10 Things Graduating Me Wishes Freshman Me Knew

As the end of my senior year comes closer, I’ve realized that there are so many things I know now that I wish that people had told me about when I was coming in as a freshman. There’s so much advice that I didn’t have that could have been helpful to me. For your own benefit, I now present some things that I wish I had done or known as a freshman (or even as a sophomore or junior).

1. Taking some time to worry about yourself is sometimes more important than worrying about your resume or schoolwork.

For most of my freshman year, I spent my time overworking myself and worrying about my future or my schoolwork, which resulted in my being overstressed and not even doing as well as I wanted in school because I was worrying so much about money. I know now, however, that no matter how much I have to do, taking just a half hour to relax and watch a show or to talk to a loved one is so much better than being perpetually stressed and getting the same amount of work done anyway.

2. It’s okay to ask for help or get tutoring.

I didn’t know about the services offered on campus for the longest time and I really regret not going to some of the tutors on campus more—it really would have helped my grades in things like calculus! For more information about some of the many services offered on campus, please click here or here.

3. Go to more concerts.

Okay, I’ll admit it: I’ve only been to one concert in my life. I think that this is one of the things I could have very easily done but never really had it in the forefront of my mind, so it never seemed important. However, now that I have spent 4 years seeing my friends going to a lot of concerts, I wish that I had gone to some! Freshman year me: have fun. Go to concerts.

4. Enjoy your friends and make the most of your time with them.

I love my friends, and I’m so lucky to have found such an amazing group of people. Now, as a graduating senior, I’m going to miss all of the time that I had with them, and wish that sometimes we had gone out more and bonded in ways other than just doing homework together.

5. Join clubs while you can!

I was, and still am, relatively unaware of just how many clubs there are at UCD. I do wish that I had looked for more clubs that forced me to have a life outside of work and school—something that didn’t just look good on my resume!

6. Explore the campus because some parts are really beautiful.

To my own shame, I still haven’t explored the arboretum. To my freshman (or sophomore, junior, and earlier-senior) self: just go and take some time to walk around the arboretum already!

7. Take advantage of the incredibly cheap ARC classes!

Right now, I’m taking a dance class for only $40! Crazy, right? What’s crazier is that I just found out about this in the last quarter of my senior year. There is an incredible variety of classes that are offered at the ARC for almost nothing—I highly recommend them. If you’re interested in this, go to the ARC website.

8. Use your free Mondavi Center ticket!

PSA: Your first ticket at the Mondavi Center is free! While most people don’t know about this, I was a dumb freshman and only thought that this was offered for freshman and, when I forgot to use it, I spent the next 3 years not knowing that this is actually offered for all UC Davis undergrads. So please, for my sake, get your free ticket so that I can live vicariously through you.

9. Don’t think that freshman year will be slightly lonely forever—you’ll meet your best friends soon.

I spent the first quarter or so of freshman year feeling slightly lonely and out of place: I was working a lot and didn’t go out with my suitemates (I lived in Cuarto) much. If I knew then that I would quickly meet my best friends just across the parking lot, I would have had much more peace of mind. So I say to you: you won’t be lonely forever, you WILL find amazing friends and a place to fit in.

10. Not knowing what you want to do right away is okay and normal.

A part of me wishes that I had come in undeclared and played around with classes and majors. I do love my majors, but I wish that I would have known that there was a choice outside of the major that I came in with.

Have fun in college! Take long walks around the Arboretum, go to concerts, do bigger and better things with your friends, and try not to feel lonely. I promise, your time in college will be much more fulfilling and less stressful. Take my advice—you might need it someday.