First-year experience at TCU

first_imgNewsThe Skiff: Digital IssuesFirst-year experience at TCUBy Lindsey Bakonyi, Lonyae Coulter and Mia Yarto – June 3, 2021 491 Alpha Chi Omega wears denim, helps raise awareness for sexual assault COVID-19 protocols remain up in the air for fall semester Mia Yartohttps://www.tcu360.com/author/mia-yarto/ Previous articleTCU traditions and historyNext articleLife in Fort Worth Lindsey Bakonyi, Lonyae Coulter and Mia Yarto Social media post helps former TCU Showgirl launch a jewelry and clothing line Twitter Mia Yartohttps://www.tcu360.com/author/mia-yarto/ ReddIt Lindsey Bakonyihttps://www.tcu360.com/author/lindsey-bakonyi/ Lonyae Coulterhttps://www.tcu360.com/author/lonyae-coulter/ printTCU Frog Camps returning to more traditional look this summerFrogs First organizers look forward to bringing back revamped program in the fallThe do’s and don’ts of living in a dorm Navigating the options to eat at TCUFirst-year experience Frog Camp is one activity operated by Student Development Services. (Heesoo Yang/Staff Photographer)Frog Camp is one activity operated by Student Development Services. (Heesoo Yang/Staff Photographer)TCU Frog Camps returning to more traditional look this summerBy Lindsey BakonyiFrog camp was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic, but this summer it’s back. Read more about what to expect from Frog Camp this year. TCU’s Frog Camp continues to serve its purpose for incoming students as it approaches 30 years of camps, and will return to its normal format after being impacted by the pandemic last summer.The camp was created by Barbara Herman in 1993 in hopes to bring the incoming TCU community closer together before actually getting to campus. The camp provides lifelong memories, a stable support system coming into campus and an understanding of all the available resources around the TCU community.Why Frog Camp got startedAlthough Frog Camp is not mandatory, it is a major component of TCU’s First-Year Experience program which is designed to create a welcoming environment for incoming students.TraditionsOne way Frog Camp makes sure to make the environment as comfortable and welcoming as possible is the inclusive traditions incorporated into the camp.Frog Camp traditions include games, dancing, team bonding and learning the true meanings behind some of TCU’s traditions such as the Riff Ram Bah Zoo chant. “Each camp has its own unique traditions that serve to give the camp its own personality and purpose,” Hudson Auerbach, a TCU junior political science major on the Frog Camp Director Board, said. One unwritten tradition most students leave Frog Camp having experienced are the relationships they form. “Many come in pretty nervous as they do not know anyone at camp or coming to TCU. Within a few days, they leave not just knowing people also going to TCU but with friends who are going to TCU,” Brian McDermott, assistant director of first-year experience, said.StatisticsIn order to make Frog Camp a unique and special experience for everyone involved, facilitators and directors have made sure to provide enough resources for everyone to form personal connections.Although there are many different Frog Camps offered, one of the main focuses is to form deep friendships that will last throughout a student’s time at TCU and beyond.Typically, there will be about 250-275 students at each camp. Within this big group of students are many different small groups that consist of only 10-15 students.These small groups will have two co-facilitators, one male and one female. The small groups will also have one faculty or staff member join the group to serve as a resource for incoming students once they arrive on campus.Last year, Frog Camp was only held on the TCU campus due to the pandemic, but things are beginning to look up for this coming summer.Frog Camp is returning to the more traditional values that come along with the camp while still following the safety guidelines that come with COVID-19.This summer, six camps will be offered in Fort Worth (3 Casa Nueva camps, 2 Cultura camps, and 1 All-Stars camp) and one camp will take place in Bruceville, TX (Challenge).There will also be two Alpine camps this summer which take place in Colorado. These camps will offer multiple activities and bonding opportunities for incoming students to enjoy with their future peers including sightseeing, games, dinners and many more excursions that go along with the location of the camp. Incoming students should continue to check their emails for more Frog Camp information. They can also go to sds.tcu.edu for more details. Advice going into Frog Camp from current students“Have fun and remember, the more you put into Frog Camp, the more you get out of it,” Auerbach said.“Be willing to be vulnerable and open-minded,” Jordyn Delong, senior child development major, said. “Don’t be afraid to go out of your comfort zone,” Laurel Stanley, a TCU junior art history major, said.Photo: Frog Camp 2020 was held from Aug. 12-16 on campus and online. (Heesoo Yang/Staff Photographer)Frogs First organizers look forward to bringing back revamped program in the fallBy Lonyae CoulterFrogs First was another classic TCU experience that was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic. But this fall, with health guidelines in place, first-year students will get to partake in this week-long adventure. Here’s what to expect.Student activities are adapting to the health restrictions and guidelines to have first-year activities return closer to normalcy this fall, including Frogs First.Frogs First, a week-long welcome experience for incoming students in the fall, consists of in-depth conversations between students, faculty and staff during the Common Reading Program as well as other social activities within the campus community.