With the chaos that comes with the beginning of a new school year, students need time to readjust to life in college as we catch up with old friends, set new intentions for the year ahead and get back into the swing of things. Yet, right as we get comfortable, we are hit with the reality that it’s time to think about our next move: it is the infamous race for housing at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
For many, this is a stressful time of year, as the uncertainty of it all can be overwhelming. This is especially true for younger students who are still getting their bearings on campus. As a freshman, I genuinely had no idea where to even start when it came to housing, and everyone around me was in the same boat. I began by asking around, reaching out to older students and getting advice wherever I could.
It is undeniably hard to think long-term, as planning for the year ahead so early on is bound to bring up some uncertainty. What kind of person will you be, and who are the people you are going to want to surround yourself with? As a freshman, people were beginning to sign leases left and right, and I began to feel pressure. I didn’t want to miss out.
Yet, it was important for me to spend the appropriate amount of time necessary to figure out who it was that I truly wanted to live with. This was one of the smartest decisions I could have ever made, and it is ultimately my biggest piece of advice for anyone overwhelmed by the process. Having people to go through it with makes it so much easier.
This isn’t to say you shouldn’t be as timely as possible, but it can be really easy to lose sight of what is most important ─ not where you are, but who you are surrounding yourself with. I go into every year with this mentality, and I have found that it has truly grounded me in that I know wherever I end up, it is with the people who I will not only consider to be my roommates, but also my family.
If I could say one thing to my freshman year self, it would be to take the time to do extra research on your options but also keep an open mind for what is out there, as you might stumble across the perfect place when you least expect it. If you have yet to figure out your next move, don’t worry, because with the right people by your side it will all come together with time.