Making the Most of Freshman Year by Figuring Out the Next Three

I didn’t have my whole life figured out Freshman Year, and I’m assuming that you don’t either (even if you have more of an idea than I did. #Undecided). And that’s okay! I’ll tell you why: Freshman Year presents students with an opportunity to learn how to transition into the “real world,” experiment with interests, and ultimately, start figuring things out. If you go into your first year of college with this mindset, things will fall into place.

Learning to Transition

You’ll be in a new environment, full of new people and new things to explore—and, while you’re here, you’ll be expected to function as an independent adult. If you manage to do this, even if it means cheesing your way through, you’re already halfway there.

Nobody can tell you how to be the responsible, experienced, adult version of yourself, but I can offer a few suggestions. Make connections: networking is crucial in a college landscape! Put yourself out into the world, talk to different people, and learn about others’ experiences and perspectives! Take in as much as you can, and don’t be afraid to ask about anything.

Experimenting With Interests

I believe that this is the most important step any student can take. You might have everything planned out. You might have zero idea. Either way, in college, you’ll have thousands of classes and clubs at your fingertips—try out as many different ones as you can. If you do so, you’ll expand your horizons to no end, and likely discover something unexpected about yourself.

Figuring the Rest Out

Once you’ve learned how you fit into the adult world, and you’ve gone through some serious self-discovery, you’ll be prepared for what’s next.

“First-year students link arms and sing “Varsity” at the end of the Chancellor’s Convocation for New Students, a Wisconsin Welcome event held at the Kohl Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on Sept. 2, 2016. (Photo by Jeff Miller/UW-Madison)”

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