University of Wisconsin-Madison Top Questions

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

Felicia

I would tell myself some simple and obvious things if I could go back in time to give myself advice. I would tell myself to be brave. Transitioning is hard, and still to this day can be hard no matter how many times I do it, but it's important to know that the transition is much easier when you open yourself up to it. Don't come too full of grand expectations, just live through each moment and take each opportunity as it comes and make the most of it. Don't doubt yourself. Trust your instinct and your own sense of direction in order to guide you, and most importantly do what you love. Don't waste a day of your life doing something miserable. Chase every one of your dreams because it's worth it.

Andrew

The advice I would give my high school self would be to enjoy being around my family, apply for as many scholarships as you can, and enjoy every moment you're given with your closest friends. Going away to college, I found myself missing not only my immediate family, but my grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and everyone else in my family. I would tell my senior self to cherish our family reunions because you'll see those family members even less now that you're going to be in college. Next, apply for as many scholarships as you can becuase college is so expensive. Scholarships will help lessen the burden on you and your parents. Lastly, I would tell myself to cherish every moment I have with my friends because unfortunately, life gets in the way and you will naturally grow apart from your friends. You will make new friends, and your friends will make new friends, but it is important to never forget who went through childhood with.

Caitlin

If I could go back in time and talk to myself as a high school senior, I would tell myself to never sell myself short. I would say that while finishing out senior year on a good note is important, the most important thing is focusing on setting up a bright future for yourself through applying to colleges and scholarships early. I would encourage myself to fully take advantage of every service offered to aid me in the process of transitioning from high school to college, be it through my high school, potential university, or an outside party. Most importantly, I would tell myself to enjoy every minute of this process and to put in as much effort as possible, because it is a key turning point in every person's life and deserves lots of care. Work hard and enjoy it all, and at the end take it all in and go where you feel you belong--in the end, that is the place of education that you will gain the most from.

Ana

Senior year, for me, was the first year that I got a small taste of adulthood. I cherished that year because I finally felt on top of both my academics and the rest of the school. But if I could go back in time and give my seventeen year old self any advice, it would be to challenge myself more and to apply to colleges where I could actually see myself. My high school career wasn’t at all easy—I took four AP classes and practically all honors—but I wish that I had slipped in at least two more AP classes. Now that I’m in college, I was forced to take two extremely hard classes that most of my colleagues avoided thanks to their AP scores. I also wasted many late nights in high school applying to fourteen universities. I was not only draining my parents’ bank account, but also exhausting myself with the many essays and boring work that comes with applications. And now that I’m happily attending the best school for me, I know that there were at least five schools that I applied to that would never feel like home to me.

Megan

As a high school senior, I would have told myself how important it is to follow my passions and interests (to study fashion design), what I'm truly interested in. I wouldn't have wasted my time as a completely unhappy engineering major. Making that switch has entirely altered my overall happiness here at school. Jumping right in and pursuing my dreams right away as soon as I had the chance would be the advice I would give myself.

Sara

Take as many AP (advanced placement) classes as possible! They aren't hard if you work hard and bringing all those college credits with you is a huge plus! It's a great background to getting started and sets you up for any career direction you plan to had in. You will have delevoped great study skills for college course, making your freshman year easier! I took three AP classes in highschool, but in hind sight, I wish I would have taken them all!

Rachel

Rachel, You think you know a lot, but you really do not. Remember this as you go through your first semester. Constantly pay attention to everything going on around you, as it will pay future dividends. You are a smart person but college will show you what failure is all about. You have never failed at anything, but you will in college. The key is to learn from your failures and move on. Failure makes you a better person. Failure will get you to take tougher courses, or courses that you have no clue about the curriculum. College is going to round you out girl! You will not come back home after the first year as the little coddled suburban girl, but someone who is a little tougher, a little stronger, and a lot more confident! Welcome to the stage of your life where it all really starts to come together! You will succeed and you will love every minute of this exciting stage of life! Go Rachel! Go Badgers!

Wilder

I would love to be able to tell myself that it's important to give yourself time to be a novice at certain things. Jumping into new things that you're interested in is a big part of college, but it's impossible to do that when you expect to be good at everything the first time around. The same principle applies to finding friends. Leaving high school, you are used to having an immediate social support network with people who you've known for a long time. In college, you have to give people time to show who they are, and let that relationship develop.

