Although people gave me advice before I entered my freshman year of college, I still learned a few things the hard way during the first couple of months. An example of something I had a trouble with, was managing my time wisely. I would spend too much time on one subject and not enough on another but I have learned to balance my time wisley now. I also learned that a healthy sleep pattern is necessary to maintain focus throughout the day in each class and doing homework. Doing both of these will help me get excellent grades this semester.
I believe the most important lesson I have learned this year is that as a student living away from home for the first time, there is no one there to motiviate, no mother nagging to get homework, no father asking to read essays or to complete poster projects, or, perhaps the most missed of all for me, the often not-so-gentle reminder to START STUDYING ALREADY. I wish I had left home with the assurance and the knowledge that I would not miss these reminders, and, more importantly, to not need them so constantly in school.
We've all heard how college is pricey but what I didn't know was just HOW expensive it is. For instance, I live on campus and what I wish I knew was for first year freshmen who live on campus, you're required to have a $1,200 meal plan. This was not something that they tell you when you're signing up. It's not something they tell you when you get the acceptance letter. It's something you find out when you're looking for a place to stay. No wonder housing at Casas Del Rio (where I'm located) is your cheapest option...
If there is anything I wish for daily, especially now, being a full-time Program Administrator, strapped to my crumbling desk chair and paled by my lack of outdoor exposure, it is that I had know myself a little better before I chose my last bachelor's degree. Before I went to UNM last, I wish I would have known that I need to be active to do my best at work and that I wither in an indoor environment. I think a lot of people find themselves questioning their career path, but I am choosing now to realign it.
I wish I would have known how tough it was going to be to juggle everything. Before college I had always heard my older friends talk about the fact that you had three choices: good grades, plenty of sleep, and a social life...you could only choose two. I never really took them seriously until I got here and realized that having a job, going to school full time, maintaining a healthy sleep schedule, and time to hang out with your friends and do community activities is a hard balancing act.
I would have liked to known that the curriculum wasn't as tough as I would have liked. My personality needs to be challenged and this school had a weak investment in education because of the lowered standards to pass more students. This school has a large percentage of hispanic students that have to drop out after the first semester or year because of the lack of participation in academic work and carelessness of contributing to making the school a better place for academics.
That's a hard one as the school was very good about informing me about all that I needed to know. I think one thing is just learning your way around the system. I mean they give you the information about each department, you just need to know when to go to which one when. Like logging in on the system, you need to do it multiple times a day to be sure you don't miss any information or to keep up with what is happening. Just little things like that you learn as you go.
Three hour breaks between classes are not nearly as amazing as you would think. Stick with a schedule you're used to: don't plan on waking up too much earlier or later; don't think you'll do your homework during breaks if you don't already. Use your time wisely-- and I can guarentee that a three or four hour break between classes does not prompt you to use that time well.
Before coming to this school I wish someone would have taught me the importance of knowing how to write clearly and effectivly with little to no grammatical errors. College emphasizes the importance of knowing how to write papers, and effective paper at that. I wish I how to do this instead of having to start at English 100 and work my way up.
Going to college is an overwhelming process. The one thing I wish I had known before entering UNM was how to navigate through the recources provided by UNM. I wish I had known how helpful the university website is, and how helpful the advisors are. I think knowing these things would have made my first semester much less stressful.