Advice to my freshman self

Seeing all of the incoming students at freshman registration over the past few weeks has caused me to do a lot of reminiscing about my earlier days here at UW-L. My time spent as an underclassman at this University has been a great experience that I wouldn’t trade for anything, because it shaped me into the person I am today. However, that doesn’t mean that there weren’t some bumps in the road along the way. Therefore, I thought I’d share with you some do’s/don’ts that I think would have been helpful to me.

  • DON’T: Don’t take out every single loan from your financial aid package (unless it’s necessary). I know a big refund check seems like a good idea, but unless you’re someone who is very good with managing your money I wouldn’t recommend it. Your meal plan should, for the most part, cover all of the food you’ll need, and there are better stress relievers than retail therapy. If you find yourself wanting some extra spending money, I would suggest finding a part time job on or off campus.
  • DO: Check to see if the bank you belong to has a branch near UW-L. If they don’t, you may find yourself stranded after moving into your first apartment because you have no access to any of your funds.
  • DON’T: Don’t bring your car to college unless it’s absolutely necessary, especially for your first year. If you do bring your car to college, though, make sure you pay attention to alternate side parking rules during the winter. Otherwise, you may find one day that when you go to move your car, it was towed for being on the wrong side of the street during a snow storm. Remember to watch to see if there is a time limit to the parking space you are in. Those 2- hour tickets can add up fast.
  • DO: Use you campus cash wisely on things like laundry. Just because you can use campus cash in the bookstore doesn’t mean that you need to. I promise that you do not need an infinite amount of UW-L apparel.
  • DO: Apply for scholarships. Obviously there is no way to know whether or not I would have received any scholarships during my first few years of college, but I definitely wish I would have applied for more so I would have at least created the opportunity.

I hope that some of my advice resonates and makes your college experience a little smoother than mine was when I first started out. Keep in mind, though, that you’re likely to hit a few bumps along the road as well. That being said, best of luck and enjoy your time here at UW-L!


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