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25 Things I Learned in My First Half of College 

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

I’m torn between feeling that my college experience is flying by and feeling like I’ve been at UVM forever. As I’m nearing the halfway point of my undergraduate career, the one thing I can be certain about is that I’ve learned a lot. Additionally, this year I moved off campus to a house of seniors. They’ve shared advice and many, many stories about their years as underclassmen. Although I am certainly not finished growing and learning, I can confidently say that I have become a better version of myself in the last two years.

  1. You don’t have to go out every night of every weekend. You’re not missing out, and you’ll appreciate those nights out more if they’re not every night. 
  2. Busy can be good, but balance is everything. 
  3. Being vulnerable is a good thing and leads to new, meaningful friendships.
  4. Tissues and paper towels are good things to keep stocked. 
  5. Same with cold medicine. And benadryl. And any other medication you can think of. 
  6. Go to all your classes. 
  7. Sometimes people are mean, even as adults in college. That’s okay, they don’t need to dictate your experience. 
  8. Take any class that you think sounds cool- that’s how I found my major and minor. 
  9. It’s normal to change your major and to feel unsure about what you want to do. 
  10. Communicate. Communicate with everyone- your friends, roommates, professors, and family. It only helps. 
  11. Please go to the doctor when you’re sick. 
  12. No matter what the weather is like, you will sweat while walking up the hill to campus. 
  13. April in Vermont is not always warm. Sometimes it snows. Don’t bring your winter coat home in March. 
  14. It’s hard, but necessary, to carve out alone time in college.
  15. Burlington and UVM do influence your style, at least a little bit. 
  16. The Patagonia store in Burlington is way better than shopping on their website. 
  17. Make an effort to try different coffee shops, breakfast spots, and local restaurants. 
  18. Make the effort to decorate your freshman dorm and make your bed comfortable. It goes a long way. 
  19. It’s okay to cry in front of other people. 
  20. Sometimes you’ll hate UVM and sometimes you’ll love it. It’s normal, especially at the beginning of college. 
  21. Say yes! This doesn’t mean overcommitting yourself, but it does mean that you should try new things with new people. 
  22. Join a club you’re passionate about. Having a smaller community within a large one is worth it.
  23. Try out for a leadership role if you can. You’ll be really proud of yourself and what you’re capable of.
  24. College will humble you at times. 
  25. Always set a timer for your laundry a minute before it’s supposed to be done. It really sucks to find your wet laundry on top of the machine. It also sucks to wait hours for someone to get their clothes out of the machine. 

Bonus: Bring a handheld vacuum to your dorm. It will be used a ton and in my case, it led to amazing friendships with the people on my floor.

Hi! I'm Maddie Mallon and I am the current senior editor of Her Campus at the University of Vermont! I'm a junior studying Philosophy and Economics, with the hopes of attending law school after my time here at UVM. Along with being a member of Her Campus, I'm on UVM Panhellenic's executive board serving as the VP of Recruitment Programming. I've always had a passion for writing and have been writing for Her Campus since my freshman year!