Coming into college I was scared, alone and confused. Getting into the swing of things definitely took time, and I am still adjusting. Yet as a second semester freshman, I feel like I’ve learned some of the ropes here at UMass. Here are some mistakes every UMass Amherst freshman makes, that I have made here, and that I know I will never make again.
1. Over packing.
While going to college is stressful enough, walking into the dorm room and seeing how small it really is adds to a whole other set of problems. The average dorm size is 12 ft by 9 ft. Every square foot of space counts. Remind me again why I brought to school every pair of shoes I own and five of the same sweaters?
2. Packing the wrong things.
At college, the wardrobe is entirely different. Instead of wearing a cute skirt and booties that I would normally wear for the day in high school, I mostly wear sweats and t-shirts to class. There is absolutely no need for me to bring 10 dresses, all my high heels, all my jewelry, and definitely all of the pairs of jeans I own.
3. Under appreciating AC.
During the first weeks of college, having a fan on 24/7 is a must. The windows can only open so much, and with the sunlight beaming into the room, things heat up pretty fast. Never will I ever take having central air for granted again.
4. Under appreciating showering with no shoes on.
Going home for the first time Columbus Day weekend, I didn’t realize how amazing it feels to shower with no shoes on. I swear, sometimes the squeaking sounds when walking back to my room will wake up my whole hall.
5. Dressing up the first day of class.
It didn’t take me long to realize that this is not a thing in college. In a lecture hall of 400 people, most likely no one is going to be noticing my cute outfit on the first day in class. Also, having 15 minutes to walk from Hamp to the ILC isn’t the best to do in uncomfortable shoes. And wearing a dress definitely isn’t the smartest thing to do near DuBois, considering how windy it is.
6. Bringing binders to class.
In college, its laptop, laptop, laptop. Always.
7. Not ordering my textbooks before class started.
Awesome, by the next class I’m supposed to read 50 pages. Good thing the book is sold out everywhere!
8. Not packing ear plugs for the south west dorms.
The weekend in college is Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. While I love blasting music too and having fun with my friends in the hallways, I need to be able to get some sleep for my 10 am class.
9. Not bringing your key to the bathroom/shower.
Getting locked out of your room is such a pain. You need to go all the way to another building to get a spare key. But what happens when you get locked out of your room in a robe and towel..?
10. Not pacing myself on dining dollars.
It is so hard to walk through blue wall and not buy anything. And when I’m in between classes and starving what am I supposed to do? The dining halls are too far away. And an iced latte from Peet’s Coffee is too good to pass up.
11. Blowing all my money on Uber.
As a freshman and not having my car on campus, having an Uber account is necessity. I just really wish it wasn’t my debit card attached to the account.
12. Not getting a table before getting your food at Berk.
Berk at prime dinner hours (6:30-7) is chaos. It is the worst having your plate of food and drink and there is no where to sit so you spend 20 minutes walking around in circles. It is also the worst when you finally find a table and your food is cold and your drink is warm.
13. Getting confused at the bus system and walking a mile to class everyday.
Everyone always says to “just download the app.” Yet with a million different stops and bus lines around campus, downloading the app doesn’t really tell me anything. What if I take the wrong bus and end up at one of the five colleges? And what if I miss the stop I’m supposed to get off? The risks are too high.
14. Leaving my phone charger in the dorm.
The amount of times my phone has died while I’m out and about on campus. Or when I’m walking and my phone will automatically shut off because of the cold. Definitely debating asking for a portable charging phone case for Christmas.
15. Leaving my laptop charger in the dorm.
Awesome. Just got my headphones out and my books. All settled in to crank out some work. Open laptop. Dead.
16. Thinking that figuring out how to print in Dubois would be easy.
So why is it taking so long to login to my account? When I hit print where is my paper going? How do I swipe my Ucard? It definitely took reading the signs more than one time to get it down (okay, I still have to read the signs every time but I’ll get it eventually).
17. Leaving all my homework until the very last minute.
In high school, procrastinating all my work until the night before was something I perfected. In college, that definitely is not how it works. Assignments take weeks in advance to prepare for. And there is always a hidden requirement that appears in the syllabus the night before.
18. Thinking UHS will take a couple minutes.
UHS always takes at least an hour and a half. Make sure to plan ahead properly folks.
19. Thinking 12 am is late.
In the first couple weeks of school, I would be getting ready for bed, and it felt like the night was just starting for people. College runs on a much later schedule than I anticipated.
20. Taking an 8am class.
In college, waking up at 9 am is (sadly) a struggle. Getting myself to an 8 am class at this point seems out of the question.