My freshman year has certainly been an interesting one with ups and downs, new restaurants, new friends, a pandemic, and the list goes on. I’ve picked up a lot of new information over the last semester and a half that has made life a lot easier, in serious and silly ways. I hope you all enjoy, and maybe learn a thing or two if you’re someone entering college!
At U of I, I’ve learned the importance of using cafe credits at marketplaces. I would constantly face this huge dilemma: “I’m sick and tired of dining hall food, but DoorDash delivery fees are outrageous and I’m broke!” Thankfully, the University anticipated this and has set up small markets. They have a really wide variety of food, snack, and drink items. Also, they have hot food lines, where one can order tater tots, pizza, burgers, even bacon, egg, and cheese bagels. There is even a coffee shop that takes cafe credits as well, which is great for an occasional cup of hot chocolate (not a big coffee drinker. . .yet). For incoming students who are weighing their food plan options, I would recommend the meal plan with 10 meal swipes and $45 cafe credits.
It is even more important than ever, due to Covid, to ensure you check your university email on a frequent basis. You never know when a teacher is going to drop extremely important information out of the blue or, at the last second provide a homework extension. Also, a close inspection is required as the important information could be in the middle of a paragraph, or on a different page. In fact, I have the privilege to write for you all because I read an email closely. How cliche.
Always make sure to keep your key deadlines organized. Teachers slowly pile up projects, homework, papers, and exams. If you keep due dates scheduled, the chances of remembering about a project 30 minutes before it’s due and panicking decreases. In relation to keeping deadlines organized, it’s also smart to not leave everything until the last day (I’m still working on this one). Schoolwork is much more manageable if it is spread out. The huge amount of free time compared to high school is awesome, but in order to succeed, it’s up to you to organize and plan.
Compromise is key. Living with other people comes with a bit of a learning curve. What part of the fridge is your roommate’s side, what temperature you both want the room, different sleep schedules, noise levels, privacy, the list goes on. For people living with a roommate for the first time, beware as you might miss the little things you took for granted at home. Roommate relationships take compromise and communication, and you have to be respectful of other people’s wants and needs more than you expected to at times. However, it’s also really fun, and Marty (my roommate) and I have become good friends. I mean it’s a built-in Netflix binge buddy and video game partner.
I hope you all enjoyed this and hopefully learned a thing or two along the way!