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To the People Who Live in My Dorm Next Year

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

When I came to college in August, I had no idea how I would feel about living in the dorms.  I was devastated when I found out in June that I was assigned to Leopold.  First of all, I knew I definitely didn’t want to be in Lakeshore. I knew was that Lakeshore is far from the center of campus and I was definitely not the “I love nature, let’s go run to Picnic Point” type.  Second of all, I had never even heard of Leopold.  

On move-in day, I warmed up a little bit to my new home.  I had no idea Leopold was the newest dorm on campus. I also had no idea that there is not only air-conditioning, but also a walk-in closet and a lofted bed where I could actually sit up (more like stand up). Apparently, these were luxuries I had in Leo compared to Sellery and Witte.  

Leopold wasn’t just the place I lived for the last nine months.  It’s the place where I met my new friends. I have learned more about myself there than I ever did at home. This is the place that showed me how much I could grow as an individual.  All my older friends warned me about how much I would grow my freshman year, and as much as I hoped for a height growth over a character growth, they were right. 

1)  I learned how to care for myself first.

I love to put other people first, but sometimes you need to focus on you and let everyone else worry about themselves. 

2)  The importance of sleep was a hard lesson to learn.

Some nights I feel like I need to get everything done. But I (too often) reach a point where I just can’t be productive anymore because I am simply too tired.  Unless I have something really important due that I need to finish, I would just relax and go to bed.  When I was tempted to stay up to finish that discussion homework that was looked at for only a completion grade, I went to bed.  It was pointless to stay up until 2AM for that.  The lesson here: always go to bed.  All-nighters are a bad idea. 

3)  Having a roommate taught me the importance of being organized.

I can’t honestly say that I’m a neat freak, but having my room extremely messy stresses me out.  Having a roommate taught me how to keep my floor clean (Mom, I’ll try this at home).  Since I was sharing the space with someone, I had to make sure my roommate was comfortable in the space too.  I’m sure she wouldn’t have liked it if I scattered my belongings everywhere like I do at home.  Sure, my desk is messy as always, but I like to say that the mess reflects what inside my mind looks like. 

4)  Ice cream can fix anything.

It’s true— whether it’s heartbreak, stress, or finally being done with that really hard exam, ice cream has got your back.  There isn’t anything that Babcock can’t make better. 

5)  The most important lesson that I learned this semester is finally being able to stand up for myself.

Growing up, I never stood up to people. I used to always do whatever someone asked me to because I was scared of letting them down.  After many mental breakdowns this year, I have learned that sometimes I just need to say no.   Whether it be an awful roommate asking for the room on a Tuesday night, or a group wanting to get together the night before a big midterm, I learned that I need to be comfortable with saying no. While it doesn’t make dealing with other’s disappointment any easier, I have learned to remember how important my well-being is and how much it gets overlooked when I’m focused on someone else’s happiness. 

Sure, I’ll miss having some of my closest friends less than 10 feet away at all times, but it is time to see what else this crazy school has to offer.  I know at first Leopold seems overwhelming, but I promise you, you got the good end of the deal (and yes, you will get used to the walk).  The first time I walked into a dorm in another building I was appalled at (a) how hot it was, and (b) how small it was.  Use what Leopold has to offer to your advantage: crank the AC, and have friends over—you have the space!  Here’s a pro tip to keep in mind, though: make sure you have your keys, or leave the door open when you go to the shower.  Having to walk to the desk in your towel is beyond embarrassing. 

Make the most of your freshman year, you only get one and it goes WAY faster than you think it would. 

It’s been real Leo.

Hannah, originally from Milwaukee, WI is a Campus Correspondent for HC Wisconsin.  Hannah is a Senior and is studying Political Science and Psychology.  She aspires to work in health policy and will run for office one day.  She is never seen without a cup of coffee in hand and loves to eat any food in sight, especially sushi.  Outside of school, Hannah frequents Badger sporting events and likes to hang out with her friends on the weekends finding new things to do and new places to eat.  Hannah also runs her own Mary Kay business and is obsessed with keeping up with the latest makeup trends! This will be her seventh semester on the Her Campus team, and she loves the org more and more each semester!  It is Hannah's favorite thing that she is involved in on campus and highly recommends anyone with an interest in writing, journalism, or blogging to get involved, you won't regret it! On Wisconsin!! 
Madison is a senior at the University of Wisconsin pursuing a major in English Literature with minors in Entrepreneurship and Digital Media Studies. Post college, Madison plans to complete her dreams of being the next Anna Wintour. In her free time, Madison enjoys listening to Eric Hutchinson, eating dark chocolate, and FaceTiming her puppies back home. When she isn't online shopping, or watching YouTube bloggers (ie Fleur DeForce), Madison loves exploring the vast UW Campus and all it has to offer! She is very excited to take this next step in her collegiette career as Campus Correspondent and Editor-in-Chief for HC Wisco. On Wisconsin!