I have learned a lot since my first semester at UVM, so I decided to compile a list of things I have learned (usually the hard way) since coming to Vermont. Here goes: I have learned how to make a schedule that will most benefit me, not just what looks appealing to the eye (later class times etc.), I have learned that when buying your meal plan always buy points and not blocks. Blocks limit you to dining hall food; with points the choices are infinite (well, kind of…). I have learned that climbing the six flights of stairs to my dorm room will never get easier, on that note I have also learned that after acquiring an elevator key because of an injured foot and trying to keep it until the end of the year results in a harsh e-mail and a possible $50.00 fine. I have learned that the fastest way to the student center isn’t the way my Dad told me on move-in day. I have learned that no matter how many layers I wear I will never be prepared for -20° weather.
Under the financial category, I have learned that no matter how many times the tour guides tell you that your parents will put money on your CatScratch card, they (unfortunately) never will. I have learned that getting to know your professors is one of the most important things you can do in a class. I have learned that taking naps is one of the healthiest things a college student can do. A great thing about the close dormitory living style is that you become closer with the people surrounding you than you could ever imagine. The people on your floor will eventually become your second family, whether you like them or not. You will be brushing your teeth with them, showering next to, eating with and doing everything you once did in the confines of your own home with the people on your floor. It may take a little while, but you will eventually find your niche. That’s another thing, don’t worry when you don’t have best friends within the first three or four weeks. It takes time to build strong friendships and that process continues throughout the entire year.
For important things to bring, a Brita is key (the water here is sometimes a little funky), and bring practical shoes…high heels are not the shoes of choice here. In the fall appreciate “the green”. It is beautiful during the warm season, but it is a very long winter. Take advantage of the gym, it’s not as far away as you think, well at least once you’re there. Don’t forget to call your family; they miss you more than they let on. Despite all of this, the most important thing I learned thus far is to be myself. I came here and no one knew whom I was, I was all of a sudden a clean canvas. Nobody knows who you were in high school, so take advantage of that. Be yourself and don’t worry about what others think. Be confident in the person you grow into, because that person is wiser than the one a few years ago (but don’t get too ahead of yourself…you still have a lot to learn, grasshopper).