Arcade’s guide to making the most of your freshman year

Chloe Christian, Staff Reporter

At Tulane University, every freshman faces the overwhelming challenge of taking advantage of not only on-campus opportunities, but also the abundant possibilities of New Orleans. With easy access to the music and cultural scene of New Orleans, every freshman should embrace the thrill of new experiences.

Whether you’re coming from the suburbs of the east coast, cities along the West Coast, or even out of the country, nowhere really compares to living in New Orleans. Generally, the fast pace of college forces us to experiment with different identities and interests. Before any Tulane student finishes their freshman year, there are some activities and experiences they simply must pursue before packing up their final boxes. 

Music-lovers of any genre, whether it be jazz, electronic, or rap, should seek out inexpensive events at local venues. The Republic, House of Blues and Tipitina’s, as well as Mardi Gras World, host musicians from Kendrick Lamar and Lupe Fiasco to Disclosure and Ellis Marsalis. The wide range of music paired with the intimate atmospheres of the venues fosters a more personal experience with the musicians on stage. Tulane students can often score cheap tickets, as well, making concerts an easy activity to do with friends.

Shopping along Magazine Street is a mandatory activity for anyone interested in fashion. With quirky vintage stores such as Funky Monkey and access to everyday brands like American Apparel, an afternoon shopping along Magazine Street is promised to ensure good finds. Magazine Street also offers an abundance of restaurants, such as Reginelli’s, Dat Dog and Rum House so students can be sure to get inexpensive and amazing dinners far better than Bruff.

Tulane students should make the effort to culturally familiarize and educate themselves outside of the classroom. From the World War II Museum to the Audubon Aquarium of the Americans to the historic French Quarter (yes, there’s more to the Quarter than just Bourbon Street) to any local art gallery along Julia Street, there are endless ways to immerse yourself in the culture of the city and have fun while doing it.

New Orleans hosts an innumerable amount of festivals per year and incoming freshman are obligated to check out at least a handful. Voodoo Music + Arts Experience in the fall and BUKU Music + Art Project in the spring, which host acts from Skrillex to Future to Chance the Rapper to Florence and the Machine, are two of most popular music festivals among Tulane students.

Many others, like the French Quarter Fest, Strawberry Festival, Po Boy Fest and New Orleans Poetry Festival are also celebrated events, showcasing the best of New Orleans food, writing, music and the typical “Big Easy” attitude.

The most important New Orleans cultural event for any Tulane freshman, however, is the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, more commonly known as Jazz Fest. This festival has an audience ranging all ages from all different places, as its food and music attract people from all over the world. While it often takes place in the midst of spring semester finals, few would argue that it is not a worthwhile experience, so do yourself a favor, take a study break and get a day pass.

With the Tulane Freshman Bucket List under your belt, not only will you feel like you’ve maximized your first year in college, you’ll also be ready to turn around and do it all again for three more amazing years.