Advice from a senior: How to make the most of your years at UK

Dear freshmen: Welcome to your new home at the University of Kentucky

The first day of college can be daunting, especially when you throw a large city, large campus and large classrooms into the mix. Life at UK at first is stressful; there are so many buildings and so many walkways. And adding to the stress of finding the correct buildings and navigating these walkways comes finding food for those long days on campus, the multiple libraries and your way back to your dorm. But don’t worry, freshman year is not an entirely stress-filled, overwhelming process.

As a senior, there are some lessons I have learned that I want to share with new students no campus. 

Campus becomes easier to navigate

After multiple weeks spent on campus, navigation becomes a breeze. You’ll quickly learn the shortcuts to Willy T or the student center to study between classes or grab a bite to eat.

And don’t be fooled, walking around with a map in your face is not unheard of. This is a big campus for first-time freshmen. As a senior, I still find myself checking maps when I need to find a new building I’ve never encountered.

Don’t be embarrassed to use a navigation system on your phone or to simply ask for help. You’ll find that students at UK will lend a hand, even ones you don’t know.

Organize everything

Success in college is made much easier by organizing absolutely everything school-related. One practice that has helped me tremendously is buying a separate notebook and folder for each class and a planner to write all important due dates and meetings.

Get to know your professors

Connections, connections, connections– I’ve heard this word at least once a week from my professors, so much so that it has been drilled into my mind. When it’s time to get those letters of recommendation for the job you want, wouldn’t it be nice to shoot your professor an email or show up during their office hours and they’re right on board with writing it with no hesitations? You can only get to that point by going out of your way to leave a good impression of yourself in your professors’ minds.

Go to class. Everyday.

You may be tired, overwhelmed or simply don’t feel like rolling out of bed to go to class. Do it anyway. At the end of your college career, you will never regret showing up to class every day.

Join organizations and clubs

Involve yourself with organizations that you’re passionate about. Coming to campus and enjoying your surroundings, making friends and following your passions are things you will never regret.

The biggest piece of advice that I would give to the incoming class is to make yourself present: in class, in organizations, in after-class activities, in socializing, in everything. Make these next four years ones you will never forget.