still look the wrong way when crossing the road, can find our way around campus, you’ll be all right, mate.

"Make the most of MIZ-ZOU-RAH!"

Love, the Aussies

Olivia Berry, Mamta Bhatt, Charlotte Buckley, Alexander du Plessis, Jillian Kramer, Min-Zhui Lee, Judith Ngai, John Testa

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