Jonathan

I would tell myself to learn how to study better. Though it seems like a very common theme for college students, it truly is what seperates those who struggle through a class and those who excel. In highchool it was easy to procrastinate until the day before a test or not even study at all, but in college making sure you understand the material is mainly up to you. Those who take their education into their own hands outside of class and make the effort to understand the material will certainly find their college experience to be less stressful and more rewarding.

Sydney

I would tell myself that while I should expect change, never forget who I am, because it's easy to get swept up into the craziness that is transitioning into college. Also, don't forget to keep in touch with home. Call your mother more often, too.

Emily

Upon Finding Myself in the Past (Double Meaning?): Listen, baby. I know you're all content with yourself right now; it's only September, it's your last year in this horrible high school, and you can spend the whole thing thinking about how great college will be. You're taking it easy in your classes and focusing on clubs and friends and fun things. This year is all about what doing what you feel like doing, isn't it? What you should do comes second, is that right? Well, guess what? I am so proud of you. Staying calm and cool like this is exactly what will make the terrifying transition of child to adult much less terrifying. You can trust me on that. So continue to do exactly what your little, easy-going heart desires. It all works itself out in the end.

Jelan

I'm glad that you'll maintain the good habits that you established in high school at Yale. Continue to work smart and rest well to succeed as you encourage others on campus. You'll continue to make wise use of your professors and Career Services. Keep living your passion to empower marginalized communities. You will do this with Spanish and French-speaking communities in the United States and abroad. After college, you will do this through corporate social responsibility as a lawyer with a finance background. The friends and family that you have now will remain in school, and your compassion for others will develop many beautiful, long-lasting friendships. You'll enjoy cheering others on as you and your friends realize new goals and benefit the community. Congratulations on your success thus far. Enjoy what is to come!

Timothy

If I could go back in time and talk to my high school self, I would tell myself to make sure that I study harder. I would want myself to develop better study habits so that I would not have to try to discover what study strategies work for me during my first semester of college. If I had established a solid base of study habits in high school, I think I would have had a better first semester of college.

Hui Young

Firstly, I would give a background introduction of each college and university I am interested in attending. Then, I would give a detailed explanation on the university's academic education and the various undergraduate majors offered, and how the programs can be used as a stepping stone in the future working environment or in graduate studies. Besides the academic aspect, I could also talk about campus life, including the people, culture, living residences, food, sports, transportation, costs and virtually everything else that will affect me. If the university is in a different city from that of my high school, I could give a general perspective on living in the city, and even introduce myself to new and interesting places of interest that I could visit, as well as what I could enjoy and what needs to be avoided. These advice will definitely help a newcomer, like my high school senior self, to integrate seamlessly into the college and city community, easing the pressure of adapting to the new environment.

Kelsey

I would advise myself to wipe away any preconceived notions about what it means to grow up in a “normal” environment, as well as what it means to be “normal”. I grew up in a place where the norm was to finish high school and go to college. When people graduated from high school, you did not ask what people were going to do after graduation; you asked where they were going to school. This was normal to me. However, going through college and talking with people who grew up in different environments than me made me realize that there is no normal. People come from all different backgrounds and this shapes who they are. Learning from people of all backgrounds helps give you a different perspective on life. It helps you grow as a person and realize how you want to live your life. I believe people who never learn about lifestyles different from their own will never be able to understand some of the struggles people in this country go through. Because of college, I have a been able to challenge my view of the world and this has helped me have a better understanding of the world.

Jesse

Some advice that I would give myself back as a high school senior is to take more challenging classes before getting to college. I didn't take easy classes but some AP classes like AP Biology or AP Chemistry really good've helped me do better in some of my gen ed classes I am taking this year. I am taking Zoology 101 currently and it is very similar to AP Biology. If I would've taken the AP class, I would be doing better in Zoology 101 and would have a great backround knowledge of Biology, compared to me now having not taken Biology since 9th grade. Another thing I know now that I would advise to my senior in high school self is learn how to truly study. In high school, I was never forced to study a lot, or study very intensely. My parents would tell me I need to learn to study before I get to college but I didn't know what they meant. College classes take many, many hours in your dorm room or at the library studying just to pass. I had no idea what the rigor would be like at Madison.

