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Recounting My Freshman Year: 3 Things I Wish I’d Done at FSU

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FSU chapter.

Now that my first year here at Florida State is coming to a close, I find myself reflecting on a lot of the things I wished I would have taken more advantage of. Unlike a lot of other schools around the country, FSU is unique in the way that it offers a lot of resources, both academic and not, that are essentially free or low-cost. 

Change up my Study habits

I don’t want to say that freshman-year classes don’t matter, but if there’s any time to experiment with trial and error, it’s now. Throughout most of my high school experience, Quizlet was used a lot. Now that I’m at college, Quizlet is still being used a lot. I find study guides on Quizlet to be a great study resource. I’ve never done badly on a test with them. At the same time, I’ve never remembered anything beyond the test either. Obviously not doing well on a test wouldn’t have been the most ideal situation, but I’ve noticed that a lot of the professors here, especially for prerequisite classes, offer a lot of extra credit opportunities. Now that I’m actually getting into my major and likely won’t get as many chances for extra credit, I regret not taking the opportunity to figure out what works best for me while I could. 

Use the free activities and amenities

FSU offers a ton of on-campus activities and amenities for students that cost nothing or next to nothing. One of my favorite places to go is Paint-a-Pot, where you can go paint different pottery pieces and have them fired. It’s located right in Askew, and while it’s not free, it is very cheap compared to other places like it. I’ve only been a couple of times, but it’s such a great way to just be able to relax, and they make great cheap gifts for people too! The student union also has a lot of activities, like Club Downunder, which hosts a bunch of concerts and different events. They even have a bowling alley for students to use. I think what I regret not taking advantage of the most, though, is all of the FSURec activities we have.

The Leach, although it can be packed at times, is a great and free way to stay in shape. They offer so many classes for students, like cycling and yoga, and I really wish I would have taken more interest in them considering how expensive gym memberships and workout classes can be. The Rez is also another great recreational activity FSU offers. The Rez is located right on a lake, just a short drive off campus, and has so many outdoor activities that are free for students. I just recently went for the first time and I kayaked, played beach volleyball, went on a tree ropes course, and got free food from the food trucks they provided. I had the best time there with my friends and it was such a great way to unwind. I do plan to take more advantage of this in the future, but I really wish I would have discovered it earlier on in the year because I think it would have helped me feel a little bit more at home here, especially when I was stuck in a dorm without a car to take me anywhere else.

Take advantage of the academic resources

As cliche as it sounds, I think the academic resources that FSU offers are something everyone should really take advantage of during their freshman year. I remember my mom constantly telling me to make appointments at the career center and with my advisor just to get myself on track for my future. I would always roll my eyes because I’m only a freshman. Why should I have to start all of that now? I don’t necessarily think that freshmen should have to get themselves heavily involved in all of the academic resources we have because, usually, they don’t even know what they want to do with their lives. However, I think it’s really important to at least get familiar with these resources, so when the time comes and they really need it, it’s not as stressful trying to navigate what exactly they need and where they should go.

I did just take advantage of the career center when I had to submit a resume for one of my classes a few weeks ago. Although I don’t really need a full, well-thought-out resume right now, I now already have the knowledge of what one should look like and include for when I do. I don’t think enough people really take advantage of this because it was basically empty when I went, but the people were extremely helpful and I’m really glad I was able to get acclimated with them earlier on in my college career. I’ve only been there one time, but I do know that they offer plenty of resources like career fairs which I’ve heard have been really helpful. Though I have been to the career center, I haven’t used the opportunity to use other academic resources like advising, office hours, or the free tutoring that is offered in the library. I felt like I had a handle on my classes this year, so I didn’t feel as if I needed to use them, but I wish I would have at least checked them out. I now feel like I might not be as prepared as I could be to attend these things when I actually need them.

Though I did have a great freshman year at FSU, I do feel regretful for not having taken more opportunities to discover the things that FSU has to offer. To any upcoming freshman reading this article: you are being given an opportunity most people don’t have by coming to FSU; use it to your advantage.

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I'm a freshman at FSU studying psychology and criminology. I love painting, watching TV, going to the beach, and hanging out with my cat.