“Its purpose is to get the students acclimated to the campus community that they have now joined,” said Tara McWhorter, director of first-year experience.It differs from freshman orientation and Frog Camp because students are moving onto campus during this event.New health guidelines are making it a different experience than usual.“We are still looking at some key traditional events, such as the Chancellor’s Assembly where we welcome incoming students, but also thinking about what are some new things we can bring into play,” said McWhorter.Plans for students to socially distance and wear their masks are still in place as of publication.Usually, students are put in a large group during Frogs First, but the directors of Frogs First are looking into making the groups smaller.“The University Policy has been that if you are indoors, it’s 20 people per classroom or group when we’ve held Frog Camp or Orientation, but we know that can be even smaller for outside,” said McWhorter.They will continue working with emergency management to navigate the procedure of those small groups.Common reading program to continue as centerpiece of programOne aspect of Frogs First that will not change is the common reading program.“The common reading program is an opportunity to select a book that ranges from race and inclusion, social justice, resistance, self-care or what is relevant in this current year for us to bring to the forth front with our students,” said McWhorter.TCU welcomed students home amid the pandemic. Photo by Heesoo YangTCU welcomed students home amid the pandemic. Photo by Heesoo YangFILE – This Nov. 18, 2016 file photo shows Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., in the Civil Rights Room in the Nashville Public Library in Nashville, Tenn. The award-winning graphic novels about the congressmen and civil rights activist John Lewis will continue a year after his death. Abrams announced Tuesday that “Run: Book One” will be published Aug. 3, just over a year after Lewis died at age 80. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)FILE – This Nov. 18, 2016 file photo shows Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., in the Civil Rights Room in the Nashville Public Library in Nashville, Tenn. The award-winning graphic novels about the congressmen and civil rights activist John Lewis will continue a year after his death. Abrams announced Tuesday that “Run: Book One” will be published Aug. 3, just over a year after Lewis died at age 80. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)The do’s and don’ts of living in a dorm By Lonyae Coulter For the next two years, campus will be home. Here are some tips on navigating your way around. King and Wright residence halls in the commons. Photo by Heesoo Yang King and Wright residence halls in the commons. Photo by Heesoo Yang Do’s:Get to know your Resident Assistant (RA)Resident Assistants are there to help.“As an RA, it’s important to be welcoming and intentional,” said Helen Rieke, an RA in Wright Hall.“You want to make sure residents feel comfortable talking to you about any sort of problem they have.”RA’s typically host activities so they can interact with students, but doing so has been difficult since the pandemic began.“While in a pandemic, fewer residents have attended hall programs in general, so I’ve tried to meet up with mine one-on-one to see how they’re doing and get to know them,” said Rieke. “I would also say as an RA you don’t want to only be involved in RA activities.”Rieke suggests that it’s nice to have other leadership positions or just hang out with friends off-campus to take a break from the dorm.Dekia Greene, a resident assistant in Wright Hall on duty at the desk. Photo by Lonyae CoulterDekia Greene, a resident assistant in Wright Hall on duty at the desk. Photo by Lonyae CoulterInside a bare dorm room at Richards Hall.Photo courtesy of Avery Bodkin, sophomore at Texas Christian University.Inside a bare dorm room at Richards Hall.Photo courtesy of Avery Bodkin, sophomore at Texas Christian University.Milton Daniel Hall, the residence hall for honors students. Photo by Heesoo YangMilton Daniel Hall, the residence hall for honors students. Photo by Heesoo YangMake your room feel like homeTo make a dorm feel more homey, many students recommend bringing some decorations.“A good tapestry or polaroids of your friends always helps when it comes to decorating your room,” said Rieke.It also helps make the transition better from home to dorm living.Bring supplies to help with your classesStudents also recommend bringing pencils, notecards, paper, pens, highlighters and notebooks.Rieke said to make sure you have extras of those supplies because it makes things less stressful when you’re ready to go during a late-night study session.Students are also advised to have some sort of technology device such as a computer or tablet.For example, students who are in the Neeley School of Business, are required to come equipped with a PC laptop instead of a MacBook laptop.Communicate with your roommate(s)Communicating will help with addressing problems that arise between roommates, especially early on.