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The 6 Stages of Your Freshman Year at UF

Once more, it’s the beginning of Fall semester, and you know what that means…a new class of freshmen roaming around campus!

As the Class of 2020 is still getting used to their very first semester here at the University of Florida, returning undergrads and graduate students alike reminisce about the ways in which our own freshman year of college was simply unforgettable (also stressful, but we won’t linger over that). Newcomers to the college scene, be prepared for the five stages of freshman year.

1. The “OMG, I can’t believe I just graduated high school!” stage.

Senior year of high school was the best year of your life and the only thing that can top it is a whole semester on your own for the very first time. Sure, you’ll miss your parents and pets, but isn’t that what Skype is for? Anyways, now you finally get the chance to do whatever you want with complete freedom of choice–who’s going to tell you no? The world is your oyster.

2. The “Uh yeah, I can do anything” stage.

Watch out, world, because syllabus week is over! Yeah, you may have been slacking off that last semester (or, let’s face it, the whole year) of high school, but college is different. You’ll be getting the top grades in your classes, making so many friends you won’t be able to keep count, and joining every single organization there is on campus. You swear this is going to be the most productive year of your life.

3. The “Wait, I’m actually super confused” stage.

“Where’s the Hub again?” “Am I supposed to show my ID every time I use the bus or does the rule only apply to some buses?” “Why on earth didn’t I take the Good Life hybrid?” “Will my SNAP ever pick me up?” “When will I actually remember my schedule without checking it on my phone?” “How am I already struggling when the year’s just begun?” It’s information overload and sometimes you actually feel like curling up into a ball with all of the stress that’s going your way.

4. The “Hey, I think I might be getting the hang of this” stage.

You’ve mastered the correct routes to get to class, you’ve bought the Smokin’ Notes, and now you’re slowly getting the hang of school! Sure, there’s a couple of hiccups here and there (like that one time you spent all of your Flex Bucks on Starbucks), but it’s all a positive learning experience. The best part about it? Everyone’s going at their own pace, so you learn to let loose and do things your own way like the independent woman you always knew you were.

5. The “OK, freshman year isn’t that bad!” stage.

One thing’s clear: you certainly won’t be valedictorian now with that C- in Chem. But you slowly find out that it’s alright: what you lack in academic rigor, you make up for with a fantastic circle of close friends. Besides the convenience of living in a dorm with fellow freshmen (and always having a buddy for late-night Chomp It runs), you get away with taking easy Gen Ed classes and slipping off to Gator Nights every Friday. Most importantly, with your freshman year squad, you finally learn that your UF family could be a home away from home.

6. The “Wait, it’s over?” stage.

“What, freshman year is over already? It feels like it started only yesterday.” Life won’t be the same now that you’ve moved on from the dorms, but you’ll always have a soft spot for all you accomplished as a first year in the University of Florida.

These two semesters were full of ups and downs, and you’ll always be grateful for all of the life lessons learned. Anyways, it’s only a few months of summer vacation and you’ll be back soon enough, singing “We are the Florida Gators” at the top of your lungs once more!

Photo source:photobucket.com

Anna Burbano is a junior at the University of Florida pursuing a B.A. in English. Alongside minoring in Classical Studies, she harbors a (not so secret) passion for fashion magazines and musical theatre. Most of the time, you’ll find Anna daydreaming about the following things: what life would be like as a Disney princess, meeting lyrical genius Lin-Manuel Miranda, or any number of dashing Jane Austen heroes (especially Northanger Abbey’s Mr. Tilney). Follow her at www.annaburbano.com!
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