By: Kayla Sherrod
Let’s agree that beginning college can be one of the most stressful times of a high school graduate’s life. From graduating at the top of your game, to being tossed down to the bottom of the food chain once again, the college experience can be quite overwhelming. The myriad of requirements and tasks expected to complete (I’m talking to you AP testing scores) can seem like a hydra-headed monster coming at you from all angles, but learning how to tame this monstrosity can help guide you into one of the most influential times of you life.
First rule of adulting: Always read the back page. I found this out the hard way when I showed up at orientation with zero knowledge of spending the night in the dorms. I had nothing with me to stay overnight but the clothes on my back and had to bargain with my sister just to bring me a toothbrush (looks like I will be doing her laundry for the next month). I also forgot to upload a photo for my WYO ID card and had to run to Knight Hall to get a photo. Of course I thought I was fast enough to make it from Knight Hall to the Gateway Center in 5 minutes, instead I was late --but not fashionably late. I ran into the first orientation sweaty and confused looking like a complete mess, and to my surprise, someone recognized me from the UW class of 2020 Facebook group and came up to sit with me. Throughout my first day of orientation, I only saw three people from my high school class and I found myself bonding with new friends over the Facebook group and excitement with starting their freshmen year of college. My theory of UW being like high school was debunked and I was ready to see what advising had in store for me.
When starting the advising process, I thought I wanted to double major in marketing and psychology because let’s face it, it’s cool to say that you’re double majoring. However, when the whole process began I was quite overwhelmed.
The classes I needed to be in were filling up, and I could not register for a majority of them without sending in my AP scores, which I wouldn’t know until July 6th. The new block system was stumping my advisor, and she seemed to have no idea how to work the system. I found myself with 20 credit hours and stuck in the “Beauty of Computing,” as my first year seminar. There was no way that I, someone who panics at the word “math,” was going to take a computing class. I needed to get out of it pronto.
I decided to change my advisor and go undeclared, which was a big step for me. Going undeclared sort of scared me, because the last thing I wanted to be was a super senior- the grandma on campus while everyone else has already landed their dream jobs, but it’s ok to be undeclared. I now get to take a variety of classes that interest me, and I have more time to figure out my life - even if it means taking an extra semester.
As the summer starts to come closer to an end, it is finally hitting me that I’ve graduated from high school and will be starting my first year of college. I actually convinced myself to look at my AP scores and was shocked to find out I will receive credit for my AP psych exam, as I was 100% sure I flunked. I also have realized that maybe the reason I’m missing a bunch of important information from UW is that I’m not checking my WyoWeb email. I guess I can’t use the cheesy gmail address (yes, it had pretty obvious reference to Justin Bieber) that I thought was hilarious in middle school and still insist on using.
It’s still hard for me to grasp that I’m starting a new chapter in my life. Yet even though I’m feeling these precollege nerves, I’m still extremely excited --ready to face these nerves and maybe not be so forgetful on the first day of classes.
- Check your UW email. You might be missing important stuff if you don’t.
- Don’t be afraid to look at your AP scores and make sure they have been posted to your WyoWeb. You might be pleasantly surprised.
- Expect to be a little bit (ok a lot) nervous! It’s okay because most everyone else will be too.
- Join social media accounts where you will meet other incoming students. It’s nice to see a familiar face on campus.
- Don’t be afraid to go in not knowing exactly what you want to do. My advisor told me it is very common to change majors throughout your college career. Keep an open mind and be ready to tackle new experiences!