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  • Randi Sarf

Freshman Year

As I’m in my final days as a Freshman in college, I wanted to take a break from all of my stressful finals to write about some of the most important takeaways from my first year. Going to a college that is almost 1000 miles from home was a huge transition, and I wouldn’t say it was the easiest either. Freshman year was filled with amazing moments and some painful ones that I wish I was more prepared for. I compiled a list of things that I realized and things I wish people told me!

  1. The workload and studying are way different than High School. The first semester I thought that my High School mentality would work in college, but unfortunately, it did not. Try to find new ways to study, go-to study space and stay organized.

  2. Don’t be scared to ask for help. Starting school in a completely new area is a challenge, and your university has so many resources for support and help. You’re not alone!!!

  3. There is no need to feel guilty or not-cool for staying in. You do not need to drink every weekend or at all for that matter. Your friends will not make you feel bad for staying in.

  4. Utilize your syllabus when you get it. Mark down all the important dates and assignment so you can stay ahead of all your shit.

  5. If you’re bored, explore your new school. Especially in Madison, WI, there have been so many cool places to see when I have time!

  6. Shower shoes. That’s all.

  7. Call your mom and dad… even if you don’t need something from them. They look forward to hearing every moment that you’re experiencing at school.

  8. I did a lot of overpacking for school, bringing almost my whole closet. It is just unnecessary. Especially for me, I realized I just wear sweats every day.

  9. Time management is something you should work on. For me, I write down everything I need to do which helps me stay organized.

  10. Joining Greek life has been one of my best decisions here. I’ve made so many new friends and memories that I will always have. Being in Greek life makes a huge school a little less overwhelming.

  11. Don’t expect people to motivate you. At least for me, I don’t have my mom yelling at me to do my homework and study in college. You need to push yourself to work hard.

  12. Try to differentiate between what you need from what you want. Work on finding a healthy balance between them.

  13. Find friends who are always going to look out for you and want the best for you.

  14. Try to learn something and take something away from every experience at school, the good and bad times. It will all help shape who you are.

  15. Do spontaneous activities. Some of my favorite memories are ones that weren’t planned.

  16. Getting a tutor isn’t weird. If you need help, ask for it!

  17. Do not compare your college experience. Just because Brittany is posting a million fun pictures every single night, doesn’t mean she isn’t having any type of hard times at school. People just post what they want you to see. Try to stay away from comparing yourself to people.

  18. Don’t take anything for granted. The year flies by. Some days are harder than others, but be grateful for where you are and what’s to come. I’ve met the most amazing people, learned so many new things and have a beautiful campus. Just live your life and be your best self. Have fun with everything!

  19. Follow your morals.

  20. One of the biggest things I’ve noticed this year is the importance of taking time for yourself. You need to make sure you are happy and are getting the attention you need. Don’t be afraid to do things for yourself. Sometimes when you don’t give yourself the attention you need, it will affect other aspects of your life. Something that I learned to do is breathing techniques. It has a huge impact on making me feel less anxious, and it also helps me focus on myself and my thoughts.