“The Badger’s Prep”

Abraham Lincoln once said, “If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I would spend seven hours sharpening my axe”. You don’t have to be an expert on trees and axes to get this quote. It simply emphasizes the importance of preparation in undertaking every act; and in this case, I am going to be talking about preparing for my life on campus.

From my understanding, a badger is a very cunning and powerful animal. No matter what it faces, it continues its mission and pursues whatever it is looking for. Yet despite having these strong capabilities, a badger also takes time to prepare and organize itself for its missions. I believe this is why UW-Madison chose badgers to represent us. As badgers that are ready to take hold and advance the Wisconsin Idea, I believe we will all need to prepare for our lives on campus.

As an international student, my preparation is a bit different than that of an American student. We must go through some confusing processes, such as getting a student visa. I started my preparations by applying for my student visa and attending my visa interviews. Although I managed to get my visa, there are a couple of challenges I faced.

When I finally arrived at the consular office for my visa interview, the atmosphere was quiet and very serious.  I failed to pass through security after removing every metal thing I had, except for my metal belt. Inside the office, everyone was nervous; as people thought they are going to be refused a visa. To make matters worse, I met a girl who was crying, because she was refused a visa the moment I got in.

This added more tension to the room, and you could spot nervousness on each person’s face. However, being a badger, I was already prepared and organized. I stood in line with confidence and, with a smile, started initiating a conversation with the girl next to me. I finally managed to complete my interviews and receive my visa.


Apart from the visa preparation, I am also preparing for my journey from Malawi to Madison. This has not been easy, I must admit. This is because I am limited on my choices of what to carry and leave behind, since I have limited space on the plane. I can’t seem to decide which colors match and what shoes I can take, so that I do not have many things to buy when I arrive.

Another way I am preparing for my life on campus is by attending events and reading books regarding life and success in college. For example, I attended an event organized by EducationUSA called the pre-departure orientation; where we met some American students who told us about their lives in college. To my fellow future Badgers (wherever you are), I hope that you are also trying to learn as much about college as possible to help you in the future.”

Lastly, I may not know where you are from or what you are doing to prepare for the start of your studies; but one thing I do know is that if you are a badger, you are really putting some time to prepare for your studies and life on campus. As for me, I have already started chatting with my roommate, and we are getting a long pretty well. I believe we will all have an amazing time on campus, and I am looking forward to meeting you all there!

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