Top Ten Lessons Noted from Freshman Year

Wisconsin Promise presents our College Bound Series

Looking back on freshman year, of course there will be things that you could have done differently. No one is perfect. The first year no one knows what to expect; we are bound to have made mistakes and that’s okay. That is why this blog is called “lessons noted”. We have all heard of the phrase “lesson learned”. However, chances are we will make the same mistake a number of times before the lesson is actually learned. So for now, the lesson is “noted”.

“…chances are we will make the same mistake a number of times before the lesson is actually learned…”

Lessons Noted my Freshman Year:

  1. Don’t bring everything you own because guess what?
    You probably won’t need all of that stuff. If you forget something you can have it mailed to you or even go find a store that has what you are looking for.
  1. Time spent with friends will suck you in.
    College is all about the balance between your social life and school. It was easy for me to just spend all of my time with my friends but then it was a lot harder to focus on my classes. For some it was the opposite, it was easy for them to focus on school and they didn’t leave any time for friends. Find the time to do both.
  1. Don’t forget you are in college to learn.
    Classes may be hard but try to focus on having fun learning the material. Yes, as cliché as it sounds learning can be fun! Find the subject you are passionate about.
  1. Just because you have the power doesn’t mean you should abuse it.
    In other words just because you can skip class any day you feel like it, doesn’t mean you should. It is easy to just call yourself in sick but resist the temptation.
  1. The same goes with food.
    Just because you can eat anything you want doesn’t mean you should. I found that when I ate healthier, I was able to do better in school.
  1. Being healthy is really important for your well-being in college.
    This means not only eating the right food but also getting enough sleep and exercise. There is no need to stay up all night every night if you don’t have to, granted that may be fun once in a while. Both exercising and sleeping will make you feel energized and help you focus better.
  1. Teachers still don’t like it when you are late.
    Even though you are no longer forced to come in on time like in high school, it is still rude to come in late. Besides, if you are late, you might miss important information.
  1. Laundry doesn’t do itself and neither does homework.
    It is easy to get caught up in other things, like hanging out with friends and extracurricular activities, because no one is nagging you to do your chores. You have to be your own nag.
  1. Procrastination is not fun in the long run.
    It may seem easier to just put things off but when you are scrambling to get that paper done the night before it is due you will wish you had started it sooner.
  1. Organization, organization, organization!
    I found that the more junk I had on my desk, the more unorganized I felt. This made it harder to find stuff for my classes. I would waste time looking for it. The more organized I was, the more prepared and ready to learn I felt.

Other things I noted:

Even though there were a lot of lessons noted and a few learned, freshman year was loads of fun because of the mistakes made. Everyone was in the same boat in the sense that no one knew what he or she was doing. I made some of my best friends trying to figure out little things like where the cafeteria was. Because I was put in scary or awkward situations, I was able to stretch myself and I was able to meet all different kinds of people.

“freshman year was loads of fun because of the mistakes made”
I was also able to learn a lot academically. I took classes that were never offered in high school. I learned the difference between expectations in high school and expectations in college. I leaned how to advocate for myself a little better. I learned what I was capable of and what I still needed to learn. College is all about learning about you. What kinds of things do you like to study? What kinds of people are you most comfortable around? What subjects do you not like to study? How do you react when put in this situation? Freshman year marks the start of learning how to build yourself up. Enjoy the process!


About the Author

Claire Wisniewski

Claire is a freshman at a small liberal arts college. Through her blog, she shares her experiences in choosing a college and navigating her first year. Do you have a question for Claire? Send her your comments or questions below!

More about Claire


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