Migena

Our battle is with the time. My mission is graduating in the regular process, even in the shorter time than the regular graduating. This means to me: To be perfectly organized, to spent the time with highest efficiency, to be very concentrated in studying. At least, to understand that I will be running in all my life. For me, the High School must be the right place where I should have learned how important a good schedule is, and especially, how important the schedule realization is.

Kaleigh

I assumed my time at UW-Madison would be a breeze. My first semester proved this wrong. I wasn’t prepared to face the emotional, social, and academic challenges that hit me as soon as I arrived. At first, I clung to friends from high school. When these friends made new friends and I didn’t, I found myself alone. While the rest of my classmates found their place, I fell into the background and my grades suffered. Other students stayed close with their families, but I was always “too busy.” To top it off, I gained the “Freshman 15.” I contemplated dropping out. I’d lost my identity. Soon I realized I needed to step out of my comfort zone and make communication a priority. I developed friendships. Having friends for support, made everything easier. I joined student organizations, got to know my instructors and reconnected with my family. Soon my grades improved. Instead of just another student on campus, I started to feel significant. I’m learning to appreciate communication. The more people I meet, the more connections and opportunities I’ve had. This huge campus gets a little smaller each time I see a familiar smile.

Lindsay

Listen up, you don't have to rush this. Education is about being involved, and that means forming a relationship with knowledge, with your teachers, your peers, and your community. Yes, your parents want you to finish in 4 years and then get a job. Maybe you think it will look bad if you don't, or if it takes you longer or you want to start making money or don't want to graduate without your friends, but this is can be the beginning of a lifelong relationship with what makes you a passionate, cultivated, and self-reflexive citizen. Being educated is a privelege. Attending lectures with 500 other anonymous, voiceless students, never knowing your professor, cramming for tests, and never applying the knowledge as you learn it is, is a shame. This is the moment in life when you are priveleged enough to be given the space, the time, and the resources to really learn something about the world and yourself. Take your time.

Kelsey

Save the money! I worked throughout high school and always spent the money I earned right away on things that I do not even use anymore. The biggest stressor during my college career, other than school, has been money. I would tell myself to save as much as I could because, there are some emergencies that happen that you cannot control. I would also tell myself to stay true to who I am. Once I got into college, there are a couple of times that I have questioned about who I was, if I was doing the right thing, and if I was where I belonged. I would say that get to know yourself as best as you can while you're in high school, because it saves time during college of trying to figure out who you are. The last thing I would tell myself is that you have a blank slate. You are going to a new place where people may or may not know you. Embrace that, try new things, do not dwell on things that happend in high school, because nobody cares in college. You have a blank slate where you can become whoever you want.

Alicia

My high school career was the best time of my life. I had the opportunity to participate in various clubs and academic honor societies. I also had the opportunity to explore my interests, but unfortunately, those four years had to come to an end. During my senior year of high school, I worked extremely hard to complete college admissions applications. I put work into making sure that I had strong letters of recommendation and a very well-written essay. However, I overlooked one very important process, which was the financial aid process, so if I were a high school senior, I would give myself advice about financial aid. Going through the financial aid process is one of the most difficult processes as a graduating senior. There is a lot to learn and understand about this process before going to college. I would advise myself to apply for scholarships that I am eligible for. Receiving scholarships would have allowed me the opportunity to study abroad for a longer period of time as an undergraduate. I am in a professional program now and funding is very limited, but having scholarships can undoubtedly relieve the financial burden of out of pocket expenses.

Ashley

I have surprisingly few things to say to my high school self. The first thing I would tell me is to save the money on the application to my "backup" school because I knew all along I wouldn't go there even if it was my only acceptance. I feel as though I transitioned relatively well to college life. One thing that I would tell myself is to get involved right away freshman year. I would confirm that I should run track, but I would tell myself to not let that deter me from getting involved in other organizations - track doesn't last forever. Along with organizations, I would tell myself to not be lazy and join a research lab and/or find a good summer internship to give me experience for the future. I am extremely happy with how my college career turned out, but, when I look back, I feel as though I missed some good opportunities. If only I really could talk to my high school self. Keep dreaming, right?

