Here are some of the things you should definitely do this semester.
Every fall, students from around the world pack their bags and head to West Texas to attend Texas Tech University. From the moment they set foot in Lubbock, there will be a constant stream of learning, both in and out of the classroom, along with events to attend, places to visit and traditions to celebrate.
Navigating all of this is easy with the help of TechAnnounce, which provides daily campus updates, and the digital signs located throughout the buildings on campus. Of all of the things to do on campus, here are some new students definitely should take part in during their first semester at Texas Tech.
Texas Tech is a university full of unique and beloved traditions, maintained with the help of the student spirit organizations, the Saddle Tramps and High Riders. Many students learn the Fight Song and the Matador Song during Red Raider Orientation and give a Guns Up for a photo in front of the Texas Tech Seal and Will Rogers & Soapsuds statue, two of the most well-known landmarks on the campus.
Throughout the year, there are several chances to participate in other traditions, like Arbor Day, the annual event focused on beautifying the campus. Be sure to check the event calendar regularly for upcoming opportunities.
Getting involved on campus isn't just an easy way to celebrate campus traditions, it's also the best way to connect with the university and the local community. With more than 750 registered student organizations at Texas Tech, students have the chance to find like-minded peers, network within their majors, give back to the community and participate in intramural sports.
Visiting the Student Organization Fair during Raider Welcome Week is the best chance to meet members of various organizations and find a group that fits your interests. There, you'll find organizations for international, transfer and first-generation students as well as those that focus on languages, religion or pop culture.
Find your favorite spot
Explore the campus and find a place (or several) where you can relax, eat, study or hang out with friends. Give the academic buildings a walkthrough to find the best places to study (or nap!) between classes, and drop in on your professors during office hours – it's one of the best ways to help you succeed in your classes and beyond.
Take a walk and keep an eye out for the many pieces that make up one of the top 10 university public art collections in the U.S. Several can be found in and around the outdoor leisure and study areas throughout campus.
Satisfy your hunger
Every residence hall has food options and places to gather, but there also are a variety of choices across campus, like the Starbucks at Barnes & Noble in the Student Union Building (SUB) or Baker Bros in The Commons at Talkington Hall.
Sam's Express and Sam's Place mini-markets offer quick snacks and ready-to-go sandwiches and salads, while larger facilities like The Market at Stangel/Murdough offer everything from carved meats and Mexican, Asian and Italian eats to frozen yogurt.
Other options on campus include gluten-free items, salad and fruit bars, a full-service Starbucks in the new Honors Residence Hall, a full-service Chick-Fil-A in the Rawls College of Business and The StrEaT food truck that pops up in a different place each day. Follow Hospitality Services on Twitter or Facebook to find the food truck location.
Take advantage of the library
Visit the Texas Tech University Libraries and get acquainted with the resources available before the frenzy of finals. Besides books, the library includes anatomical models, electronic resources like laptop, camera and audio equipment checkout, and government document and map collections. The library also offers printing, scanning and copy services along with individual and group study rooms and areas.
Labs throughout the library give students access to 3-D printing, animation software, a digital media studio and a recording studio. Students who need help with research can book an appointment with one of the librarians who are knowledgeable in just about any subject.
Once your mental workout is done, make time to stop by the Robert H. Ewalt Student Recreation Center, or "the Rec.” Whether you're looking for a pickup game of basketball, need to lift some weights or you want to try your hand at the rock wall, you can do it at the Rec.
Daily classes in things like yoga, hip hop aerobics and cycling, many of them free to students, offer the chance to learn new fitness routines. Outside, the leisure pool includes a lazy river, a lap pool and a hot tub.
Not sure where to start? The Fit/Well team can help with personal training, wellness coaching and nutritional guidance.
Attend tailgates and football games
The atmosphere at Texas Tech during football season is incomparable, especially on game days, when there's a tailgate on every corner of the campus.
Get your Red & Black on and head to Jones AT&T Stadium (or "the Jones,” as students call it) early – you don't want to miss the Masked Rider leading the team out on the field or a chance for a photo with Raider Red as he makes his way through the stands. Don't worry about buying a ticket – students get into all home games, for all sports, free with their student ID.
When Texas Tech wins, you'll hear the Victory Bells ringing out across the campus, just like they do after every Red Raider win.
Participate in Homecoming
Of all the weeks leading up to a football game, Homecoming week is one of the largest celebrations of Red Raider culture. Student organizations' boards and banners pop up all over campus, creating tons of photo opportunities, and the homecoming parade at the end of the week features floats from many of those same organizations.
The week also includes S.O. Sing, a singing and dance competition among student organizations and their homecoming court candidates, a bonfire and a variety of other daily events. The week ends with the crowning of the homecoming king and queen during the game against Iowa State.
Bring your semester to an end, Red Raider style
Summer and fall offer countless chances to appreciate the Spanish Renaissance architecture and landscaping of the campus. But before students head home for winter break, it's time to experience the annual Carol of Lights, which brings an entirely different kind of beauty to Raiderland.
The ceremony begins at the University Seal on Broadway and concludes with the flip of a switch on more than 25,000 lights on 18 buildings around Memorial Circle, the Engineering Key and the Broadway entrance.
The lights can be seen every night from dusk to midnight through December.