It feels like the first month of college has flown by! At the same time, though, I feel like I have been in Madison for an entire year. I am now used to waiting for the elevator, taking 20 minute walks class, and sharing a bathroom with 30 girls. I would not say that I am an expert at college life yet, but I also do not have to use my GPS to find my classes anymore. The last time I needed help with navigation was to go to visit Ingraham Hall for a talk with my advisor.
Although it was a bit of a walk from Lakeshore, meeting with my advisor was a huge help. All of the questions I had: such as if my credits transferred over and what classes were required for my major, were easily answered. If you have not met with your advisor yet, I would highly recommend it. One of the most helpful aspects of meeting with my advisor was figuring out my classes for next semester. Making these decisions would have been much harder without their expertise and assistance.
In addition to meeting with my advisor, planning for midterms has been on the top of my list. If you have already taken your first midterm, you know the stress it can bring: reading all the sections you forgot to before, reviewing each of your past homework assignments, going to study sessions and asking your friends how they are coping with all the work load. The most important thing for me during this exam preparation, however, was to destress and keep myself from getting burnt out.
There are countless things to do at Madison, but, at the time, I felt so overwhelmed that I could not think of any. This motivated me to create a list for future reference of all of the amazing things Madison has to offer, including:
- Go window shopping on State Street.
- Visit the Dane County Farmer’s Market Saturday morning on Capitol Square.
- Spend an afternoon at the Chazen Museum of Art.
- Try a new flavor of Babcock ice cream.
- Study at the ASM Student Activity Center (SAC).
- Take advantage of the 24-hour resources at College Library.
- Bike or walk on the Lakeshore Path.
- Attend a Group Fitness class, or swim at the SERF or NAT.
- Go to Short Stack Eatery at 4:00 a.m. on a Friday night.
- Take a dip in Lake Mendota, or dive of the docks at the Memorial Union Terrace.
- Order a slice of Ian’s pizza.
- Buy tickets for a show or concert at the Orpheum Theatre.
- Get some laugh at the Comedy Club on State.
- Invite your friends for a picnic on Bascom Hill.
- Try some tasty donuts at Greenbush bakery.
- Pick up mouthwatering desserts at Insomnia Cookies.
In addition to all of these opportunities, another way I destress is participating in clubs around campus, playing intramural sports, and doing things purely because you enjoy them. All the clubs I have joined allow me to take a break and engage in fun, stress-free activities throughout the week. While this is an important time to learn and study, you also need to take time for yourself and make sure you have fun! Remember, this isn’t difficult if you take advantage of the surplus of activities available in Madison!