10 Things I Wish I Would’ve Known as a Freshman


Hannah Kramer, Arts & Life Editor

Before coming to college I had my expectations and assumptions on what it would be like. After deciding to attend BVU I had further assumptions and expectations on how my freshman year would go. Expectations such as, an overloaded schedule, too much homework to handle, making a lot of friends, staying in my comfort zone, and being broke. Now that I’ve survived my first year of college, and beginning my second just three short weeks ago, I have discovered that not all my expectations were wrong. However there are a few things I wish I would have known as a freshman.

1: Don’t pack your whole bedroom!

With not knowing any better, I packed every little thing from my room that I thought I could not possibly live without, and bought everything Pinterest said I would need for a dorm room. This resulted in an overflowing closet in my 4th floor Pierce/White dorm room. As well as an overcrowded my half of the room. What I have learned is not to pack my whole room to come to college. Had I known this as a freshman, this could have saved me from so much packing and space. Packing only an adequate amount of necessary clothes and items you need is the way to go. Last year I ended up having clothes in my dorm that I never wore for either semester. The lighter you pack to come to college helps keep your dorm not feel as cramped.                                                                                        

2: Don’t buy all your books from the bookstore! 

Yes, I love our campus bookstore, it is where I get my BVU merch, which is awesome! However, being a college student, sometimes money is hard to come by. Especially when an average textbook costs $70. When you have four to more classes, that can add up quick to put a dent in your wallet. I first handedly know how that feels. I spent over $200 on textbooks that I half rented and half bought from the bookstore. From only one semester and I paid out of pocket for them. What I know now as a sophomore is to rent my books from Chegg. How I did not know about Chegg when I first came to BV is beyond me, but this website has textbooks that you can purchase or rent for at least half the regular price. Chegg mails you your textbooks and at the end of the semester you mail it back in the box it came in with a free label that you can print off. This saved me over $100 this semester!

3: Use the Marquis Plan to your full advantage!

Freshman are required to have the Marquis meal plan. That means unlimited swipes in the serve, so use it! Last year I spent so much money I could have been saving on food from off campus. Yes La Juanita’s is the bomb, but eating there twice a week can really empty your wallet quicker than you expect. The serve has a variety of food and tons of options when it comes to what you’re in the mood for.                                                                                                 

4: You can park behind the science building!    

The student parking lot is like a battlefield, especially when it comes time for cold weather. Who can get the spot closest to the SSA building wins! I spent all of my freshman year hoping, wanting, wishing, for a good parking spot. Just to be closer to the buildings I would even squeeze into tiny spaces. Spaces where I could hardly open my car door to get out! This resulting in my car obtaining dings and scratches. This year I learned that the lot directly behind the science building is available for students! Not too many people park over there, and it is closer to the buildings as well. So far parking over there has saved me from my car getting beat up.                                                                                               

5: Try to not go on Walmart shopping sprees every week!    

Needing toiletries and snacks to keep in your room is pretty much a necessity. However, Walmart seems to be out to get college students. You go there with a list in mind but end up buying everything else in the store. It is almost like shopping at Target. Last year I bought things I did not need, which resulting in fitting the college student stereotype of being broke. This year I have learned to go to the store only once every two weeks, fortunately this has helped my savings account get fatter. Living on your own really makes you realize how much you need to budget. My one tip is to limit yourself to 10% of what is in your checking account. 

6: Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone!                       

As a freshman, the plunge and groups around campus can be intimidating. But they are also exciting! BV offers so many opportunities for students, from the rec house to clubs like SAB. Students, especially freshman should get involved! Join a club or try something new. This is a quick and easy way to expand your social circle and make friends. Stepping out of your comfort zone may just have you end up discovering something new about yourself. College is all about growth and figuring out who you are, right?                                                                       

7: Campus Security is here to help you!    

Campus security here at BV is phenomenal. Need a tow? Need help carrying groceries? Need someone to walk with you at night? The campus security staff is here to help! Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to call them about almost anything. Their job is to help students and staff alike, and you’ll find they are some of the nicest people on campus.

8: Stay organized!       

This is something I cannot stress enough! Stay organized, focused, and get your assignments done. When I first came to BV I still had a major case of senioritis. This did not serve me well when I started taking quizzes and tests in college. My senioritis was so horrible I did not even keep a planner for my first few months at BV. The CAE is the best place to receive help when it comes to your education, and the reason I got back on track. I learned the hard way, and I hope any new freshman do not make this same mistake.

9: Build relationships with your Professors!

If you choose to, you will be in Storm Lake at BV for the next four years or longer. With such a tight knit community it is ideal to make strong, long lasting relationships with the professors on campus. With it being a small campus you will see many professors all the time, no matter where you go. My first semester of freshman year I was focused on blending into whatever classroom I was in. When I started participating in class I started to develop relationships with the professors I had. Just from my one year here I have professors I am very fond of, too many to count! Instead of an authority figure I see them as my role models and dear advisors. Throughout the next three years I hope to become closer with the professors I know, and to develop long lasting relationships with the new professors I meet.

10: Support your peers!                                                 

Support your fellow beavers! Go to the sporting events even if you don’t understand the game. Attend the art shows held in the SSA building, and make sure to attend the events that are put on by the university. Not only will you meet and make lifelong friends at college, but you will meet a variety of people as well. So it is important to support your peers. One of the reasons I chose to go to Buena Vista University is because of how close the BV community is. At this campus you will find a second family, not only with the friends you make but with everyone here.