Even though I’ve had four months to process and think about it, it’s still hard to comprehend that I’m not a freshman anymore. My freshman year of college was a whirlwind of an experience that I’m still trying to process. As I begin my sophomore year, I continue to reflect on my time in college so far and draw up some bits of advice for the incoming class of 2027.
I’m going to start off on a very cliché note, but there’s really no better way that I can phrase this: it goes by way too fast. I’m sure you’ve heard this old adage all your life but it’s true. It still feels like yesterday that I was moving into Watson Hall on a warm August day and stepping into the unknown realm of college life. As my parents drove away, I thought to myself that December was a long ways away. I was wrong. Fall semester flew by faster than Andre Jackson Jr. on a breakaway. The same could also be said of my spring semester. But though it went fast, I didn’t feel like I wasted my time at all. The fast pace of my freshman year was actually quite fulfilling, as it gave me motivation to both get my schoolwork done and make the most of my time outside of class.
To make the most of your time outside of class, getting involved on campus is one of the best ways to do so. The University of Connecticut has hundreds of different clubs and organizations that cater to a variety of interests. Whatever it is that you’re interested in, you’ll be able to find your niche. For me, getting involved here at The Daily Campus and WHUS Radio was the most important decision I made during my freshman year. Not only do these organizations cater to my path as a journalism major, but I’ve had a blast being involved in them. Writing a weekly column has allowed me to sharpen my writing skills and develop my own sarcastic writing style, while hosting my own radio show and podcast has been the most fun I’ve had on campus. I’ve also been able to meet so many incredible people through these organizations that I probably would not have met if I didn’t get involved. Joining these groups changed my college experience for the better, and many people who also got involved would probably say the same. So if you want to make the most of your college experience, get to the club fair on Fairfield Way in September to explore all of the great clubs and organizations that UConn has to offer.
The last important thing I want to talk about is time management and scheduling. This is one of the hardest aspects of college to keep track of given the busy and often unpredictable nature of college life. Managing your time is a critical skill you’ll need to pick up quickly, as you’ll need to manage deadlines, extracurriculars and group projects among other things. Designating specific time for assignments is a great way to help you stay organized. It’s also important to schedule some downtime for yourself, as breaks from the hustle and bustle of a day at UConn are critical to your own well being. Working hard and staying motivated is great, but you don’t want to overwork yourself to the point of burnout. College life is all about striking a balance, and if you can get that balance, then your time at UConn will certainly be an enjoyable one.
With all this in mind, I hope that I came across as somewhat useful here. Writing this definitely made me do more reflection on last year, but also gave me optimism for the year ahead. And I hope that you’ll go into this year optimistic and ready to take on a new chapter of your life. And I couldn’t think of a better place to do so than Storrs, Connecticut. Good luck with your freshman year and go Huskies!