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What I Wish I’d Known Sooner

June 6, 2022
people applauding at a sporting event
Student Cowboy Coach Erin McDonald cheers at a men’s basketball game.

Students share their perspectives for incoming freshmen.

“I wish I’d known how fun college was going to be and all of the great things I’d get to experience despite changing circumstances, heartbreak and anything else that I felt went ‘wrong’ in my life. And that no matter what happens, I will end up exactly where I need to be. Being a UW Cowboy is honestly a blessing. Not everyone gets to experience the family you gain when you enroll and graduate here, and I think that’s awesome. It’s like we have our own little slice of heaven. So: Take advantage of it, love it, never give it up, and help us Cowboys make the world a better place.” –Erin McDonald, Colorado Springs, Colo., junior, chemistry

“I wish I had known it is OK to ask for help. I was so nervous about asking for help when I first started at UW, and I would wait until I felt overwhelmed before asking. There are so many people and resources all over this campus that are here to support you and answer all your questions (even the ones you might think are silly, like how to navigate the Classroom Building). All you need to do is ask for help, and you will find it!” –CeeJay Berg, Rock Springs, Wyo., senior, accounting and economics, minors in honors and finance

“I wish I had someone on campus who I could go to for questions, who was closer to my age, so it felt less weird and stressful—and that is what I am currently here for and why we started Cowboy Coaching! I also wish I knew that I should make more friends and get out of the dorms more. Your freshman year will probably be the easiest year. You still need to pay attention and study, but I would recommend that you go out and have fun too and make some friends!” –Emily Powell, Windsor, Colo., graduate student, pharmacy 

“I wish I had known that there was so much I missed out on by going home so often. I went home almost every other weekend during my first semester. I missed countless football games, school and sorority events, and the opportunity to meet new people and work on friendships I already had. It made my spring semester more difficult and lonelier.” –Abigail Klenk, Loveland, Colo., senior, social studies secondary education and history with an ESL endorsement

“Know how you need to study and how to manage your time sooner rather than later. The quicker you know how to succeed, the easier college classes will become for you. Make friends in your same major so that you have a group to support each other as you go through your same classes together.” –Alec Wallen, Round Rock, Texas, senior, geology and environmental system science, certificate in GIS

“I wish I would have known that the way I studied in high school is not as efficient for college schoolwork. Trying to maintain more detailed information in a faster-paced setting can get overwhelming, but managing your time really helps set a study schedule.”  –Ciara Thompson, Sterling, Colo., junior, social work with minors in disabilities studies and psychology

“As a freshman at community college, I wish I’d known that it’s OK to take extra time in school and focus on finding what works best for me as an individual rather than how college ‘should’ be done. As a nontraditional student transferring to UW as a junior, I wish I’d had the chance to get more acquainted with campus. Because of the world circumstances when I came in, I felt really isolated.” –Emilygrace Piel, Cheyenne, Wyo., senior, theatre design and tech management, focus in stage management

person in cap and gown riding on the shoulders on several other people
UW graduates celebrate at the spring commencement ceremony.

“You are going to change. This world is big and scary, and it is so very easy to make mistakes. Some days you will hate yourself, and some days you’ll just hate the world, and most days you won’t feel entirely happy. There will be many moments when you wonder if it was all worth it. It was. Don’t doubt that. You know what to do, and you’ll do it right.” –Lona van der Linden, San Diego, Calif., sophomore, computer science

“I wish I knew how fast time would go in college. I feel like I am still a freshman, even though I’m graduating in May. The time that you spend here will be so important learning who you are, so make the most of it!”  –Maddy Jenkins, Jackson, Wyo., senior, kinesiology 

Graduation Steps

Did you know graduation is more than an event? There are steps you need to take, including...

  • Check your degree progress

  • Making sure any credits from other institutions are transferred

  • Settle any outstanding

  • fees to the university

  • Declare your graduation date via WyoRecords

  • Register for commencement and order regalia

If you have questions, contact ssgraduation@uwyo.edu, or call 307-766-4858 for more information!

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