University of Wisconsin-Madison Top Questions

What's the one thing you wish someone had told you about freshman year?

Andrew

Before I came to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, I wish I would have known how to prepare for exams. As a high school student, one is not expected to study as hard for tests. In high school, I had a perfect GPA and never had to study. In college, I literally had to teach myself how to study and it was something that was new to me and demanded a lot of time and effort if I wanted to achieve good grades.

Wilder

I wish that I had known that success at this university requires a lot of initiative. This school will give a person everything that they need, it's just a matter of seeking it out. The opportunities at the University of Wisconsin are unlimited, but one has to be very active in working on them.

Jesse

Before I came to the University of Wisconsin-Madison I wish that I had knew how important and beneficial it would have been to take more AP classes in high school. I received 6 college credits from my two passed AP tests which is equivalent to around half of a semester of credits. Having those free credits saves a ton of money, and also can prepare you a lot more for college level classes. I should've taken more AP classes.

Kaleigh

College is a lot harder than high school.

Ashley

Before attending college I thought I had to know what I wanted to do with my life - I wish I knew that wasn't necessary. After graduating, I still don't know exactly what I want to do. Going into school I wish I had known to look into multiple organizations and a variety of classes to have options and new ideas. I feel as though I limited myself by not being more involved. I wish someone told me to not be lazy and take advantage of all the opportunites available to me.

Dane

I wish I had more insight on application procedures and priorities. For many years, I was so cought up in the present, I did not start planning for my future as early as I wanted. There is so much going on, on campus, it is easy to get distracted. I would have really loved for someone to sit me down and explain the process of getting a job in my field, applying for grad school, and getting a loan. The help is out there, but in order to get it, one must know where to look.

Lindsey

I wish I would have known how easy it is to fall into the party scene. Although I recieved good grades and worked hard, I often partied hard on "Thirsty Thursdays" and would fail to go to class the next day.

Jacek

I wish I knew about the on-campus family housing at Eagle Heights.

Jennifer

Madison gets cold, really cold during the winters, especially since you have to walk around a lot. It is a really good idea to bring a lot of warm clothes. Another thing is that classes do tend to get very big and it is very easy to skip class. Whatever you do don't skip class and try to go to your professor's office hours and try to build a relation ship with them.

Keri

I absolutely LOVED attending UW-Madison. Before going to school, I wish I had been advised to spend more time checking which courses would cover which requirements. I studied abroad and took some science classes which transfered as electives, not requirements for my degree. I wish I had been better advised to tell myself to look at the larger picture, then I would not have had to take classes during the summer. Time is money, and I would have liked to save myself some of both, but I wouldn't have traded my UW experience for the world!

Scott

Before coming to this school i wish i had known how much more independent students need to be in order to do well in school. The instruction for what assignments to do and what studying is necessary is really vague and students are expected to be on their own for the most part. This is much different than high school so it was a bit of a suprise.

Murphy

Although I am fortunate enough to live with a very diverse group of people in a learning community in the dorms, I wish I knew more about the struggles the Univeristy seems to be having with diversity on campus. Living with such a diverse group of people has opened my eyes to many prominent issues regarding racial identity and cultural awareness within the student body. I am fortunate to be apart of a learning community that is very proactive about promoting racial equality and diversity throughout campus. It has been a truly eye opening experience.

Jennifer

I wish I would've known more about the professions I was interested in. For example, how important social work certification is in career that is established in direct service with helping individuals. Nobody told me that until after I graduated... and it was then that I saw the difference in pay as well as job opportunities.

Victoria

I wish I had known about the challenges that came with time management in college and about how truly free I could be.

Eloise

UW-Madison has a very large student body. This obviously has advantages--there are so many different people to meet!--but it can also be intimidating at first. Thankfully, there are an incredible variety of clubs and organizations on campus that allow students to meet like-minded individuals while getting involved in things they care about. When I didn't really get to know many new people in my classes, I turned to campus clubs, where I met some really interesting people I can now call my friends.

Michael

I wish I would have had more opportunities to explore careers. When I began school, I was not sure of a major and felt like I floundered for a semester. I was focused on athletics and knew I wanted to attend the University of Wisconsin but didn't really give enough thought to what I wanted to do after graduation. During Thanksgiving break my mom put it to me like this, "What do you want to be doing when you are 40?" I was able to answer that and that set me on the path for a career in education.

Carrie

I wish I had known to look harder for a job earlier. It's been VERY difficult to find a worthwhile job on campus and I wish I would've started looking earlier. Finances at UW-Madison are difficult - I transferred and was given more aid by the small private university I previously attended.

Jayme

I wish I would have known how the transition process into the start of college was going to be. I was stressing out about not knowing anyone or getting lost but the campus seemed to have a sense of familiarity to it so the transition was easier than expected.

Kristina

I have switched majors three times, and upon entering college I was told that would not hurt a student?s path; college was supposed to be a time to explore and find what you loved and discover what you did not enjoy. Unfortunately for me, it has hurt me. I will end up going to school for at least an extra semester, possibly an extra year, and for someone who struggles to make ends meet, this is stressful and frustrating. I wish that during orientation someone had sat down and been straight with me about the different degree programs.

Alexa

I wish I would have known about more of the great resources available at this university before coming. There are so many great resources available that I didn't know about until a couple of weeks into the first semester. I think that if I had known about these resources right away, my transition from high school to the rigorous coursework that college entails would have been a lot smoother.