“So many times when a roommate conflict occurs, neither roommate previously addressed their concern with the other one,” said Rieke.Rieke said RA’s are also there to help in navigating the conflict.It is also important to discuss things like cleaning and what each roommates schedule looks like.Follow the rules for housingRieke also recommends following the rules that housing and residence life spells out.“The rules are there to ensure residents are safe and that the dorms are in good shape over the years,” said Rieke.Following the quiet hours rule will make your dorm neighbors appreciative.“While some policies might seem trivial, they are there for a reason (often from past problems with that action),” said Rieke.Don’tsDon’t bring too many clothesWhen coming to college don’t bring every single item in the closet.“My freshman year, I felt like I needed to bring everything from my closet, and I didn’t wear most of it because it took up too much space,” said Rieke.There will be times you can always swap out clothes when going home for a break as well.“Some clothes you do want to bring to campus are definitely shorts, athleisure, hoodies, a coat, rain jacket, rain boots and an umbrella because you never know what the weather is going to be because it will change quickly,” said Ashley Parks, a senior writing and theatre double major.Other items not to bringItems that students do not need to bring are a refrigerator and microwave as both are provided in the dorm.Parks also wouldn’t recommend bringing a printer.“You shouldn’t bring a printer because there are printing stations around on campus,” said Parks.Cooking appliances and any home appliances such as toasters, candles, heaters or special types of lamps like lava or halogen lamps are prohibited.Don’t study in your room all the timeMany students have found benefits in changing locations or finding a different scenery other than their dorm while studying.“Especially during COVID-19, when most people have online classes, it can be challenging to be in your room for so long,” said Rieke.There are plenty of study locations on campus, whether that is going to the library, going to landing zones or even the campus commons.Navigating the options to eat at TCUBy Mia YartoTCU has many dining options for students. Here’s our roundup. Restaurants located on South University Dr near TCU. Photo by Heesoo YangRestaurants located on South University Dr near TCU. Photo by Heesoo YangMagnolias Zero 7 located in King Family Commons. Photo courtesy of TCU dining servicesMagnolias Zero 7 located in King Family Commons. Photo courtesy of TCU dining servicesStudent meal plans can often be confusing, and choosing the wrong one could limit you to options that are not ideal.All first-year and sophomore students living on-campus are required to have a meal plan. There are four options that students can choose from.Types of meal plans:Ultimate Flex 19Due to COVID-19, all first-year students are required to have this meal plan, but it is also available for sophomores, juniors, seniors and off-campus/commuter students. You are permitted 19 meal swipes per week anywhere on campus, $250 campus cash and $150 frog bucks. Flex 7This meal plan is only available for sophomores, juniors, seniors and off-campus/commuter students. It includes 7 swipes per week, $600 campus cash and $200 frog bucks.Flex 12This plan is also only available for sophomores, juniors, seniors and off-campus/commuter students. You are allowed 12 swipes per week, $250 campus cash and $100 frog bucks.Limited 50This is only available to apartment residents, FSL Officer floor residents and off-campus/commuter students. You are allowed 50 swipes per year to Market Square only, $300 campus cash and $150 frog bucks. Campus cash and meal swipes can only be used on campus.On-Campus Dining OptionsMarket SquareLocation: Second floor of Brown-Lupton University Union (BLUU)Hours: Mon. through Fri. from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sat. through Sun. from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.Payment: meal swipeMarket Square is the main, and largest, dining hall on campus. It has a variety of different all-you-can-eat options and the food changes every day. Local restaurants cater frequently throughout the year, ensuring that there are always new and unique options for students to choose from. There is a constant salad and smoothie bar, pizza options, a cereal station and a dessert spread. Chick-fil-ALocation: Outside of BLUU, next to the Post Office.Hours: Mon. through Fri. from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., Sat. from 9 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.Payment: meal swipe, campus cash, frog bucks or credit cardTCU has its own Chick-fil-A location that serves a limited menu. It includes popular items like chicken nuggets, chicken sandwiches, salads and milkshakes.King Family CommonsLocation: Worth HillsHours: Vary for each restaurantPayment: campus cash, meal swipe or personal paymentsKing Family Commons (commonly known as KFC or BLUU2) is composed of four restaurants: Magnolias Zero 7, O’Briens, Caliente and The Press. Magnolias Zero 7 is a