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Published May 03, 2020
By Jeremy M.
The number one thing I wish I could tell my freshman self would be to set a goal of
meeting one new person every day. This simple yet extremely effective tactic can not
only help you gain connections for your future endeavors, but it can lead to lifelong
friendships. Don’t just stop at “Hey, how’s it going?” – try to get to know the person. You can even exchange phone numbers or social media
accounts with each other if you feel it’s OK. Whether it’s someone in your residence hall, one of your classes, or someone standing in front of you in line at the Union Starbucks,
make it a goal to meet one new stranger every day.
The next thing I wish I could tell my freshman self would be to go to as many university
events as possible. Whether it’s a basketball game, a public speaker or a random club
giving away free food, you should GO! You never know who you might meet or what new interest you might come across. Heck, even if you don’t meet anyone new or find a hidden passion, you’ll still get some free food. You can find tons of campus events.
As corny as it sounds, studying abroad changed my life. I got the chance to study
at the University of Hawaii at Manoa through the National Student Exchange Program.
While I didn't’t study internationally, I still learned priceless life lessons, met
lifelong friends and discovered my true self. You can check out a video from my exchange experience in Hawaii. I would highly recommend studying abroad to anyone. You can find everything you need to know about education abroad.
This is something I think everyone can utilize. Yes, it’s obviously important to go
to class, study hard, earn good grades and learn new things; however, there are a lot of things to learn outside the classroom, too. College is a place where you can find out who you truly are as a person. You learn how to deal with relationships, how to live independently, how to manage your time and
so much more. Go into college knowing that you’re going to be learning valuable lessons
both inside and outside of the classroom.
Your freshman year of college has finally come and it’s the moment you’ve been waiting for your whole life; you finally get to move out of your childhood home and live independently! This is the perfect time to create a schedule that both encourages a healthy lifestyle and can stick with you forever. I had absolutely no personal schedule the fall semester of my freshman year and because of that, I only did all right in my classes.
When I came back for the spring semester, I knew I had to change. I built a daily
schedule around my class times that allowed time for some personal reading, an hour-long workout, three meals, ample study time, an hour of leisure AND eight hours of sleep. Here’s an example schedule from my freshman year:
The on-campus and online resources were some of the most underrated aspects of my
freshman year. During my senior year at UW, I finally realized not only how helpful
those resources are, but how many of them there are. From tutoring to Half Acre equipment
rentals to IT help, UW offers some incredible student resources. The library itself has countless resources. You can check out everything the library has to offer and some of the university’s online student resources.
This is not easy, but totally worth it in the end. Some of the hardest classes I ever
took (which were not very fun at the time) ended up being some of my favorites. They
became my favorite classes because they challenged me, and they showed me what I was capable of if I truly put in the work to learn. Passing
a tough class is only going to make you better in every aspect! Taking classes unrelated to my major is something I never actually did, but
I wish I did. If you’re an engineering major, take a social studies class for an elective
(if it fits into your degree plan, of course). You might be surprised at what new
passions you discover.
Despite common beliefs, professors are actually human beings just like us (some of the nicest and coolest human beings too, I might add). Don’t just mosey through college without getting to know your professors.
Send them an email introducing yourself or telling them how much you like their class or even how you hope the football team gets a bowl game this season. You can also visit them during office hours and just chat
in their office or speak with them after class. In short, go out of your way to get to know your professors.
Some of my favorite college memories come from playing intramural sports with my friends.
I didn't’t start playing until my senior year, but I wish I would have played every
semester during my time at UW. Some of the most popular sports include football, soccer and basketball — but there are so many more! Check out the IM website for more information.
To wrap this list up, I wish I could tell my freshman self just how quickly college
goes by. As my final semester of undergraduate winds down, I feel like I just moved
in as a freshman yesterday. The past four years came and went so incredibly fast and I wish I could
just go back in time and relive it all over again. As you make your way through college,
there will be days that feel long and lectures that feel like they may never come
to an end, but don’t let that stop you from having fun, making memories and enjoying
some of the best times of your life. As a young man once famously said while he was
taking a shower, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”