Everyone has always told us, “Freshman year will be one of the best years of your life." And it is, without a doubt. Especially at a university as wonderful as West Virginia University. There are so many new experiences we are faced with, and memories that will last a lifetime. But through the great times, there have undoubtedly been challenges… lots of them. Here are the top ten struggles I’ve experienced during my time as a freshman at WVU:
1. Misjudging the hills.
"They can't be that bad, right?" Wrong. We tried to tell ourselves it can't be nearly as bad as it looks, but, it is. The hills of West Virginia are a deceptive beauty. If going up them isn't painful enough, going down is just flat-out treacherous. We all laughed as we watched people stumble down them until that was us. And most importantly, the hill to Frat Row? You always win.
2. Spending way too much time at Annex.
All the upperclass men make fun of us for spending our weekends at Annex. And for calling it Annex, we know it’ll forever be “The Cellar.” But, we just can’t help ourselves. It quickly becomes a ritual for all of the freshmen to stand in line after 9 p.m. for a night that is sure to be memorable. To our favorite night club, we love you.
3. Not knowing the Brooks Hall elevator exists.
When we first saw the stairs to the LSB, I think we all second guessed our choice for college. After months of going up hundreds of steps and practically fainting, we learned about the elevator in Brook Hall. After we learned about the elevator, we never, ever took the stairs again.
4. Underestimating how much the PRT breaks down.
It seems like a pretty cool transportation system during college tours. That is, until you get stuck on it for 40 minutes. And if you’re trying to get to class, and you show up late because of the PRT? That’s not an excuse. Whether it was syllabus week and you were sweating to death on it, or you’ve been crammed on it after a sporting event, we’ve all gotten stuck more than once. And it’s not fun.
5. Being unprepared for the weather.
The first months of fall semester were brutal. Who knew it could be 90 degrees for so long? And then when winter hits in West Virginia, it hits hard. Over 30 inches of snow and temperatures in the single digits every day are a norm here. We probably should’ve expected this from a campus in the mountains. We also should have stocked up on the North Faces, Bean Boots, scarves, gloves, hand warmers, and ski masks. Trudge on!
6. Overindulging in Canteen, Casa, and Lotsa Motza.
Upon coming to the campus, we quickly learned of theplaces to eat in Morgantown. We soon realized that High Street is the place to go for a late-night snack that you may regret in the morning. But the most unfortunate part of it all is there are way too many good food places. We've all blown the majority of our money on pizza, mac & cheese bites, and pepperoni rolls (mostly pizza, though).
7. Scheduling 8 a.m. classes on Fridays (yes, Thirsty Thursday's are real).
While scheduling classes at summer orientation, we didn’t understand how West Virginia worked. We thought, “Hey, an 8 a.m. class can’t be too bad. It’s way better than getting up for high school.” WRONG. An 8 a.m. in college is a death sentence. You will probably go out on a Thursday night and you will definitely miss your early morning Friday class. By spring semester, we figured this out.
8. Buying textbooks.
“This textbook is required for your class” is a lie. Don’t ever buy the books they tell you to. We all spent hundreds of dollars first semester on books we never even opened. Until your professor tells you personally what you need, don’t spend a single cent on school supplies. If only us freshmen knew this sooner. RIP, our bank accounts.
9. WVU dorm life.
I think all freshmen cringe at the thought of living in a residence hall in college. But at WVU, there are so many dorms to choose from. Getting to our friends in other dorms is a hike. And getting to the best dining halls is also a hike. We struggle through fire drills, losing room keys, floor meetings, bugs, and getting sick every other week. It’s a love-hate relationship with your residence hall of choice.
10. Somehow everyone knows you're a freshman.
As much as we try to hide it, everyone knows who we are. It's like we walk around with a sign on our backs screaming "Freshman!" Whether you’re doing the wrong cheer at a football game, trying to meal swipe at Chick-Fil-A for lunch, at the PRT station on a Sunday, or singing the wrong words to “Country Roads,” we’re pretty obvious to spot. Embrace being a freshman, we only have a year to do it.
West Virginia is a massive campus and is a major adjustment for everyone. But we all go through the same struggles and make the same mistakes together. That’s the beauty of it! So here’s to being the clueless newbies at the best university there is. We’ve all been there (and secretly love the hardships).