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COLLEGETOWN: Your guide to navigating life at MU and in Columbia

Thursday, July 24, 2014 | 6:00 a.m. CDT; updated 6:57 a.m. CDT, Thursday, July 24, 2014
Truman the Tiger greets fans before the Missouri football against Georgia at Faurot Field in September 2012.

COLUMBIA — The Missourian's annual "Collegetown" edition is a guide for incoming freshmen and transfer students. It takes a look at what they will need to know to start the semester off right.

The publication is available in a downloadable e-book and in print.

Here's a list of what you will find:

ACADEMICS

Using MyZou: MyZou is one of the most frequently used websites for MU students. Here are a few tips to help you find the information you need efficiently.

Textbooks: Once you've registered for classes and paid the tuition bill, there are still more costs. You'll need to make sure you get the right textbooks for class, and shopping around might help you get the best deal.

Campus: Both on and off campus, you have some options when it comes to studying. Here are some of the hidden places conducive to writing a paper or cramming for an exam. Exhausted from an all-nighter? Here are some places where you might be able to get some shut-eye during the day.

Class recommendations: Looking for a class to fill out your fall or spring schedule? We've got options. Interested in Harry Potter or movies? Here are some of the more interesting classes available.

Professors and advisers: Ultimately, college is about class, and showing up is key. What else do your professors want you to know? Here are five things. Also, the more organized you are at the beginning of the semester, the better you can plan when things get busy. Here are some do's and don'ts for success in your first semester and some tips for getting organized.

Resources: Various campus centers offer an assortment of resources for MU students that could make the college experience a bit smoother.

Exam strategy: Don't let finals week sneak up on you, especially if you have multiple exams on the same day. Here's a strategy for managing the final push.

Missouri residency: Out-of-state students, interested in reducing your tuition? Here's a guide to applying for Missouri residency.

SPORTS

Tickets: Find everything you need to know about getting tickets for Missouri athletics events.

Game day: In Columbia, football games are an all-day affair. Even before you get to the stadium, make sure you have the right attire and know the chants. If you really want to show your Tiger spirit, get involved with one of these spirit groups

Traditions: Missouri football games are unique experiences filled with traditions, songs and cheers. Here's a breakdown of all the traditions that you'll want to take part in at the games.

HEALTH and FINANCES

Staying healthy: The MU Wellness Center has some advice about how to stay healthy in your freshman year. New to dorm food? Here's a few tips about how to eat healthy and avoid the "Mizzou 22." Getting sick? A doctor is not far away. Students can usually get in for an appointment the same day at the Student Health Center.

Mental health: College can be overwhelming and a major adjustment for freshmen. Don't be afraid to ask for help. The MU Counseling Center offers counseling both individually and in groups — both are included in your student fees.

Fitness: The MU Student Recreation Complex has a lot to offer for students such as the whirlpool and sauna of Tiger Grotto and the running track or cycling classes in Tiger Lair. Here's what you need to know about the complex.

Running: If you enjoy running, there are a couple of running clubs in Columbia and plenty of races to challenge yourself.

Sticking to a budget: While credit cards are tempting, leaving college with extra debt is not the best way to start out in the real world. It's important to begin managing your finances from the start of your college career. There are several campus resources available to help.

Student loans: Most students need loans to make college a reality, but understanding the terms of your loans can save you thousands of dollars down the road.

LIFESTYLE and ENTERTAINMENT

Eating: Here is a guide to the menus, hours and secrets of MU's dining halls, along with some advice on choosing a meal plan. Don't want to make the trip to the dining hall? Here are eight quick food fixes you can make in your dorm room. Remember, EZ Charge lets you pick up food and other items at cafes and restaurants around campus. You can also find some good deals at restaurants close to campus.

Thrift stores: If you want to make your dorm room your own, there are some secondhand stores with unique offerings that won't cost a fortune.

Roommates: Dorm rooms are small, and living with someone else in the space can be a challenge. Here are some do's and don'ts for living in close quarters.

Twitter: If you want to be in the know, follow these Twitter accounts to stay up-to-date on the latest happenings around campus.

Embarrassment: There are certain mistakes and embarrassing moments that everyone will make in their first semester on campus. Here is your guide on how to recover.

Entertainment: You don't have to spend a lot of money to have fun in Columbia. Here's a guide to cheap entertainment and good places to take a date without breaking the bank. Under 21? No problem. Here are some fun things to do that don't require an ID.

Theater: From the professional to the academic, Columbia offers a wide range of venues for theatergoers to check out. Want to get involved? The theater and music departments at MU also have opportunities for your creative interests.


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