First of all, CONGRATULATIONS! You have so much to look forward to in this new and exciting phase in your life. You are about to embark on the best four years of your life. Here are a few things you should know before coming to Athens. I have even included some personal words of "wisdom" of my own.
Step out of your comfort zone
I cannot stress this enough. This is the perfect time for you to find yourself and see who you really are. Trust me, you will be surprised at how much you grow during your first year of college. Do not be shy. Talk to the people in your lectures and engage in discussions; who cares if you feel stupid or embarrassed! Nothing good comes from hiding in your comfort zone.
Take advantage of your time in the dorms
I actually cannot believe I just said that. During my days in the dorm, I HATED it. The dorm I lived in was not the cleanest and was super old (sorry for any of you living in O-House next year). There was one upside to my dorm: no community bathroom! I still hated the dorms due to lack of space, sanitary problems, and my crazy ass suitemate. Looking back, I failed to look at all the positives of living in the dorms. I lived practically in the middle of campus and there was a dining hall literally right beside my dorm. What I would do to have those two luxuries again.
Do not be intimidated by the crowd of people around you on campus
I thought my very first day of class was going to actually be my worst nightmare. I came from a small high school (with 12 people in my senior class), so to say I was petrified of attending classes at UGA is an understatement. Sure, was I a little intimidated the first two weeks of my freshman year? Of course I was (who isn't?)! However, I kept telling myself that there were plenty of other freshmen who were feeling and thinking the same thoughts as me. You will get used to it, I promise. You will meet more people than you can handle. Also, if you are lost on campus, do not be shy to ask for directions to a building! It might seem a little embarrassing at first, but we have all been there before.
Aside from UGA, Athens has so much to offer. There are several cute shops downtown you can go to and shop at (be careful not to enter your wallet completely). If you are an outdoor person, there are plenty of parks to go to and explore. The city is truly beautiful.
You will never run out of places to eat
I cannot even begin to name all of the places to eat in Athens. The options are endless. Mama's Boy, Taqueria Del Sol, Pauley's, South Resort, and The grill are a few of my favorites. Also, there is literally a Chick-fil-A on every corner, so that is a huge plus as well.
Do not be ashamed to show school spirit
Sports at UGA are something else. From baseball to basketball to gymnastics to, of course football, our athletic teams will definitely keep you on your feet. There is nothing like Saturdays in Athens. Get out and show all your school spirit. Go ring the chapel bell after a huge win. Go out and celebrate with friends after a game. You will make more memories than you can imagine, and those memories will last you a lifetime.
Prepare for walking to class in the blazing heat
Bring your best walking shoes and a water bottle. Walking to class in the simmering hot Georgia weather is no joke.
You are about to begin the BEST four years of your life. I am not exaggerating when I say that either. There is truly no other place in the world like Athens, Georgia. You will find your people and your place on campus. Freshman year of college is tough, but it is oh so memorable. As I am writing this, I cannot believe I am about to enter my junior year when it feels like I was literally just moving into my freshman dorm yesterday. Enjoy the ups and downs ahead of you. Study hard, but get out and have fun as well. You will be fine, trust me.
I hope this helps any upcoming UGA freshmen reading this! Once again, welcome to the Bulldawg nation!