Greetings Athens newbies! Welcome to the best four (or five) years of your life. Us washed up old folk wanted to share some of our wisdom with you alongside some classic photos from our days as freshmen. Hopefully after reading this, you'll feel a little more empowered to take on the year. And if not, hopefully you got a good laugh out of it. Now, go on and don't fail out of school kids
Don't buy your books at the bookstore.
There are so many ways to beat the system- rent from Chegg, Amazon Prime, borrow from a friend, or check out the local textbook places on Baxter St. Sometimes you don't even need the textbook. (Don't tell your parents we said that.)
Make some friends who aren't like you.
It's a big campus with lots of new faces. It's easy to look for the ones who look the most like yours. The people who share your same interests, same backgrounds, same perspective. But that's not how you grow.
Find that girl in the burrito line - your greatest common denominator is an affection for Mexican cuisine - and if that's not a friendship-starter IDK what is. Reach out to the guy you saw at that party once who listens to music you despise. To the person who takes classes on the other side of campus, or doesn't take class at all.
The diversity of my college friendships has made all the difference to me. I have friends who believe, do, and support things all across the board. It's challenged me to discover what it is I truly believe and truly enjoy, and to not just copy what the crowd around me says. Those copy cat games are for high school. You're on your own now.
Diversify your perspective. It may be uncomfortable at first, but it will teach you, challenge you, and ultimately, change you. (S/o to Emma for these wise words.)
Devon suggests carrying around a real map instead of relying on your phone. Annie says trust your cellular device like it's your own personal guardian angel and don't look up until you've run into the wall of the building you were looking for.
Moral of the story is to find out what works for you. Not just with maps, but with everything! There will be so many new experiences this year, it's your job to find out what makes YOU happy. Trust yourself, you can do this! (Wow that got rly inspirational sry. -Grace)
^Yeah, we hate us too. -Annie & Dev
Look into study abroad options early.
This way, you're less likely to miss out on the opportunity to choose the study abroad that is best suited for your schedule.
Use the vending machines in moderation.
Just trust us.. Bolton is more than enough. On the other hand, there's nothing quite like digging for quarters on a Sunday night while taking a break from crying and cradling your textbook. Go for it every once in while.
Don't ignore your parents, they're worried about you (and rightly so).
Call them once a week. It's nice (for you) to hear some familiarity and (for them) to know that you're not like, already failing out or something.
DO NOT PARK ILLEGALLY ON CAMPUS! PARKING TICKETS ARE EXPENSIVE!
And you can't register for classes until they're paid. (Same with Health Center fees. Fun right?)
Study less, enjoy life more.
Don't get too stressed. When you're getting ready to graduate there's no way you'll remember the grade you got on that one test you spent 48 hours studying for in the MLC. Find balance between trying too hard and not trying at all. Coast there.
^freshman emma, enjoying life
Bring back a winter coat after Thanksgiving.
Otherwise you'll end up layering up with 1/2 of your closet. It might not get THAT cold in Georgia for some of you, but you'll be grateful after a couple of December mornings walking to class in the cold.
Dev looking stylish as HECK
We're not even kidding. Quality of life vastly improves with hydration. Freshman year is rough. Drinking water is simple. It makes you feel better and maybe you won't gain as much weight as you thought you would. Woo!
Figure out the bus routes as soon as you can.
Annie still has to text Devon for advice on which bus to take. It's not pretty.
AND LASTLY, GET OUT THERE AND EXPLORE ATHENS!
Lol. But really, we all wish we had embraced this town a lot sooner. Sometimes it can seem intimdating, or hard to find time to leave your UGA bubble. There's so much more to this town than campus (or downtown between the hours of 10PM & 2AM). Use your weekends to find a new park, coffee shop, or hobby around town - the options are literally endless. You've got at least four years in this place, start making the most of it.... NOW!