Welcome, Class of 2020! Your first year at college can be daunting, especially when you move to a completely new city, state or country. The District Staff pooled together their collective SCAD experience to give you advice on making friends, enjoying Savannah and getting the most out of your freshman year.

1.Get your tourism fix

Give it a month and you’ll be sick of seeing tourists everywhere. While you still have a fresh perspective on the city, get out and explore Savannah. You can take any number of tours, but for some free options visit the shops in City Market, stroll down River Street and watch the ships or ride the ferry across the Savannah River.

2.Walk down beautiful and historic Bull Street

Bull Street runs through Forsyth Park and stretches north to the Savannah River. Whether you start or end the walk at Forsyth Park, it is the highlight of the walk. Taking up 30 acres, it features fountains, monuments and plenty of green in the center of downtown Savannah. On Saturdays, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., local vendors sell fresh fruits, veggies, and other natural wares at the Forsyth Farmers Market at the Park Street end of Forsyth.

 

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3. Visit Tanger Outlets

Tanger Outlets is a quick drive north to Pooler. The outlet mall is packed with popular brands and great deals for a fun day of shopping.

4. Be frugal

Savannah is a tourist town, which means living here can get pricy quickly. Thankfully, many Savannah businesses offer discounts for SCAD students, and there are always great deals if you know where to look. Check out Starlandia on Bull Street for second hand art supplies or Cherry Pick Consignment on Jones Sreet for thrifty clothes finds.

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5. Try all the dining halls

Living in freshman housing provides you with multiple quick and easy dining options, but be sure to check out all of the other meal plan options around campus, before you find yourself eating the same thing at every meal. Try Bobby’s Diner after a foundations class, or take a yellow bus to Montgomery Hall for Carnival.

6. Start a budget

No matter how confident you are in your savvy shopping abilities, it pays to keep track of your spending. Downloading a secure app like Mint (powered by Intuit) is an easy way to be conscious of your money and keep your records in one accessible spot.

7. Avoid a coffee rut

Face it, you’re in college now, you need caffeine. Luckily, Savannah is filled with independent coffee shops, each with its own specialty. Dining hall Starbucks is great when you’re in a hurry, but be sure to check out the numerous other cafes throughout the city. If you’re in Arnold Hall for lecture classes, try Blue Door Coffee & Waffles on Bull Street, or walk two blocks to Foxy Loxy for a coffee shop with a tex-mex twist.

8. Add your SCAD email to your phone

If you’ve never been good at remembering to check your emails before, now is the time to improve. Tons of information and opportunities will come to you through your SCAD email, and you will miss them if you don’t check often and reply promptly. You can download the Outlook app and access your SCAD Mail simply through that portal, or you can add your SCAD Mail to your phone’s built-in Mail app. Go to Settings>Mail>Add Account and enter your SCAD Mail login credentials to add a SCAD inbox on most phones.

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9. Visit other SCAD halls

Tag along with your friends to see other SCAD academic and residence halls. It’s great to see all of the programs and activities SCAD has to offer, and you may discover a new hobby or favorite study spot.

10. Have an open-door policy the first few weeks

Many of your future close friends could be sitting in their dorm rooms, wondering who to hang out with when you’re just across the hall wondering the same thing. Leave your door open or put a note outside inviting in guests. (For safety reasons, it probably makes sense to only do this if you live on campus and if your roommates are home.) Introduce yourself to people, and stop by when you hear your neighbor playing that one song you thought nobody else knew. The greatest part about campus housing is that your best friends at SCAD are literally right around the corner.