Last August, I was on an emotional rollercoaster. I had just started college and was full of nerves, excitement, and some homesickness. UVA just became my home for the next four years of my life.
Here, I was going to figure out what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. It was such an incredible time getting to meet new people and make new friends. Throughout all of those emotions, I made some mistakes, reflected a lot, and discovered a lot of things about myself and college, although I wished that I had had some of these revelations before college.
Here are 23 things that I have learned throughout my first year at UVA and want to pass onto the class of 2023.
1. If you have a particular career/major in mind, be sure to plan some classes around it
While it is still great to explore new interests, some career paths require a lot of classes to complete, so it helps to get some out of the way your first-year.
2. Try new things
If a club or something relatively interests you, try it. You may discover a new passion.
3. Don’t be afraid of rejection
4. Every first-year is also trying to navigate college life and make friends, so don’t be hesitant to reach out to new people
5. Just because a lot of people you know are getting into relationships, doesn’t mean that you have to as well
6. Be patient
Everyone adjusts differently. If it takes you a little longer to make friends or find your niche, or if all of your friends aren't adjusting well but you are, it is okay.
7. Participate in your classes
8. Don’t spend all of your plus-dollars on Starbucks
9. Get enough sleep
10. Make sure to put the effort into your friendships
11. Go to office hours and form a bond with your professors
12. Take advantage of all of the resources that UVA has to offer
13. If you want to go to the good basketball games, you have to get sabre points from events other than just the football games
14. Take advantage of meal-exchanges
15. Even though it may not work all of the time, download the bus app (this is especially for people in new dorms and suites)
16. Make sure to put effort into keeping up with your high school friends
17. You don’t need to party every weekend to fit in
18. Invest in good walking shoes
19. Study on the Lawn if you want to see a lot of dogs
20. Spend at least a little time every week caring for yourself
21. Always try to be kind to those around you
22. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t do as well as you did in high school
Everyone here (including yourself) is very smart and talented in their own way.
23. Find a reason to smile every day
Enjoy your time here; these are some of the greatest years of your life and they are going to fly by.
Congratulations on getting into an amazing university! You are going to love it here!