What Freshman Year Taught Me….

By Allison Williams

On August 12, 2014, I rolled my purple and black luggage down the hall and into room 248 of Building 1516, which became my home away from home for the next few months. Upon coming into college, I had a general idea of what I was getting myself into.

I knew there would be long nights and seemingly longer lectures, and that I would be stuffing my face with food from ECV while I laugh out loud with my newfound friends. I felt prepared for what I was about to encounter on this journey. I was ready to tackle my first year in college.

Just like every other college student, I had my fair share of failures during my freshman year, but I also had an unimaginable amount of fun and was successful in making friends, keeping my grades “up”, and falling in love with this school more and more each day. But there are three things that I want to share with the readers that I became clearer to me as the year progressed.

U- Use your resources.

The University of Georgia is not a top-ranked public university for no reason. There are people here, paid staff and students, that know things you don’t know that are willing to help you. If you need help socially, talk to your RA or visit university-sponsored events that will help you break out of your shell.

If you’re looking for academic help, visit the professor’s office hours, get a free UGA tutor, or just ask a friend. If you need professional help, visit the UGA Career Center, an entire building of people dedicated to helping you get your career on the right track. Don’t let your money go to waste kids, get out there and find the help you need. There’s no shame in asking for assistance or advice.

G- Get it how you live.

I have heard people say, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” This quote becomes all too relevant in college as we may become tempted to look at our neighbor and see what they’re doing to get what they want. No, cut it out. There is nothing wrong with looking at someone else for inspiration. I actually think it’s great to have mentors and a vision of where you want to go in life, but riding someone else’s wave isn’t the way to go.

The best thing you can do for yourself in college is find what works for you. This applies for employment, organizations, academics, friendships, relationships, leisure time, you name it. No matter what you should be focused on what makes you happy and what is going to get you to where you need to be.

A- Accept constructive criticism.

Freshman year was a very humbling year for me because every since I was in elementary school, I have usually, if not always, “gotten it right.” I did not have to deal with an enormous amount of critiques from my teachers, and especially not from my friends, but college changed all of that. I had to learn that I wasn’t the best and the “little fish in a big pond” syndrome hit me pretty hard, but it actually made me stronger.

When someone is trying to help you, listen to them. Just take in the suggestions, let it marinate, and then try again when the opportunity presents itself again. Please, if you do nothing else, remember that there is always room for improvement. The only egotistical, big headed, know-it-all we accept is Kanye.

I hope someone can learn a little something from my freshman year experience, and use it to better themselves in some aspect of life. I’m still growing, and hoping to have more eye-opening moments as I keep moving forward. You can put a price tag on the education we receive, but the life lessons and knowledge we gain outside the classroom? Priceless.

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