Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Life > Academics

Lessons Learned: Advice for UW’s Class of 2027 

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Washington chapter.

As a junior at the University of Washington, I can’t help but reflect on my time as a wide-eyed freshman just a few short years ago. I remember feeling both excited and overwhelmed by the prospect of college life. It’s a time of immense change, with new surroundings, new people, and new challenges all vying for your attention. Looking back, there are definitely some things I wish I had done differently, and some lessons I learned the hard way. With that in mind, I wanted to share some of the advice I wish I had received as a college freshman – the lessons I wish I had learned earlier. Time is limited as a college student, and it’s important to make the most out of the experience. So, here are some tips and tricks for the incoming Class of 2027, to help you make the most out of your college experience! 

1. Attend Multiple Dawg Daze Events

Dawg Daze, which is scheduled to take place from September 20-29, 2023, offers a fantastic opportunity for incoming students to explore the campus, get acquainted with essential landmarks, and connect with fellow students and UW staff, making it an excellent way to discover resources and make new friends. Participating in Dawg Daze can also introduce you to various Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) on campus, and missing out on events could cause you to miss out on essential networking opportunities. Because I didn’t attend too many events, I definitely feel like I lost a great opportunity to meet new people at UW. 

2. Join Clubs and/or Greek Life

Joining clubs can be a great way to meet people with similar interests and create meaningful connections, especially in a large university like UW. Greek Life is another great option to make new friends, though it may not be for everyone (I knew for a fact that I was not a great fit). As someone who only joined one club during my freshman year, I can attest that not finding the right community can be discouraging. However, expanding your search can lead to new connections and fun experiences, but it’s important to keep in mind that time is limited in college, and joining early can maximize your opportunities to find a community and make the most of your experience.

3. Attend Classes In-Person and Regularly

Attending class regularly and making friends in those classes can be crucial for success in college. Personally, I found it challenging to attend online classes during my freshman year, and it was even more challenging to make friends in those classes. However, since transitioning back to in-person classes, I have made a conscious effort to attend class regularly and socialize with my peers. Not only has this helped me to form connections and make friends, but it has also improved my ability to study and do homework effectively. Remember, college is an investment in your future, and attending class and engaging with peers can help you make the most out of that investment.

4. Join a First-Year Interest Group (FIG)

Joining a First-Year Interest Group (FIG) can be a great way to create a sense of community and belonging during your first quarter at UW. FIGs allow you to take a group of classes with other incoming first-year students who share similar interests and goals, which can help foster a sense of connection and support. By taking classes together, you also have the opportunity to build relationships with your classmates, which can make studying and doing homework more enjoyable and productive. I didn’t know about FIGs when I joined the UW, and certainly feel like I missed out on a great opportunity to meet other students who had similar interests as me. 

5. Make an Effort and Have Fun 

It can be easy to feel intimidated and overwhelmed during your first year at college, but it’s essential to make an effort to have fun and make the most of your experience. Personally, I spent most of my freshman year cooped up in my dorm because I was afraid to step outside of my comfort zone. Looking back, I realize that my college years were a unique opportunity that I won’t get back, so it’s crucial to strike a balance between schoolwork and personal relationships while still having fun. By making an effort to explore campus, meet new people, and try new things, you can make your college years an unforgettable and rewarding experience.

Your freshman year is an exciting time in your life, full of new opportunities and experiences. Embrace all that UW has to offer, challenge yourself, and don’t forget to have fun along the way. Remember that college is a time for growth and self-discovery, and with the right mindset and determination, you can achieve anything you set your mind to. Here’s to a bright future and an unforgettable experience at the University of Washington!

Trushaa Ramanan

Washington '25

Trushaa is currently a sophomore at the University of Washington studying Informatics. She enjoys designing, listening to music, binge watching Netflix shows, and redecorating. She aspires to work as a UX designer and make technology more accessible and impactful for everyone.