What We’d Do Differently- Freshmen Year Stories from CFYE Staff

There is a definite misconception when arriving at college that older students were always masters at university life. However, every college student starts as a freshman and has to make a few mistakes before learning to navigate their new life. From missed classes, to awful roommates, it has taken a lot of experience to get to where those upperclassmen are now. So don’t worry, becoming a collegiate expert becomes more of a reality with each day of your life at UW-Madison. Until then, however, our student staff members at the UW-Madison Center for the First-Year Experience are here to help with tips and stories of their freshman year experiences. Take our advice, and you’ll go from #FutureBadgers to professional #OnWisconsin singers in no time.

Evan Warwick

SOAR New Student Leader:


“I wish I would have been comfortable being myself. Those first couple weeks of freshman year, I was so worried about making friends that I changed who I was in order to meet their expectations. In the process of doing that, I did some things that I would regret, but that taught me to be my true self because I want friends that like me for who I am, not for who I pretend to be.

Megan Slife

SOAR Programming Intern:


“I wish I had gotten more involved! I was very involved in high school and decided I wanted a break from involvement once I got to campus. I was excited to be able to just focus on classes and not worry about going to any meetings or having any commitments. What I didn’t consider was how isolated this would make me! Spring semester I decided to get more involved, and it helped me not only meet new people but also develop my leadership style and learn to work interpersonally with my peers.”

Fei He

SOAR New Student Leader:


“I should have used the Greater University Tutoring Service in addition to going to professor’s office hour and asking my TA. Sometimes the office got busy and sometimes I was still confused after talking to them.”

Cassidy Johnson

CFYE Communications Intern:


“I wish I wasn’t so afraid of making mistakes. This time at university is space for trying, stumbling, and trying again until something clicks. Welcome the challenges.”

Contact our office with any questions or concerns at 608-263-0367 or newstudent@studentlife.wisc.edu.


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