Martin

I wish I had known how helpful AP classes are. They test students out of many entry level courses, and they prepare students for college exams. After my first exam, I learned how thankful I was that I had taken so many AP exams. Also, I wish I had known of the massive amount of freetime and distractions. Because you have so much time to do whatever, it is easy to get carried away on doing fun things instead of studying, and studying is a must at UW-Madison.

Nicole

I wish I had known how to better distribute my time among my different courses. Being more organized would also allow me to open my eyes to other organizations and clubs that the University has to offer. I want to get the most out of my college experience and I never realized that time and money step up so much in importance in my list of priorities.

Janet

I wish I had been more knowledgeable about the importance of a high school GPA later in my educational career.

Susan

How large some of the classes are

Sarah

Before coming to school I wish I would have known how hard the work load would be. I mean in high school, teachers always remind you that college is going to much hard than high school and it wasn't that I didn't believe them. But I under estimated things because in college, or at least UW, some course are taught in a completely different format. Like math for example. If I would have know workloads were going to be this much, I would have prepared myself more.

Jacob

I wish I would have known how much living expenses can be. While living in the dorms is convenient, it is also fairly expensive. I met a lot of great friends in my dorm, and I would encourage any prospective student to live in the dorms the first year. When I started looking for a house for my sophomore year, I realized that a decent house near the campus is just as expensive if not more than the dorms and apartments are even pricier. So you should plan on spending a lot on housing, maybe as much as tuition.

Andrew

The one thing I wish I had known before coming to this school is how much effort it takes in order to achieve the grades you desire. It is no longer high school, where doing your work is good enough for an A. To get an A at the university level, it takes a complete and total comprehension of the material covered. The tests require this comprehension in order to do well on them, because although they are multiple-choice, the questions are designed in such a way that guessing is not possible; you must know what the answers are.

Alanna

Before coming to UW-Madison, I wish that I would have known how quickly the large campus becomes a small environment. I worried about being lost on the campus, but found that a strong group of friends is easily created.

Kristen

Before coming to college, I wish I had a better idea of what sort of major I was interested in. In high school, I always enjoyed math and science courses, but when I got to college I didn?t really know what to do with that knowledge.

William

I wish I knew about the career services for Engineering students right when I came to the school and immediatly enrolled and got my resume up to par. I still have not and I have been at UW Madison for three semesters. These services are going to be critical for me to get a job and to help out with the whole proscess. Knowing what your school offers you is incredibly important and every student should discover what a huge help UW Madison can be for them.

Erin

I wish I had known that despite the size of the student body and campus, UW Madison can be as large as you would like for it to be. Also, I would have wanted to know that although it makes things easier to choose a major early in your college career and take classes in that area, it is imporant to also take classes that interest you outside of that major as they have proven to be some of the most influential classes I have taken at UW.

Victoria

I wish I had recognized the importance of organizational skills! After Welcome Week, with its parties and revelry, it was difficult getting into a routine that would permit me to excel in my studies as well as stay in shape physically and give time to the community, all of which I had done in high school. I also wish I had realized that many students in the dorms would pressure me to spend more time partying than studying, so I could have prepared myself better for those temptations and spent more time at the library with other like-minded students.

gregory

never trust the advising. Figure everything out for yourself

Sadie

How to study better for exams. I also with I had more technological software training in high school.

Sophia

Living in the dorms isn't required freshman year, but you should definitely do it because otherwise it will be very difficult to make friends.

Gretchen

Live your life to the fullest, don't worry so much about grades. As long as you try your best, you will be fine, but it's important to allow yourself to cut loose and have fun. Don't get totally hung up in the academics. Live a little. These are supposed to be the best years of your life.

Caitlyn

I came from a small highschool where everybody knew each other to a huge university where it is easy to get lost and confused. I wish I had been given advice on how to advocate for myself and establish connections with faculty who could help me, because now as I enter my junior year I still don't know where to turn for help regarding my major and my future choices. When attending a university with 30,000+ students its easy to be anonymous; I wish I had put myself out there so that I stood out from the crowd.

Taylor

I wish I had known the best places to study, the best places to eat, and the best places to get some good alone time.

Nathan

How expensive housing is.

Rebecca

I wish I had known more about what the work load would be like. You never really find out until you are in the middle of everything. Also I wish I would have joined a few more clubs right off the bat. Extra Curriculars are a great way to have fun and get to know other people.

Edward

If there was something I wish I had known before entering UW-Madison, it would be the knowledge of how to feel about being undecided. I was very frustrated with myself that I might be wasting time in different departments, when actually I was exploring my interests and fulfilling G.E.s. I wish I would have known that it's alright to be a little confused about myself, as college is the time to discover one's self. I

katie

that students compete against each other more than themselves

Tatyana

Temperature in winter

Bridgette

I wish I would have known how much studying is necessary to succeed on exams. I also wish I knew how to expand my social circle. It is also VERY expensive to attend this school, and I underestimated the expenses. I wish I would have known how difficult and expensive off-campus housing was.

Nicol

The importance of taking the classes that will allow you to take more classes in that field instead of just taking random classes.

Lindsey

How quickly it was going to go. so fast, I wish I would have taken better advantage of free computer classes and done more activities.

Leah

Cost of living.

Julie

Dorms and apartments close to campus are expensive.

Sarah

How cold it was. How to search the timetable effectively.

Thomas

How stirct the school was on drinking violations.

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