Being a Freshman at the University of Chicago

February 09, 2015

Being a freshman at any university is both exciting and terrifying. You’ve just moved in with strangers and you’re still not familiar with your new surroundings. It seems scary at first, but you will quickly find that most universities do a good job in helping you fit in as quickly as possible. Take University of Chicago for example: AndreaPopova shares with us what her first weeks there turned out to be like: 

My first weeks at UChicago were overwhelming, but in an awesome way. There were so many new things to do and people to meet. But I didn’t really get to start these cool new adventures until quite late into the summer because of UChicago’s Quarter System. Instead of semesters, UChicago’s year is broken up into quarters, which causes the first quarter to begin some time in late September. By the time I had started college, all my friends had already been in school for a month. This was both good and bad—bad because I had to stay back at home while my friends enjoyed college, but good because I was able to hear their advice.

The first major change in my life when I came to college was my living condition. Instead of having my own room and bathroom and being under the supervision and care of my parents, I suddenly had a roommate and two suitemates to share a bathroom with and spend time with. I was lucky because I get along really well with all my suitemates; we’re even planning on living together next year! My house has also allowed me to join a network of incredibly supportive, intelligent, and kind people. Something that really helped me make friends was the house table in the dining hall, which is designated specifically for members of our house.

Not gonna lie, UChicago classes are hard. Learning how to study effectively was a huge part of my first few weeks on campus. I really had to buckle down and do my work ahead of time. That being said, working harder outside of classes made my experience in class that much more worthwhile. I was suddenly seeing details in texts that I had never noticed before, and I was raising my hand frequently to answer questions in class. UChicago classes are rewarding on many levels; they allowed me to take my education into my own hands and appreciate the knowledge and wisdom that was imparted to me.

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