College comes with its own set of unique obstacles and experiences, but it’s not always easy to know where to turn. Whether you’re a returning upperclassman or incoming freshman, here are some of the best Athens and University of Georgia resources to check out during your time in the Classic City.
Welcome to UGA: UGA Student Affairs will host the Welcome UGA Initiative to welcome incoming and returning students to campus. The kickoff event will be the First Night @ the First event in Tate Plaza on Aug. 13 at 8 p.m., featuring 300-person bingo, desserts, movies, prizes and more. The initiative also includes the traditional Freshman Welcome event on Aug. 16 at 6 p.m. where the class of 2026 can form the “Super G” on Dooley Field.
Two engagement fairs are also included, on Aug. 30 in the Tate Student Center and Sept. 1 in the Ramsey Student Center, as a part of the Ramsey Palooza event. Both fairs will provide students the chance to connect with more than 150 student organizations, while the Ramsey Palooza fair will feature laser tag and other athletic events as well.
The final event is BeWellUGA Fest on Sept. 7, introducing students to both student organizations and resources devoted to wellbeing.
“We’re really hoping that students are getting that sense that they are welcome truly and holistically, and being their entire selves coming to campus,” Director of Student Transitions Nicole McConnell said.
The UGA Union provides a ton of programming for students throughout the year, and Campus Labs keeps a list of student organizations. Examples include clubs for various ethnicities and religions, as well as hobbies like knitting and interests like anime.
Financial Support: UGA Financial Hardship Resources offers support for students struggling with a variety of financial difficulties. Whether a newfound struggle or a recurring shortage of funds, its website offers contact information for free food, supplies, employment and counseling.
Athens-Clarke County also has assistance programs for residents requiring support for monthly bills and utilities, as well as general financial crisis support. Programs such as WaterSmart provide specific tools to track water usage and manage spending.
Politics: With changing attitudes, friends and scenery, new and returning students alike may find themselves wanting to get involved in politics. Athens has plenty of opportunities for both local and national involvement. You may have heard of the UGA College Republicans and Young Democrats, but interested students can find more specific options in organizations like Students for Socialism or Turning Point USA at UGA. Students can also step out of the traditional realm through groups such as Common Ground, which allows members to debate with those who have differing political ideologies. Protests, rallies and speakers appear throughout the semester, so be sure to keep an eye out for flyers as you walk through campus or downtown. Many groups also spread the word through social media apps like Instagram.
Health and Fitness: The LGBT Resource Center located in Memorial Hall is a great resource not only for LGBTQ+ students at UGA, but also a safe space for all to address gender and sexuality.
Project Period at UGA is a student organization with a mission to end stigma surrounding menstruation while also providing menstrual products, resources, workshops and education to those in need.
Located on Oconee Street minutes from campus, Nuçi’s Space brings mental health awareness and endeavors to offer a safe space for musicians. Similarly, the Active Minds chapter at UGA works to address mental health among students by providing resources and support.
On the more personal side, the University Health Center offers free and private sexual education and guidance through its staff, as well as workshops and online resources. The UHC also provides the Condom Express program, which offers free male and female contraceptives and other safe-sex supplies delivered to residence halls or available for in-person pickup for students living off campus.
Going Green: If you have a green thumb, try visiting UGArden, a student-run farm on South Milledge Avenue that provides sustainable food to those in need while teaching healthy food practices. The Horticulture Club at UGA allows students to meet others interested in plants and the green industry.
Fair Fashion is a student organization whose goal is to educate those involved about waste and unethical labor in the fashion industry, with an extra focus on informing how to thrift and obtain clothes through sustainable means.
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