Freshman Year’s Biggest Mistakes and Best Decisions at Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech Freshman

By Danielle Polo
By Danielle Polo
Unigo Campus Rep at Virginia Tech

There is so much that happens and changes during freshmen year that it’ s only through reflection when you can really understand what a great experience it can be — especially if you are lucky enough to have spent it at the perfect school for you. It’ s then that you can fondly remember good times, maybe laugh at bad times, and miss the days when an entire four (or more) years of college stretched before you.

Looking back, freshman year seems like a compilation of decisions to be made. Coming into such a big school can be nerve-racking, but my fears disappeared as I became part of the Virginia Tech community and Hokie family. Out of everything, my best decision was to enter spring rush and join my sorority. It was there that I found a room full of people so accepting of who I was and so much like me. These people became my best friends whom I kept through the years. Had I not decided to join Delta Zeta and meet all of the amazing people I did, my college experience wouldn’t have been what it was.

Nothing is perfect — of course there were mistakes made that first year. The biggest I made as a freshman was my concentration on the new and exciting social scene over schoolwork and classes. Caught up in a new world without the supervision of parents and seemingly endless possibilities of other things to do and people to meet, I let my assignments take a backseat. My grades suffered, and had I known what impact that would have on me later as I tried to improve my GPA, I would have put more effort into that first year.

With an almost opposite perspective, senior Eric Eichelberger felt that his resistance to the typical college party scene, and all that is involved, may have held him back socially. He considers this his biggest mistake, as he could have easily found a balance of social activities with academic activities that could have made his freshman year more fulfilling. However, his best decision was to take advantage of Virginia Tech’s exceptional fitness facilities and nutrition options to get healthier. This was something that still has a positive impact on Eric’s life today.

Senior Maria Anderson recalled her biggest mistake and best decision from freshman year with difficulty, as there was several of each that shaped her freshman experience. Her biggest mistake, made a little bit before the year even started, was choosing her roommate based on the social networking site, Facebook. This came with the realization that profiles can be misleading in terms of finding someone with a compatible personality, and the result was a tense living situation that could have been avoided, even with a random roommate assignment. Maria’s best decision has to do with her majors. She started at VT majoring in marketing and by the end of the year, had to decide of whether or not to keep going with it or to switch to something that she could be better at and enjoy more. Switching to Business InformationTechnology proved to be the right thing to do, both for her enjoyment in the academic part of college and for her future as she looks for jobs in a field she genuinely likes.

Finally, senior Deb Pal can immediately answer the question of his best decision freshman year. For him, like so many others and myself, his decision to pledge a fraternity turned out to be something that gave him a community of friends and many entertaining memories. Deb thought his decisions to associate with certain people and acting in ways that he regretted later on were his worst. Making new friends can be difficult, and sometimes this means getting through the bad to get to the good.

Above all, the first year of college is one big experience that introduces you to Virginia Tech. Decisions and mistakes made can impact your next day, next semester, next year, and possibly the rest of your college experience or even life. It’s best to take everything in stride and know that, at the very least, when your time in school is done, you will have all of the memorable moments that make up the unique experience that is Freshman Year.