What to expect your first year of college
Everyone’s college experience is different, but one thing we all have in common is that we all start off as a nervous freshman. While each individual experiences freshman year differently, there are a few commonalities that are true for everyone. So what can you expect from your freshman year? Well, for one, you are guaranteed to make new friends. Living in the dorms forces you to socialize, whether you want to or not. My advice to you is that you try to meet as many people in your residence hall as you can, or else freshmen year will likely be very lonely for you. For me, my dorm experience was pretty awful. I made an effort to meet people, but we simply had nothing in common—don’t panic if this happens to you. You don’t have to be best friends with your hall mates, I wasn’t. I found friends through other outlets, and I’d like to think I turned out fine. But at least try to make friends.
Socializing is probably the best part about freshman year, but what about the other thing you came to UA for, you know, school? It’s all too easy too forget about school with all the new friends you’re making, so you can definitely expect a wake up call about halfway through the semester, when midterms roll around. For me, this wake up call came in the form of one of my general education courses, which was 9:30 AM on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It’s safe to say I did not attend this class as much as I should have. That’s a rookie mistake. This class happened to take attendance via clickers, so when I didn’t go, I missed out on easy points. Again—don’t panic if this happens to you, it’s normal for your grades to fall slightly your first semester. Just make sure to check in with your grades about halfway through the semester, and make a plan to save your GPA before it has the chance to fall too much. Luckily, the UA offers a multitude of academic resources to help like The Think Tank, and SALT Center, so you’re not alone!
The final, unavoidable truth to expect from your freshmen year is that it will be one of the most memorable experiences of your life. It’s likely your first time being away from home, and there is a new and unique sense of freedom that each freshman experiences. You can expect it to go by faster than the speed of light, so cherish every moment. You’ll make mistakes, but you’ll also learn from them so don’t worry too much. You will make friends you will have for the rest of your life, and learn new and exciting things about yourself. The most important part about freshman year is to not take yourself too seriously; you still have three more years to correct the mistakes you make freshman year. When senior year rolls around, you can sit around laughing at all the weird and crazy moments from freshman year, and fondly remember the good ole’ days.