Tucker

Don't judge any person, any lifestyle, or any method. In a world where anything goes, you learn quick that those you once thought outcasts or losers will later become your best friends. Everyone does it differently, and there is no wrong way. High school taught you the basic pattern of how to get to an answer or destination. College will disect that method, introduce new ones, and leave it up to you to decide the best one for you. Not only in academics, but in relationships, work, and life in general. Open your door to new things. College is the time to try them. But! remember your limits. There is a fine line between immersing yourself in a new crowd and accepting their values; and becoming a part of something you will later regret.

nicole

I recently turned thirty and oh boy do i have a lot of advice for my stuck up know it all eighteen year old self!! My biggest regret is not listening to my mother and every other older and wiser adult that tried to tell me how important education is. I didnt have any college educated role models that I was influenced by. Neither of my parents went to college and both have job security and are financially stable. My nieve younger self thought I would have the same "luck". But times have changed and having a college degree is a must! Having twelve years in the work force, I have experienced first hand, that not having an education doesn't even put me on the playing field for many employment positions. My employment history has been by chance, who I knew, having a friendly personality, and a big smile! None of my positions offered job security, stability, or oppurtunites for advancement. Financially I have struggled, just getting by day to day. I now know that having an education followed by a career will enable me to be financially secure and allow me to live out my dreams.

Kailey

If I could give my high school self advice it would be to take a semester off before starting college. Three weeks before I graduated high school, my older brother Tim passed away unexpectedly. We had planned for him to transfer schools so we could live and study together at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After losing him, I felt as if I needed to continue with my college plans. I struggled through my freshman year, and I found it difficult to share my story or pain with others. Three weeks into my sophomore year I was struggling yet again, but this time it was worse. I talked with my parents and decided to withdraw from school. After a semester off, I went back to school and I truly enjoyed myself. If I could tell my high school self anything, it would be to take the semester off. I thought I would be judged for leaving, but it was the best decision I could have made. I now enjoy school, and Tim would have wanted it that way.

Richard

I would advice myself to overachieve as a high school student and to be more active in high school sports. Overachieving would help prepare me better for my freshman year of college and being more active in high school sports may help transition me to play more in college, possibly on my schools sports team.

Brice

In the event that I could go back in time to talk to my high school self, one of the main things I would tell myself is to change my attitude towards classes I dreaded. I need to make the best out of those classes and do my absolute best. I would also tell myself to not to procrastinate on applying for scholarships and to apply for as many as possible. Another thing would be to tell myself to enjoy high school and not just rush to graduate. I would also tell myself to sit in the front of the class so that way I wouldn’t sleep and that I would pay attention more. I would need to get to school a little earlier so that I would have time to eat breakfast so that way I would be awake and have a good start on my school day. The last thing I would tell myself is to take the AP Statistics course test seriously so that way I could have received the college credit. In conclusion, I am following this advice now and it has made a major difference.

Caroline

If I had the capacity to return to my days as a high school senior I would apply for more scholarships because the cost of college is increasing annually. Furthermore, the uncertain financial climate that we live in does not lend itself to a person feeling fiscally secure at any moment. Scholarships and grants allow students to attend universities that otherwise would be placing a greater financial strain on a student's family. Renewable scholarships that carry over for all four years of a student’s undergraduate career, are especially lucrative, and the particular kind I would have encouraged my high school self to apply for. As a result of the escalating price of college, I may need to take out loans that could be a fiscal burden until my late twenties. Had I solicited more scholarships and grants, I could have been relieved from these potential fiscal constraints. It is my hope that I can share this advice with younger students so that they can take advantage of all of the scholarships available for qualified students.

Nicole

Nicole, Keep on going with your school and work. In the end you'll take something away from it for the future, whether it be friendship, knowledge, money, experience or a memory. Manage your time wisely. You'll do much better in school and otherwise if you do. Take the time you need to prepare yourself. Pick up extra hours at work. That extra income can only help you, even if you do have to sacrifice some of your time. When you move to college, remember that almost everyone else is just as nervous as you. You will adjust in time, but don't let that stop you from going out and making new friends now. Do something to get involved. Before you know it, your 1st semseter will be gone, so use it wisely! Stay Strong, Nicole

Dana

Dana, Develop in academic knowledge, financial wisdom, and social interaction. First I would like to encourage you to enter into this new world of opportunity and mistakes, called College, with drive and energy like none other. Know that you will make mistakes but when you do, push back harder. Concerning academics, your main goal is to exit college with a wealth of knowledge represented by an excellent GPA. Develop a true passion for your career at an early stage and find something to keep you going. Just know that there is an internship waiting for you. Find your balance early on. Balance is the key in time management. Keep your eye on the prize which is to be a successful engineer. Stay strong in your beliefs, values, and morals. Make a difference. Don’t fall behind. College is like the military. Weak soldiers don’t make it to the end. Engineering is one of the toughest fields of study with a small representation of students similar to you. Sleep less, study more! Beware of the allusion of time. Time seems so full but it disintegrates like quick-sand once you enter the world of college. Take advantage of every second.

