5 Things I Learned

Spring break came and went, and now even graduation is done. It’s finally time to throw the papers off your desk and march out of the classroom in step with your classmates like a scene straight out of a Disney Channel Original movie.

I’m planning on living it up in my last summer before I’ll need a big boy job. But before I get into the swing of summer, I think it’s best to revisit some of my successes and failures of my first year on campus at UW-Whitewater. I’m giving you my list of the 5 things I needed to learn to succeed here. Check them out, and see what you can pick up:

  1. Become a Planning Black-Belt:

            This was the first year of school since 3rd grade that my school didn’t provide me with an assignment notebook. I had never used my assignment notebook much in the past 10 years, but in college poor planning skills quickly catch up to you. Get yourself a daily planner, calendar app or some other tool to help you remember obligations.


2. Join a Club you never thought you would:

There’s tons of Student Orgs on Whitewater’s campus. From College Dems to Outdoor Adventure Club, the range of offerings we have here is wide enough that there’s sure to be something you could check out. I joined S.A.G.E. which is an environmental activism group on campus. It’s helped me to expand my worldview on important issues, as well as giving me an easy outlet to make friends.

3. Embrace the City

  No, Whitewater isn’t the most exciting place, and it definitely has its warts.  However, if you know where to look, it’s easy to see the deceptive amount of small-town charm that Whitewater has. Visiting our city’s parks and landmarks has helped me feel more at home. The local businesses appreciate your patronage, and it won’t take long for you to develop a favorite 2 a.m. pizza place or cafe to study at. And seriously, get a Brita filter.

4. Befriend your Profs:

            I’ve definitely had good professors and bad ones. But it only takes one faculty (or staff) to change your life. I’ve received job offers and internship opportunities from the faculty, among other opportunities. And remember that all-star student your prof. kept referencing at the beginning of the semester? Those are the kinds of students that go on to have successful and important jobs in the industry you’re studying to be a part of.

5. Party! (Responsibly)

            You guys, we’re in the middle of the best days of our lives! 18-22 is a wild age, and one of my biggest fears is looking back at this time period and feeling like I focused too much on work. Of course, focusing on work is great, but make sure you’re writing a story you’ll be excited to tell in the future! I’ve definitely made mistakes and partied too hard some nights, but the memories I’ve made are unforgettable.  

I could keep talking about all the crazy things that happened this year, but the past has done just that; Passed. The best thing you can do is to take the lessons learned, and put them forth towards upcoming challenges. Follow these tips, and you’ll be able to tell some fantastic stories!

I Hope you Reach your Fitness Goals!

-Ethan Maurice


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