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Viewpoint: Advice from a Former Freshman

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uwlax.edu

Karley Betzler, Staff Reporter

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When freshman year rolls around, it brings inevitable change. This change can be overwhelming and frustrating. The good news is, if you do not already know, change is also really great. I wanted to share some of the best lessons I have learned from the changes during my first year at UW-L. 

Maybe you are walking into your first year at UW-L thinking you know exactly what you want to do with your life. For example, my first year I had a completely different idea about my plans than what I am working towards now. It is okay if you want to completely change all of your future plans. I want to warn you that it is okay to be unsure about what direction you are headed with your life.  

I am sure most people have been unsure in their collegiate careers. Even if you know what you like, that does not mean you know what career path you want to take. If you are even remotely intrigued by something, I encourage you to try it out. UW-L presents its students with great opportunities; take advantage of them, as many as possible.  

Trying out new things also applies to clubs and other out-of-school activities. My best advice is to try not to cram too many things onto your plate at once. I would encourage you to try out clubs and new opportunities. Many of clubs offer volunteering opportunities and I highly recommend signing up for these.  

UW-L has numerous clubs and most of them will be represented at an event called Involvement Fest. I went to Involvement Fest and ended up not only getting lots of free stuff, but even walked away as a new member of some of these clubs. 

Something you will quickly learn at UW-L is that any food that is not from Whitney is amazing. Use your maroon bucks wisely because they can go a lot quicker than you realize. Here is one thing to know about breakfast: the Mondos in the Union makes breakfast burritos in the morning and they are a great alternative to Whitney. You will also get a coffee as part of your swipe, so you won’t need to make or buy any.  

Another great cafeteria hack, also known as Whitney, is to bring tupperware in with you and then fill it up with ice cream for a late night snack. Also, it is okay to eat alone in Whitney. Everyone has different schedules and sometimes you have to eat on your own time, not with friends.  

If you have pets, you will miss them a lot. Sometimes therapy dogs will come to campus and it is great. I learned to take advantage of these occasions, and if you love dogs, seize those opportunities. Petting a dog or a puppy provides a nice break from the stress of exams and papers.  

Stress in college is inevitable. There are lots of things on campus to help manage this stress. It can be overwhelming at times, but UW-L has many resources available to aid students with stress or homesickness. The Counseling and Testing Center in Centennial is a place to hang out in the relaxation room or talk to counselor. The Zen Den is another way to relax, or a safe place to vent.  

College will bring you many new life experiences and you will learn more than you thought you would. Change will come in many ways, but it will prepare you for the future. No one leaves freshman year without having learned a lot about themselves. Enjoy your first year, because they go fast.

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Viewpoint: Advice from a Former Freshman