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15 Things I Learned as a Freshman

It’s almost impossible to believe that my first year of college is already over. They were not lying when they said it goes by fast. One moment you’re awkwardly peeking your head out of your dorm room deciding if you should introduce yourself to those strangers in the hall, and the next moment those “strangers” are encircling you in a group hug as they prepare to move out. After nine months of figuring it out on my own, one would think I have this wealth of invaluable wisdom to share with future freshmen. As it turns out, I’m not that far from the lost, wide-eyed freshman I started out as and I still have more than my fair share of awkward moments on a daily basis. However, I do have a few gems of knowledge to share with all you future Badgers:

1. Your roommate will not make or break your college experience. Speaking from personal experience, having a roommate who is not your BFF will force you to seek companionship elsewhere, which will force you to meet new people. And isn’t that what college is all about?

2. Classes at 11 a.m. are considered “early”—really any class that requires an alarm to get up feels like a struggle.

3. Try to avoid scheduling awkward gaps in between your classes. You’ll tell yourself that you will use this time to study, when in fact you will waste the whole time taking quizzes on BuzzFeed or pinning recipes on Pinterest

4. It is not possible to have too many leggings. That never has been, and never will be, a thing.

 

(If Ryan Gosling said it, then it must be true).

5. Try to use cash whenever possible. Using a debit card desensitizes you to how much money you’re spending. By using cash, you’re less likely to fall for every sale Urban Outfitters has and you won’t be filled with dread every time you check your bank account.

6. The easiest way to avoid gaining the Freshman 15 is to stay away from crackers, chips, cookies, or bread of any kind after a night out partying. My friend and I once polished off an entire box of Lucky Charms like it was the breath of life, something we did not thank ourselves for later.

 

(On a related note, if you’re looking to get rid of any food, the dorms at 2 a.m. are the perfect place and time. A package of Oreos I brought out once lasted approximately 4 minutes and 37 seconds.)

7. Find a place you like to study that’s not your room. If you’re like me, studying in your room is fairly unproductive because there are too many distractions like TV, food, and the warm embrace of your bed.   

8. Spotify is the greatest invention ever. If you don’t have it, get it. Now.

9. Whenever you start to get sick of dining hall food (and you will get sick of it, much sooner than you think), just remember that our parents survived off of bologna-onion sandwiches and personal pizzas the consistency of a hockey puck. That always perks me right up.

10. No matter how full your closet and dresser gets, you’ll never feel like you have anything suitable to wear for going out—so thank the lord you’ll be living in a dorm with girls that do!

11. It’s best to study as much as you can during the week so you don’t have a lot to do on the weekends. There is nothing greater than waking up on a Sunday morning and knowing the only thing on your agenda is a nap and some Netflix. There is also nothing more depressing that waking up on a Sunday morning knowing you have two papers to write and a midterm to study for.

12. Call your mom. Or else she will call you, in the middle of an Econ exam, for example.

13. First impressions aren’t always everything, so try not to judge people too strongly when you first meet them. Sometimes people you could never see yourself hanging out with will become people you can’t see yourself living without.

14. It’s true what they say; the friends you meet at college will become your friends for life. You’ll be surprised at how close you become with people in just a few months. That being said, these wise words from my Girl Scout days still ring true—“Make new friends, but keep the old.” Your friends at college basically become your family, but make sure your BFFs back home know they’re still in your inner circle!

                                                                                                                                       

15. There is nothing greater than being a Wisconsin Badger. During the times when you desperately miss your family back home or when the stress of school becomes almost too much to handle, just remember that you go to the greatest school on the planet. You only get one chance to be a Badger, so make the most of it! Good luck and  ON WISCONSIN!

 

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