When I chose to go to Madison at the end of my senior year, I knew I was going to be one of 50,000 other students and was going to have to work a little harder for academic help, tutoring, and extracurricular experience. Something that significantly surpassed and surprised my expectations during my freshman year at UW-Madison was just how accessible academic resources and opportunities were to undergraduate students. It was my initial impression that being a student at a Big 10 university would most likely mean a less personal environment, because each professor, counselor, and TA had such a large amount of students to handle.
Within my first semester at Madison, each course and instructor proved my expectations almost completely wrong. Of course, by being a college student the majority of your work is dependent upon your motivation, as opposed to the more “hand holding” environment of highschool. However, whenever there was an interesting opportunity that related to my academic career, my professors would all make sure to spend time before or after lecture to inform students of the details, TA’s would forward emails and information of additional resources, office hours, and study materials.
Even my counselors had time to meet with me almost immediately if I had a question about my schedule and would take the time to learn about my course history, likes, dislikes, and make incredibly helpful and detailed recommendations. Being a Big 10 student can be overwhelming due to the sheer size of your university, and while students are by no means “spoon-fed” assistance, help is never far from those who seek it.