As I began my first day of class at UW-Madison, I believed that my high school had prepared me for anything that would be thrown my way and that my freshman year would be a breeze. I cannot tell you how much I wish this were true.
I was told that having this much independence for the first in my life may be a difficult transition, and I was told that learning how to manage my time without a structured schedule, like I had in high school, is no easy task. I was initially quick to disregard this valuable advice thinking, “I got this!”.
While I do think I was very well prepared, I simply did not understand how challenging the transition into college can be and that it is not always sunshine and rainbows. Reality set in about a third of the way through first semester when I was faced with my first round of midterms. They really aren’t kidding when they say you need to study about six hours a week for a three credit class. Cramming for an exam may have worked for me in high school, but college was a different story.
My first Chem103 midterm was a rude awakening, and I left the exam feeling quite defeated. It was in that moment that I realized college will not be as easy as I thought it would be, and I would need to make some serious improvements to my study habits.
Although the grade I received on that Chemistry midterm was not ideal, it taught me a much needed lesson. College may be the best four years of your life, but it certainly does not come without its challenges.