Eva: “French or Russian: I Think I’m Getting a Concussion”

Hey Badgers! Did you enjoy orientation? Is reality sinking in yet? SOAR was our first real glimpse into our college lives. Did your table give cheers to our first visit to Madison on official business like mine did? This is the first time we came, as students, to our new home. No longer wide-eyed, prospective students touring campus- We’re now the official class of 2020.

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When I walked into Union South, I saw several incoming freshman just like me. I stuck next to my parents and hesitantly looked around. Who was I going to talk to for the next two days? Despite my nervousness, I knew I had to step out of my comfort zone and take the opportunity to meet new people. Because I’ll have to do the same when I arrive at UW-Madison, socializing at orientation was great practice. I made a list on how to make friends at college orientation, these are my techniques and they seemed to work!

  1.  When you put your arms around the guests at your table while singing “Varsity,” give the person next to you a subtle wink to let them know you felt an immediate connection.
  2.  When choosing classes during your academic advising session, let out a dramatic sigh to signal to the people next to you they can join you in your frustration.
  3.  When walking around at the resource fair, talk to someone at the same booth as you. You already have a similar interest!
  4.  When eating that delicious carrot cake at dinner, bask in it’s deliciousness with fellow table-mates.
  5.  Play Super Smash Bros in The Sett and have people admire your mad skills.

I know SOAR may be over for many of you, and my list might be a little too late to be helpful, but hopefully you can learn from these examples and apply them to future instances in college. I guarantee you will make plenty of friends in college, and if you don’t find someone to go to the first football game with or that will try a Zumba class together during #WiWelcome, then I promise that I will go with you! I hope the social aspect of college isn’t too stressful for any incoming students. If it is though, I’m always free and don’t have much of a life so if you want to talk to someone, I am here for you. The social aspects of college will be so fulfilling, delightful, and hopefully pretty easy compared to the late nights of studying we will encounter.

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The hardest part of SOAR was choosing my classes. Since then, I’ve changed my schedule a few dozen times. It has to be perfect, I mean who wants Friday classes? Waking up before 9? That’s an easy “no.” How many credits should I take, and how many will I be able to handle? There’s so much to consider, my GPA may be riding on the decisions I make for the semester.

I had to figure in the credits that transferred from high school, what classes I needed to take for my intended major and what classes I was genuinely interested in. During the academic advising sessions, I stared at my computer. I contemplated whether or not I wanted to take French or Russian for my liberal studies. Which one would be more impressive on a résumé? Which one would take up more precious study time? Which one has better food if I chose to travel there? As incoming students, it puts us in the position to make important decisions that we’re not used to. Luckily for us, we have programs like SOAR that help us make these decisions a little easier. I talked with my advisor, a very useful resource, about both languages and was able to plan a great schedule with their help. I have complete confidence in my choices now, especially because I’ve had help along the way. I know it’s a time of big change, and I’m a little nervous about it too, but it subsides when I think about how excited I am to go to a school with the best staff and students in the world!

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