Gabrielle

I often clashed with schoolmates at school. Paired with my unfailing honesty and over-active mouth, my cantankerousness and determination caused recurrent foot-in-mouth disease. Consequently, classmates physically and emotionally bullied me through 11th grade when it climaxed after ostracization due to fictitious rumors. Accepted to university, I rightfully feared a childhood repeat. My roommate, a drama queen and avid gossip, spread hyperbolic hearsay about me based on shallow first impressions. I sunk into a depression during my first semester away from my best friend, my older sister. A resultant eating disorder and insomnia impaired my academic performance. After four years of spiritual inquiry and personal maturation, I have learned that people's false assumptions should not overpower the caring and capable person I am. If I were to speak to my high school self, I would say, “Don't disrespectfully misjudge others as others have you. Never give up the promise and love you have for fellow humans, because through openmindedness and realistic idealism you will help those who experience similar and more demanding difficulties. Spread the knowledge that many have granted you, in and out of the classroom, in hope that kindred spirits will continue the chain.”

Ashley

I would go back to myself a few months prior to my senior self. I would tell myself that I should take the leap and live with my sister in the state that I wanted, and now am attending. This would make my college experience much more affordable. I would be spending my senior year at a new school anyway, so why not go to a completely new area that will later benefit my college experience. I would also tell my senior self that I should take as many college courses as possible, as long as I knew they would transfer. I would also tell myself to take all of the challenging classes possible because knowing how to study is vital in college. Then, I would go on to comfort myself that you WILL meet people in college that get you and you just click with. Just be yourself and everything will fall into place.

Frankie

Dear High School Self, I know that you are anxious about whether or not you made the right decision for your future. You are boldly stepping out into the world, just three days after graduating high school and it is okay to be fearful. There is a grand possibility that life will not go the way that you envisioned throughout your younger days and I am here to tell you that is perfectly fine. Rather than fearing what will not go your way, focus on the things that are going well and the people that are beneficial to your daily life. Work hard when you have to and soak up the time that you have to relax. Do not create busy work for yourself; do things that you really want to. Enjoy yourself and live each moment to the fullest, even if that moment includes a nap. Make time for your family throughout your college years and focus on setting good habits; this time can be greatly beneficial to your future. Love boldly. Live for others. Take criticism in stride and never forget the importance of play and fun in life. You will be fantastic. Frankie Lynn Larson

Annemarie

As a senior, I would tell myself to be more confident in myself. Making the college decision is difficult given the variety and the realization that this will forever make or break the future; however, what I didn't realize is that that is true for every other decision I made in high school and beforehand. The difference between the decisions is making a college decision is one that you cannot avoid or people hype it up to be much more difficult than it should be. There are colleges that are wrong for a person, but there are more than one or two colleges that will function as appropriate places for the next four years. So, instead of waiting and attempting to avoid a decision, be confident in what seems right for the time and then decide to make it work without looking back at what could have been.

Lorenzo

Do you have any idea of how different things are going to be for you in college? Let me tell you something. I know you have had a lot of trouble making friends and the bullies do not make things much easier. Trust me, you will find out that there are people that are just as 'quirky' as you. You can be yourself! Once you see that you are your own solution, the confidence will just blossom. Friendships will be made and some will be lost, but you will learn from them so don't beat yourself up. Your family will see an old side of you that will help your little sister feel better about herself as well. Money will post a hinderance but like dad always says "no one is going to help you like you" so keep looking! You will find that there are people out there that will want to help you. Most importantly, love yourself. The only way you will experience any good out of what your going through right now is to love yourself. Mom will thank you for it.

