What You Don’t See Coming: 5 Unexpected Experiences in Your First Year of College at UW-Madison

When entering college, every student has a certain level of expectations. Whether it be from films, music, or an older sibling, we create these imaginative thoughts on what your first year of college will look like. While many of them may come true, here are 5 unexpected experiences you are bound to encounter during your first year.

1.The 80 is Full

As you wait at that windy snowy bus stop, seeing the alluring sight of the warm 80 bus coming towards you. You take off your backpack and prepare to board the bus and get to class. When it nears to you, you see, filling the bus all the way to the driver, students. As the bus barreling towards you comes closer, the driver turns on the “BUS FULL” sign and drives right past you. This unexpected 

Bus Full via Wikimedia Commons

2.The Dining Hall at Lunch time

You get out of class 15 minutes early and decide to stop by one of the many dining halls around 12pm to 1pm. You know these are the times the lunch food is released and you stop in to get some food. As you enter, you see the dining hall bustling with hungry students. Every type of food has a line of 10-12 students standing and waiting. Quite common, this experience is not at all what you expect when you’re touring the dining hall.

Dining Hall Checkout via PxHere

3.College Library on Sunday

The weekend is almost over. You’ve had your fun Friday and Saturday night, but now it’s Sunday and you have a few assignments to do. You decide to go to the three floor College library to get your class work done and see people you know. You expect to find a few empty tables or chairs that you can get your work done, but as you walk in you see it is full to the brim of other students. You walk tirelessly through the multiple floors in and out of the silent section to find that there are no open seats left. 

Library full via PeakPx

4.Losing Your Wiscard

You look down at your tray full of food, waiting patiently in the dining hall line for check out. You slide the tray down the line as you approach the cashier. While the person in front of you hands over their Wiscard, you reach into your back pocket to find it empty. Suddenly, you check all your pockets and backpack to find the card that is extremely important to your campus life. You empty out your pockets and reach deeply into your backpack, shuffling the various papers, hoping that it had somehow gotten lost in there. Luckily, you find it and wipe the fear of cancelling and replacing it from your forehead. 

Hand Pocket via NeedPix

5.Walking Up Bascom in the Snow

While touring the campus, it is impossible to ignore Bascom Hill. You accept that you will have to walk up the hill while going to school here. You don’t know when it’ll be, but it’s hard to imagine the hill during the winter when you are walking around the beautiful greenery of the hill during the summer. However, soon as fall begins to end, there will be a moment where you will have to walk up the hill while it is snowing. When you get to that moment, you look up at the endless hill, pull your backpack higher, and start the walk. These unpredictable collisions with reality and expectation are just a few of the many experiences in the daily life of a UW student. 

Bascom Hall via Flickr

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