1) Mustang Corral – Before classes start, first years can choose to go on a three-day, off-campus retreat. Despite the rumors you may have heard about Mustang Corral, it is great way to bond with fellow new students (even if it is bonding over how much you want a comfy bed).
2) Night at the Club – With more than 120 organizations, Night at the Club is the perfect event to get a feel of the different organizations that SMU has to offer. In addition to tables put up by the organizations, there is a mechanical bull, photo booths and treats for all first years.
3) Block Party – Start off the school year with Block Party. Block Party happens within the first couple of weeks of school. It allows students to meet each other and get excited for the upcoming sports season with music, food and free goodies.
4) Boulevarding – SMU students don’t tailgate, we Boulevard. Before each football game, tents come up all along the Boulevard. SMU students, faculty, alumni and friends come out to enjoy food, drinks and games on the Boulevard.
5) Family Weekend – After being away from home for over a month, Family Weekend is the perfect time to have your parents visit. You get to show them a little bit of your life at SMU, including spending some time Boulevarding and a football game.
6) Student Senate – A great way to get involved as a first-year is to represent your freshman class in student government. Five first years are selected through an online voting process to represent the class of 2016 in Student Senate.
7) State Fair – Fried food, rides, games and more are all at your fingertips at Dallas’ annual fair at Fair Park in October. Known for a wide selection of fried food, the State Fair has it all from fried Oreos to fried butter.
8) Brown Bag – Each semester SMU’s prestigious dance programs invites its patrons to spend their lunch hour taking in original pieces of choreography with its Brown Bag dance program. Word to the wise: get to the Owen Arts Lobby early, seating is very limited.
9) Homecoming – Organizations, including many Greek ones, compete against each other in the following categories – banner making, window painting, Peruna painting and float building. The week builds up to the Homecoming parade before the football game.
10) Freshman Foregiveness – Freshmen forgiveness gives first years the chance to retake a class and have the higher grade go toward your GPA rather than dropping the class and receiving a W on your transcript. It’s also important to know that with freshman forgiveness both grades still appear on your transcript.
11) Celebration of Lights – At the end of fall semester, thousands of Christmas lights are displayed on Dallas Hall and its surrounding area. SMU students come out to sing Christmas carols, listen to groups perform and hear President Turner read The Christmas Story.
12) Mac’s Place – Nestled inside McElvaney Hall, Mac’s Place is SMU’s best alternative to on-campus eating compared to Umphrey Lee Cafeteria. With made-to -order sandwiches, a wide array of pizzas and salads and other late-nigh snacks, Mac’s Place is more than just a freshman staple, it’s a must.