Kristen

My main piece of advice is: don't hesitate to get involved. While academics go hand in hand with going to college, going to school is not all about academics. Extracirricular activities are beneficial for you as a student in academic, social and psychological ways. First, you can get involved in study groups. It is important to vary study techniques to enhance learning and one of the best ways is to get to know others in your class by forming or joining a study group. This way you are able to teach others which in turn teaches yourself. It also provides a helpful group to bounce questions off of. Secondly, getting involved in student activities such as sports and volunteering helps keep you well-rounded. It also helps provide you with real-life experiences that you don't receive from a textbook in addition to just being plain fun. Lastly, do not be afraid to get involved in things that you may not have tried or heard of before. Going to college is all about furthering your education and gaining new life experiences. Being involved academically and extracirricularly is a sure way to ensure your satisfaction and success in college.

Teri

I f I were able to go back in time and tell myself what I know now, I’d say resist the urge to put college on hold for any length of time. Although I finally did get motivated to enroll in school eventually, taking that year off after high school broke the momentum I could have maintained to help me stay on task. I'd say relying on my Mom to get financially prepared is not a good idea. I would tell my 18 year old self, to get it in gear. There are many scholarships that were available to me at the time, if only I had applied. Those same scholarships are even available now, but are not accessible to me now. When I had the chance to attend Howard University, I had no idea how to complete any of the financial aid documentation, so when it came to it, I didn’t have the money or the knowledge to even apply for other funding. I’d tell myself to just push through the struggles because harder times are ahead, and maybe not study Music Education and listen to my uncle and find an area in computers instead.

Deborah

Meet your BFF (Math)The person I was in 2008 is not too different than the person I am now. One major piece of advice I wish I could give myself though, when I was a high school senior is to focus more on math. Because math has been my biggest hurtle in my academic life thus far. Math and me have never gotten along, but I wish I had tried harder to build mathematics and I relationship, I wish me and him (Math) were best friends. I am happy to announce that our relationship is growing. I hope to tell my past self that Math and me have gotten engaged, but baby steps right now.

stacy

Dear Stacy, The first thing I would like you to know, is that everything you do from here on counts towards your future. I know that many of your fellow classmates and even teachers have told you how hard AP classes are, and that you shouldn't take them, but trust me you won't know unless you give it a try! From now on with everything that you do, make sure you have a plan A, B, and C. Dont let the words "you can't" affect you in any way, shape or form. Though you may not have the highest test scores, I still want you to apply to all the schools of your choice, no matter if you do not think there is a possibility that you will get in. I know you are working and playing tennis in addition to school, but remain focused! Lastly, and most importantly save your money! I know there is a lot of pressure being a senior, especially with all the activities happeneing. However as you will exit high school you will find your needs to be higher than ever. Books are no longer free nor are they cheap. Sincerly, Stacy

Matthew

I would advise myself not to be so worried about making friends, academic performance, and the overall transition. I would tell myself to just act naturally and find the people that I can connect with and have similar interests. Finding clubs and activities are a great way to meet people with somethings in common and look great for future applications. Also, I would inform myself that college is much more intense than high school when it comes to classes. You don't have to be the best or get the highest grade all the time, but it's still important to do your best work. The standard for doing well is much high and it will take more time and concentration to do well, but that doesn't mean that impossible to do well. One bad grade isn't the end of the world. Lastly, I would inform myself that the transition will take time and things will feel tough or uneasy at first. However, about halfway throught the first semester, you will find your niche, discover what works for you, and feel like an actual college student.

Kayla

Although my highschool was what many small town Wisconsin folks may call "large," it was nothing compared to the massive community at UW-Madison. I say "community" because while the undergraduate population was around 45,000, a day never goes by where you don't see a familiar face. Regardless, the vastness of the campus and particularly my classes, sometimes as large as 400 students, became quite overwhelming when I first started college. It became difficult to ask questions in class or to address my professors in office hours. I struggled through several classes my first couple years of college because I, not once, went to office hours. I, rarely, asked for help from classmates. This behavior was completely uncharacteristic of myself as I was in high school when I always asked questions and frequently communicated with my peers and teachers. It was all out of fear that I lost that community that I was used to in high school. After four years at UW-Madison I realize that there is a strong sense of pride among generations of Badgers and if I could only talk to my high school self I would say "reach out and LEARN!"

Carolyn

As an adult who has now returned to college to earn a degree in the field I had originally wanted to pursue, I would encourage all high school seniors to not give up. Do not let anyone stand in the way of what you really want to do. Explore different career paths and if one door closes on you, keep knocking. I wish I would have kept knocking instead of simply opening another door, which led me nowhere. Stay focused and be proud of who you are. Get involved with activities at school and utilize the resources available to you. Most of all, enjoy the experience because it will go by so fast.

