My freshman year of college was a whirlwind, to say the least. It was a year of self-discovery and personal growth, and multiple aspects of my character were tested on a daily basis. Though this first year had numerous ups and downs, it's come and gone faster than I could've ever imagined. When they say high school goes by fast, just know college goes by way faster. Although the end of the semester is quickly approaching, I'm looking forward to more growth and will reflect on my first year of independence for many semesters to come.
College is nerve-wracking, especially when you have absolutely no clue as to what living on your own entails. It's exciting, scary, invigorating, and any other adjective you can think of. To those coming into their first year of college, breathe. We've been there before and, believe it or not, know EXACTLY how you're feeling. Take it from these current freshmen at UK, you will make it out on the other side in one piece.
You don't need to know everything right away
"It's okay to not know the answers, especially if you're an honors student. I've always been accustomed to knowing the answers in various situations, but my accounting class spring semester was the first one that stumped me. I found myself wondering if I was as intelligent as my peers & even questioning my own worth. But, none of this is necessary. As you embark freshman year (and the rest of college), you have to appreciate your process and recognize that it will be different from everyone else's."
- Kendall DuLaney, management and marketing major
Discovering yourself is part of growing independent
"Don't be afraid to develop different beliefs than the ones you grew up around."
- Christopher Hellmann, finance major
Put yourself out there and you will find your tribe
"The best advice I could give is to make friends. It sounds simple and it's what everyone says, but it's true. You don't realize how hard it is to make friends until you get here. And, if you already have high school friends here, still do your best to make as many other friends as possible. Meet as many people as you can, in classes, in clubs, in your dorm, at parties...But, making friends means putting in the effort to put yourself out there, so don't be afraid to try new things! And remember, everyone is looking for friends freshman year, so don't be afraid to approach them first!"
- Jess Rose, international studies/political science major
Grades are important, but your happiness matters more
"Everything is gonna be okay. Your professors care about your education. The people here want to see you succeed. One bad grade or exam or class won't destroy the journey. Enjoy the small stuff and do one thing every day that makes you happy."
- Grayson Blount, biology major
Get involved in as many organizations as you can
"I would tell an incoming freshman to get involved and try to meet as many people as they can because it will be really helpful with their adjustment to college and it will help when they are dealing with the stress of everything."
- Halle Johnson, finance major
Skipping class is a downward spiral waiting to happen
"Don't skip class!!!"
- Maddie Bohler, business major
Meeting new people before classes start is NEVER a bad idea
"I honestly can say that my first year has been amazing and I think a big part of that is because, over the summer, I joined as many group chats and snap groups as possible; not to talk in them 24/7, but to get to know more people. It's easy to feel like this campus is too big for you, but I promise the more people you acquaint yourself with, the more familiar faces you'll see on campus, at a football game, or at parties. Then, the campus begins to feel small and helps you feel more at home."
- Brandon Brown, broadcast journalism major
Time management will become your new BFF
"Time management is key. For some courses, it is necessary to study a little bit every day and it is essential to be able to plan an amount of time to study for that. I wish I would have known is how fast college is going to fly by."
- Jessica Biernesser, pre-nursing major
Your first year of college will challenge you in a number of ways, but take the time to enjoy each and every moment you are given. Get that Starbucks coffee. Go to that party your friends are dragging you to. Tailgate before the football games. Make memories whenever the opportunity presents itself and stay true to who you are. College is a chance to reinvent your image and to discover the kind of person you want to be. So, take advantage of every second during your first year — you can't even imagine how fast time will move.