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first-semesterToday, I’m going to write a fun piece about the top three things I wish I did differently last semester. As you all know, last semester was my first college semester at the University of Florida. In many ways, I don’t think I did it 100% “correct”, even though in many ways I did have a typical freshmen experience. I lived away from home (on-campus), took 15 credits, wasn’t sure what my major would be, had classes with over 300 people in them, ordered lots of pizza, etc.

The nice thing about college is that every semester feels like a fresh start. There are new people all the time, organizations recruit new members in both fall and spring, and everyone is still looking to get past what they forgot or didn’t do in fall and begin anew. So for all of you high school seniors, here’s a list of things I wish I did in Fall 2012 as a college freshman:

  1. I wish I got more involved on campus. I know this sounds obvious because everyone you’ve ever known in high school and at college orientations tell you to “get involved”. The scary thing is, they actually mean it. And at a big school, it isn’t easy. It’s easier to get lost than found. I advise all incoming freshmen to find a list of clubs and organizations and FIND ones you want. It’ll help you make friends, get involved, and feel like you’re doing something other than wasting your weekends. You do have a lot of “downtime” in college – I would say pretty much every night between 5pm and 9pm, dorm life comes to a standstill. People are getting out of class, rushing to the dining halls, or attempting to study, but by 9pm the party is on again if that makes sense – and most club meetings are during that typical dorm downtime.
  2. I wish I discovered grocery shopping. This actually sounds counterintuitive, since the majority of freshmen have meal plans, making major food shopping irrelevant. The fact is, I did not have a meal plan because I hated the food. Instead, I frequented the fast food and convenience stores on campus. My friends joke that “adults are kids with money”, and when it came to food, I was. I would happily eat Burger King or Chick-Fil-A every day, on top of the snacks my mom and dad sent, or order pizzas with my friends. (Ordering pizza is the greatest thing college kids do. The feeling I get from the Domino’s guy calling me and telling me he’s here is amazing). Before I knew it, I was saying, “I gained a lot of weight”. We do have Walmart and Publix around here. I will just have to take the bus to get there and only purchase as much as I can carry or stuff in my purse or backpack. And this semester, I will make this happen at least once or twice a month, since I am trying to eat right in college. (Hopefully, I’ll keep this new year’s resolution).
  3. I wish I were on a better schedule. I’m still trying to figure this one out. My sleep schedule last semester was so messed up. Some nights I would go to bed at 11, other nights my roommate and I would be up until 3am regardless of when my first class started. Sometimes during the weekends I would sleep until noon. My goal this semester is to be on a schedule for waking up and going to sleep, even though so far with a lot of noise and action going on in the dorms it’s been a little difficult. We had maintenance guys who worked on our floor’s common kitchen at 7am. Since I live near this area, the noise sometimes wakes me up from my sleep and then results in me sleeping in too late. Alarms and reminders are your friends. Stay organized. It helps!

See you guys next month! 🙂