Dalal

Enjoy college life and not rush through college just to finish very fast. Also, I would say to be more involve the many different organizations and athletic teams.

Dane

My advice for anyone entering college for the first time is to do everything you possibly can. All too often people slack a bit and take their new found freedom for granted. This is a time in a young persons's life to experiment, this especially true for big universities and urban schools. There are too many events to attend and people to meet to justify sitting in a dorm or apartment. Living life to its fullest also help a student determine who they are and what sort of career they want to pursue. The sooner an individual can figure that out, the better. Attending a university for a fifth year is usually not desirable or financially responsible. The people a person meets at college will often stick with them for the rest of his or her life. There is so much growing up and self reflection during this phase of life, make the most of it!

Dani

In retrospect, I would definitely tell myself to make more of an effort socially and to take less classes. I worked really hard my first two years in college and did not focus too much on meeting new people. I was the first child out of my whole family to go to college (not including the adults) and there was a lot of pressure to succeed and make good use out of my parent's funding of my education. I would also tell myself not to stress so much and to enjoy my time here more.

Bryana

If I could give myself any advice as a high school senior, the most important thing I would tell myself is to never take family for granted. It is one of the very most important things in life and is also one of the only certainties in life.

Hannah

Don't be afraid! UW-Madison may be ten times bigger than your high school, but you are going to have so many opportunities and are going to meet so many awesome people that will make UW-Madison's huge campus feel like home. Don't be afraid of trying new things! Going outside of your bubble is totally worth it and it helps you discover things about yourself that you may never have realized! Don't be afraid that no one will like you! It is 100% guranteed that you will find someone who has similar interests to your own! Not only will people just like you be your friends, but you will meet people who you are friends with just because they are so much different than you and can help you learn about different cultures. Don't be afraid of getting lost on campus! There's an app for that! Don't be afraid to be yourself! College is not high school. No one will gossip about you for wearing things that express your crazy sense of style. No one knows about all of those embarassing, akward high school moments. Don't be afraid, college is awesome!

Samuel

I would tell myself not to pack and bring too many things to my dorm room. It may seem like it is a difficult transition to make from living at home to a single room, but it's not. There is no need to hold on to a large amount of possessions to ease into that transition. Life in college is an experience that is interesting and intellectually stimulating. I would tell myself and others to be sure to prepare for introspection on life, convictions, opinions, and feelings. Studying and obtaining a degree are the most important components of attendance at a university, but discovering yourself as a person is very important. It is critical to embrace figuring out who you were, who you are, and who you will become to be successful and fulfilled in life.

Luke

I just have a few things for you so pay attention. Number 1: For the love of God, please turn everything in early. I know you got your applications in with plenty of time but now, it is all about scholarships. Every scholarship you see that you might qualify for, apply for. What is the worst that could happen? You might not get it, but what have you wasted? A couple hours of work for a possible scholarship is far worth it. Number 2: Adults you meet in college, no matter how scary, sincerely want you to succeed. They do need to who you are, however, to help you. Make sure your academic advisors and professors know who you are. Do not be irritating but also do not be afraid to answer questions in class. Number 3: Do not load up your first semester with 18 credits. Relax in the courses you take. There is nothing wrong with taking generals if you need them. However, just because your classes will not be insanely hard, you cannot slack off. Focus on the classes you take and create a strong foundation to build on in coming semesters.

Erin

If I could talk to my high school self, I would tell her college is as awesome as I thought it would be. College is a time to reinvent yourself because no one has known you your entire life. You are free to take what ever classes you want because they were created to help you discover yourself. And definitely do not worry about making friends. It is cliche, but everyone is in the same boat as you, looking for someone awesome to hang out with. During those awkward ice breakers, be the girl who goes first and has confidence. Do not limit yourself to what you were in high school because you will definitely be missing out on new experiences. When you are in the dorm, keep your door open, you never know what will happen. Someone could ask if you want to go lake jump at 2 am or take the city bus (gasp!) to a free concert on the otherside of town. Live life with no regrets. Also, forget all the cute shows and make sure to pack some comfortable ones. When you rely on your feet for transportation, fashion no longer matters.

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