healthy, allergen-free option with a rotating menu. O’Briens is an American-style restaurant that serves breakfast sandwiches and pancakes in the morning, and burgers, chicken sandwiches, fries and onion rings in the afternoon. Caliente is fresh Tex-Mex that serves tacos, burritos, quesadillas, salads and nachos. The Press is a cafe that serves Starbucks drinks and quick pre-packaged to-go options.Union Grounds and Rollin’ & Bowlin’Location: First floor of BLUUHours: Mon. through Fri. 7 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., Sat. through Sun. 9 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.Payment: campus cash, meal swipe or personal paymentsUnion Grounds serves Starbucks drinks, quick snacks and quick and easy to-go meals. Rollin’ & Bowlin’ recently moved to this location and serves acai bowls, smoothies, avocado toast and other easy small meals. Bistro BurnettLocation: inside the library Hours: Mon. through Fri. 7:30 a.m. to 1 a.m.Payment: campus cash, meal swipe, or personal payments Bistro Burnett satisfies all of your coffee, sandwich, pastry or fruit cravings while you’re studying or near the library. Kinder CafeLocation: First floor of Tandy HallHours: Mon. through Thurs. from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Fri. from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.Payment: campus cash, meal swipe, or personal paymentsKinder Cafe offers Peet’s Coffee, assorted bakery items, paninis, flatbreads, and breakfast sandwichesStudents enjoy Market Square, the main dining spot in the BLUU (TCU360).Students enjoy Market Square, the main dining spot in the BLUU (TCU360).TCU student takes sample of milkshake from on-campus Chick-fil-a.(Laura Belpedio/TCU360)TCU student takes sample of milkshake from on-campus Chick-fil-a.(Laura Belpedio/TCU360)Students enjoy the dining facilities in the King Family Commons. (Nicole Strong / TCU360)Students enjoy the dining facilities in the King Family Commons. (Nicole Strong / TCU360)TCU Students enjoy the open study spaces around Union Ground. (TCU360)TCU Students enjoy the open study spaces around Union Ground. (TCU360)The bistro is located in the Mary Couts Burnett Library on TCU’s campus. Photo by Heesoo YangThe bistro is located in the Mary Couts Burnett Library on TCU’s campus. Photo by Heesoo YangThe difference between campus cash and frog bucksA big source of confusion for many TCU students is understanding the difference between frog bucks and campus cash, and where you can use them. Campus cash and frog bucks are designed to ensure that every student has access to meals that they enjoy. TCU takes special dietary needs into consideration and has options for every student. Campus cash gives students the option to eat on-campus at the places listed above. Frog bucks are used at off-campus restaurants that have a partnership with TCU.While TCU has dozens of options to choose from, your meal plan does not stop there. Beyond the campus, there are multiple restaurants to choose from that are covered by Frog Bucks, such as:Ampersand CoffeeBuffalo Bros Pizza Wings SubsChuy’s Common Grounds FTWDutch’s HamburgersDwell Coffee and BiscuitsEast Hampton Sandwich Company Einstein Bros Bagels Fat Shack Fruitealicious Hopdoddy Burger BarJimmy John’s Maestro TacosMcAlister’s DeliMcDonald’sNekter Juice BarPanera BreadPerotti’s PizzaPotbelly Sandwich WorksRaising Cane’s #94Silver FoxSmoothie KingSnappy Salads Camp Bowie Susie CakesTCU Campus Store – StarbucksThe Cookshack Toasted Coffee + KitchenWoodshed Smokehouse Maddison Lilley, a sophomore nursing major, says that she enjoys using frog bucks more than campus cash. “My favorite place to eat off-campus is East Hampton,” said Lilley. “It is reasonably priced, fresh and a good change from on-campus food.”For more on-campus dining information visit: dining.tcu.eduRead Next:TopBuilt with Shorthand ReddIt TCU student helps open up a new coffee shop in Fort Worth Lindsey Bakonyihttps://www.tcu360.com/author/lindsey-bakonyi/ Linkedin Lonyae Coulter Lindsey Bakonyihttps://www.tcu360.com/author/lindsey-bakonyi/ Lonyae Coulterhttps://www.tcu360.com/author/lonyae-coulter/ Mia Yartohttps://www.tcu360.com/author/mia-yarto/ + posts TCU Frog Camps returning to more traditional look this summer Facebook Lindsey Bakonyihttps://www.tcu360.com/author/lindsey-bakonyi/ Linkedin Newest student organization hopes to provide a space for minority students interested in law TCU baseball finds their biggest fan just by saying hello Lonyae Coulterhttps://www.tcu360.com/author/lonyae-coulter/ Mia Yartohttps://www.tcu360.com/author/mia-yarto/ Welcome TCU Class of 2025 + posts Facebook TCU Theatre looks forward to second-weekend performances of Children of Eden Lonyae Coulterhttps://www.tcu360.com/author/lonyae-coulter/ Lindsey Bakonyi Frog Aides helps supports local businesses with on-campus ‘state fair’ event Mia Yarto World Oceans Day shines spotlight on marine plastic pollution + posts Frogs First organizers look forward to bringing back revamped program in the fall TCU places second in the National Student Advertising Competition, the highest in school history RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Twitter Life in Fort Worth Welcome TCU Class of 2025 A fox’s tail: the story of TCU’s campus foxes Condensed semester, lost week to snowstorm adding to some students stress during finals weeklast_img read more