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7 Things They Don’t Tell You at SOAR

Welcome to campus freshies! I hope you’ve enjoyed your first weeks here and are starting to feel at home in Madison! It’ll take some time to adjust, but before you know it, four years will have flown by and you’ll wish you were back in this awkward new-freshman phase.

While SOAR does its best to prepare you for your journey at UW-Madison, there’s plenty of things your campus guides leave out too. Her Campus is here to help you!

1. Don’t wear your lanyard around your neck.       

2. Don’t buy your textbooks: it’s so much cheaper to rent them online from Abesbooks, Amazon or Chegg.
Plus, the important stuff is usually already highlighted!

 2.5: Sometimes you don’t even have to buy the textbook… Save your money and just go to the library, borrow a friend’s copy, or just skip it all together—as long as you actually pay attention in class, you’ll be alright. 

3. Fresh Market is overpriced.
Go to Cap Center or Copps for better deals.

 

4. Avoid party-hopping in a “freshman pack.”
We can spot you from a mile away and we will lock our doors.

 

5. On that note, having a huge squad of friends is great—but you don’t always need to do things in a pack!
It’s okay to grab lunch by yourself or hit the library solo. ​

6. It’s okay to switch your class schedule around (and you probably should!).
When you register for classes during SOAR, you’re told to “just take whatever interests you, it doesn’t matter yet.” But HEY, IT MATTERS. Yes, take things you’re interested in, but try to pick courses that at least count for basic degree requirements (like a Com A/B or an ethnic studies course) or count towards a major you think you might declare.

 

7. Go to student org meetings for the free food… but don’t be that person who doesn’t join any. Get involved!  ​

 

We’ve all fumbled through our first few weeks on campus. There are going to be times you will embarrass yourself, and days when you feel out of place, but it’s a rite of passage. Welcome to the best four years of your life, Baby Badgers!

Lily R. Hansen, a 2017 UW-Madison graduate, served as a managing editor of the HC Wisconsin chapter beginning her sophomore year. An avid reader and writer, Lily also has a passion for live music and breakfast foods.  
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