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Orientation and move in day for the University of Kentucky’s incoming freshmen is quickly approaching. To relax any lingering concerns, and to get you excited about your college experience, the marketing interns have put together a list of advice from their freshman year here at UK that includes some of their biggest transitions when coming to college.
My hardest adjustment for college was definitely learning how to live with a roommate. I had always heard horror stories about getting assigned a terrible roommate. Luckily, that was not my experience at all. My roommate and I clicked immediately. We worked well together, we were clean, organized, and respected one another. The most difficult adjustment was learning how to share a room with someone else. I wasn’t used to having to tiptoe around in the morning when I had an early class or having someone come in late at night. I had always had my own personal space. Now, if my room was dirty it wasn’t only affecting me, it was affecting my roommate as well. Having a roommate taught me to develop a routine. I would always make sure my space was clean before I went to bed and we would always communicate about the times we were waking up or coming in and who we were bringing back to the dorm room. From the start, my roommate and I had great communication and I think that is why we lived so well together. We laid out some basic rules in the beginning and stuck to them the entire year. In the end we both learned how to live with each other and we even became really good friends. In fact, we are still great friends even after three years.
Growing up in a somewhat overprotective military family, I was more than ready for the freedom that comes with going off to college. I remember moving into my dorm room, not minding the cramped space and cement walls because I was so delighted that our room's crappy furniture could be arranged however we wanted. It was all so exciting! I thought living with a roommate would be a blast and I expected us to be best friends that would do everything together. However, I was in for a wake up call. Living with a roommate would be one of the biggest adjustments I ever made in college. I was always considerate, but my roomie didn't exactly know how to be. Or maybe her standards of living were a little lower than mine. I tried to be nice but it wasn't very effective, I thought being passive aggressive was the answer, I was wrong. My passive aggressive efforts only resulted on a huge blow-out fight and eventually, I was moved into another room. Unfortunately, I repeated this process several times. Learning to live with a roomie is difficult for a lot of people. I grew up with strict parents, I did chores everyday and take pride in a clean room. You have to realize that everyone is different and the easiest way to avoid this is to be communicative. Although you go over a roommate contract with your RA when you move in, it doesn't do any good if are afraid to communicate. Don't be afraid to be straight up with your roommate and talk to them in a considerate and non-confrontational way. Avoid passive aggressive behavior and realize that some things you'll just have to let go. In order to be a good roomie, you have to give and take.
The biggest transition that I remember when entering college was how different people dressed. Coming from a suburb of Chicago, I never thought something as simple as clothes would be so dissimilar. I was used to wearing things such as sweat pants and gym shorts to class or even worse…cargo shorts. People wore brands such as Hurley, Tap Out, Ed Hardy, and DC at my high school. Coming to UK, I rarely came across any of these brands. I needed to quickly adjust my wardrobe and transition to the style on campus. This meant updating my style to something more preppy or fratty (a popular term on campus). I’m not saying you can’t have your own style, but for myself the transition into college was made easier by assimilating to a sort of new dress code. On campus you really see it all when it comes to the way people dress themselves. Depending on what time students have classes also determines their attire. The earlier the classes are, the more casual students dress.
My struggle going from high school to college was the change in my diet. I had entered college in pretty good shape and considered myself a healthy guy. I ran in high school and went to the gym regularly. But living on campus, eating not so healthy foods and late night pizzas took their toll. I knew that I put on some weight in those two months, since my pants were pretty tight. However, I was surprised to learn I had gained over 10 pounds in that short amount of time.
You can avoid this struggle by choosing the healthy alternatives here on campus, eating small meals every three or four hours to avoid binge eating and learn how to incorporate healthy eating and exercise into a college schedule.
Going to the University of Kentucky had always been a goal of mine growing up. In my freshman year of high school our whole class wrote a letter to their senior self to be opened on the day of graduation. Mine read that I hoped I would be attending UK to become a lawyer. My letter also had two dollars tucked away in it for milk money, thanks freshman self. Opening that letter was exciting and nerve-racking since I was starting UK in the fall. I was pumped because I was fulfilling my goal but worried that all of my close friends from high school were going to a different college near our hometown and rooming together. It was scary for me to imagine moving away to a place where I would know no one and to room with a person I had never met before.
Leaving my friends behind was definitely a struggle and my biggest transition was not having them at college with me. My freshman year I lived in the dorms and rushed a sorority, both of which helped me make new friends. Even though I had met all these great people, I still missed my friends back home. Because of this I went home almost every other weekend.
Looking back, I wish I had stayed at UK for more weekends. Freshman year was a struggle for me because I was homesick. I even thought about transferring after my first semester. However, once I moved in with some friends I had met in my sorority I was a lot less homesick and started enjoying myself in Lexington. Now, I can’t imagine having gone anywhere other than UK. My advice to you is to relish your time here. You can stay in contact with your old friends, but be excited to make new ones. Almost every other freshman is missing some part of home too. College will honestly be one of the greatest times of your life if you allow it to be.