As I begin my junior year, I’ve been reflecting a lot on how much I’ve learned since I was a confused freshman wandering aimlessly around campus. After two years of college, it’s safe to say that I’ve adapted more to the ever-busy college lifestyle since my freshman year. We put a lot of thought into what we wish someone would have told us during our first semester of college, and here’s the advice we have to offer to you all.
1. Don’t be so quick to judge
Be open-minded. Join a club you never thought you would have joined. Talk to new people. There are a lot of great opportunities out there for you to submerge yourself in new things. It’s a great way to not only meet new people, but to really get involved with the campus community.
2. (Romantic) Relationships aren’t everything
Don’t get me wrong, you may find that the love of your life lives across the hall, but remember that college is also a time to grow as an individual. Keep this in the back of your mind and try to continuously learn both for and about yourself.
3. Check out the Involvement Fair
There are clubs for EVERYTHING. Go to a meeting, and get the feel of what an organization is about. It’s a great way to start building your resume and again, you’ll meet a ton of new people along the way! This year’s Involvement Fair will be on Wednesday, September 9th, 2015 from 11-2 in Wyman Mall (UC to Goodhue). If you feel like you may need some guidance on what to get involved in, be sure to make an appointment with a Student Involvement Office intern! They are here to help you get connected to everything the UWW has to offer. For more information, check out the following link. (http://bit.ly/1M8a7Nw)
4. Accept your parent’s help
Independence that first year of college is amazing, but sometimes you WILL need to ask for help from your parents, and that’s okay.
5. Get enough sleep!
You should not be pulling all-nighters every night. It WILL catch up to you and it’ll affect your health, grades, and wellbeing. Sleep. Sleep. Sleep.
6. Work hard play hard
Working hard your first semester is vital. You don’t want to get into bad study habits your first semester a kill your GPA. Go to the library, but at the same time, make sure you’re not forgetting to have some fun, too.
7. Attend SI sessions
If you’re having trouble with a class, go to the SI session! SI (Supplemental Instruction) sessions are there for students who may be struggling with course content or just want the extra review of material. These can be very helpful and can save you a lot of stress if you feel like you may not have done the best on one of your exams.
8. Attend Advising meetings
THIS IS IMPORTANT. You don’t want to be taking classes you don’t need. Your advisors are here to help make sure you stay on track, so don’t skip your advising meetings! If you’re unsure of what career path you may want to go down or want to learn more about a specific industry, you can also set up a meeting with a Career Advisor as well. Check out this link for more information on Career Advising Services. (http://bit.ly/1UE5Yjv)
9. Call home
Your family misses you; don’t forget about them when you’re at school. Make sure to give them a call every once in awhile!
10. Diversify classes
Being in five business classes can be both stressful and boring. Switch up your classes to make sure you stay interested in what you’re learning.
11. Student Discounts
Your student ID gets you SO many discounts! Take advantage of that and save your money, you broke college students.
12. Never stop applying for scholarships and grants
Your parents probably made you apply for a ton of different grants and scholarships. Don’t stop once you get to college. Keep looking for them and save yourself some money on tuition. It’s an expensive four (hopefully) years.
13. Read the syllabus
I know hearing each professor go over their syllabus is boring as can be, but there is a lot of very useful information in them. Make sure you read it all and know the expectations for that class right off the bat. Knowing important dates for each of your class will help you plan ahead and avoid any potential conflicts.
Good luck to all of you freshmen on your first semester of college! Remember to always make the most out of your time here, it goes by all too quickly.