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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    What I wish I had known my first year

    For the first time in your life, you have complete freedom. You’re reading this at orientation thinking, “Yes, I do!” You don’t. You won’t until your parents drive away after moving you in. Only then are you 100 percent without supervision and without anyone to answer to. Don’t screw it up.

    Most of your professors don’t care if you attend class. There could be 1,000 students in some of your lectures, so you can totally ditch. Awesome, right? They also don’t care if you fail the quizzes, miss an important announcement or ultimately fail the class. Professors won’t bump your grade up because you need a “B” to qualify for your major. You have to care about your own education so don’t use your freedom to be an idiot.

    If you’re from out of town, heads up on the weather: It gets cold in the winter. Arizona is not 80 degrees all the time. Also, if it’s cold outside, then all the UA buildings will be sweltering hot inside. If it’s hot outside, then the buildings will be ice cold inside.

    Lastly, senioritis is not just for seniors. Halfway through every semester of college you will lose all motivation to do anything. There’s no countering it, so make sure you do your best on every single assignment at the beginning of the year. It’s easier to maintain a “B” than try and scramble for a “C.”

    Michelle A. Monroe

    I was one of those kids that planned out their whole future. Once I figured out I was going to the UA, I knew that I was going to get a 4.0 and accept my place at a prestigious graduate school where I would get my master’s degree and work in the chemistry industry. Then when I got bored of that job, I would probably end up teaching. But my wife and two kids would support me through the decision.

    After I finished a week here, I realized that, well, things change … and pretty quickly. After that, I relied on my talents as a student, as well as my shortcomings. You may be like me and have your life planned out already, and you may follow through with your plan. But for me, things changed, and I just had to roll with the punches. Change is OK.

    Dan Desrochers

    However ambitious or overachieving you were in high school, do not do it freshman year.

    I took 21 units, which was seven classes, my first year at the UA. Although I survived (and finished out the year with a good grade point average), I would not recommend it.

    I wish I would have let loose my first year because the real work begins in the years that follow. There is something special about freshman year of college: It’s where students get to hang out in the dorms, run around campus doing crazy things and just enjoy that first year of independence.

    After that first year, it’s time to get a part-time job, pay rent and start applying for internships. I would definitely advise new students to keep their options open freshman year. Go to on-campus events, random club meetings, residence hall programs and the typical fraternity party or two. Those are all crucial parts of college that will not be around forever, and you won’t have the time to explore every avenue when you get into your 400-level classes and have jobs and internships. You are truly only a freshman once. Dwwon’t waste it.

    Caroline Nachazel

    As a newbie on campus, get used to hearing “they must be a freshman” when you get dressed up for the first day of school, take a phone call in the library or visit Highland Market at 3 a.m. to indulge in a 1,200-calorie breakfast burrito.

    As someone now entering senior year, the best advice freshmen can hear is, don’t sign up for all 8 a.m. classes. You’re probably thinking, “My high school classes started before that, so 8 a.m. won’t be that bad.” 8 a.m. is the 5 a.m. of college.

    Drink coffee more than energy drinks, find a good workout regimen and stick to it, and cherish having money on your CatCard.

    Courtney L’Ecuyer

    I just finished my first year at the UA, and I wish I would have known that bicycles aren’t as awesome as everyone says.

    The UA advertises how bike-friendly this campus is, so I bought a bike only to find that it would be sitting outside of my dorm for the entire school year. After riding it once, and almost hitting pedestrians or cars nearly ramming into me. I wish I would have known how chaotic and busy the UA Mall gets during classtime, not only for cyclists, but for the average pedestrian as well.

    Ashley T. Powell

    Classes your freshman year are the easiest. The classes I was taking weren’t hard, but I didn’t try as hard as I should have, so in the end my grade point average suffered and I had to take summer school. This had nothing to do with partying, it was simply a lack of initiative. If I had gotten more “A’s,” I wouldn’t be so stressed at having to keep my 3.0 GPA. Freshman year should be the year that gives you a good GPA to fall back on in case you get caught in a sticky grade situation with harder classes later on.

    Rebecca Miller
    I wish I had known that I don’t have to agree with my college professors, especially the general education ones.

    A lot of students don’t realize teachers push agendas. If I took everything my teachers told me as absolute truth, I would have taken away not only the lesson plan, but that all Catholics are evil, Republicans hate women and want to destroy the world and anyone who disagrees isn’t “enlightened” yet.

    Coming from a conservative Catholic family, that’s a lot to take in. Teachers have a lot of good things to say, but look at both sides of the story before deciding what you believe. It’s OK to question your upbringing, but don’t dismiss it immediately because of what a teacher says in class. Use what they say as a jumping-off point for further research, and pursue the truth from there.

    Lauren Shores

    Learning about time management is important. In high school I was involved in clubs and pep squad and topped everything off with Advanced Placement classes. I kept my life balanced and thought I had this time management thing down — until I came to college.

    High school meetings are usually after school but in college they can be any time, so scheduling is tight. Having the privilege of choosing class times can also hurt you. Try not to choose classes with a break longer than an hour. If it’s longer than that, some students tend to get lazy and ditch class. Depending on the professor, attendance will hurt your grade.

    Cheryl Gamachi

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