The one thing I wish someone would've told me about my freshman year is that most of the classes you will be taking are just general education classes. I really wish someone would've reiterated this to me, because I easily could've saved thousands of dollars by taking the same classes at my local community college. Don't get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed attending a four-year university for my first year of college, but now that it's over I realize I could've saved myself a ton of money. After just one year of taking out loans I'm already stressing about paying them back, and I still have about three years of schooling to go!
I was fortunate I was an older student with a family and children. I am glad I had that experience to know not to procrastinate and stay up all night long before a test or a major assignment. Unfortunately, I was a commuter student and therefore often felt left out of the crowd and often only associated with other single parents or commuters as well. I wish I had know more about being involved in the school and how to better manage my time to participate in more school activities than I did.
I wish I had known how difficult it would be to start in the middle of the year. I was accepted last year on a deferral for the Spring semester. It is extremely hard to live with 3 other girls on a floor where everyone knows everyone and you can't get the classes you need because you do not get to register with everyone. Then you have to chose your room situation for the next year 3 weeks after you arrive. It really puts you in survival mode and creates a challenaging situation.
Before I had come to college, I had heard a lot about college life from my older sister who had joined college a year before me. She seemed to be having an amazing time at her school and I was excited to start my experience. What I wish I had known about college was how liberating it is. For once I was away from my family and my friends at home and it felt strange. Being away from the people I've been with and loved for a long time is very different from what I had expected.
I would inform my former, younger self that life is not always what we expect and it throws different difficult situations at us at the worst times. The important thing to remember is to stay true to yourself and always know who you are and never let anyone affect the way you view yourself or your decisions. Also, that you're going to make mistakes, it's inevitable. When this happens don't beat youself up over it: learn, accept and move on.
I wish I had known that I did not want to be a pharmacist, which is what I went to school for during my first two years at UNC-Wilmington. As a result, I suffered from taking Physics I and II, Anatomy, and Chemistry I and II. So the takeaway here is: you will probably change your major and career choice a thousand times, but that does not mean you should not pay it some thought going into school. That way, some suffering can be avoided.
I wish I had known the full extent of the funds needed to satisfy my needs. Between tuition, books, housing, and general living expenses, it can add up very quickly. Though I work full time, it is still hard to balance work and school, as well as social life. The cost of books can be through the roof expensive, so I wish they could give a detailed list of exactly the cost of the books.
I wish I would have known to be more open. Talk to people, make friends; everyone is in the same position of coming to a new school and not knowing anyone. To be open to new ideas and listen to other people's opinions so that I could have supported my opinions better.
That all professors don't require you to have the textbooks and that you should wait until after the first day of class to order books. Also, don't by new books, there are PLENTY of ways to find used books. For example, go online to Ebay.com or Chegg.com.
Does not have a proper pre-med focus, although they still court these students. Academic advising is weak for Biology majors. Make sure you are able to obtain all the information that you need to make the proper class choices, independently.