Parting advice from seniors to freshman

November 28, 2017 By Sara Griswold

Your four (or more) years here at UW–Madison is sure to fly by.

With all the classes, clubs, campus jobs, sporting events, studying and traveling, you rarely have time to relax and take it all in.

Four seniors took a moment to look back at what they would do differently, if they started over. Here is their wisdom offered to underclassmen who are starting the journey:

Adam Kornberg

Picking my major

“I would have learned that our choice of major does not set your career path in stone. I spent hours upon hours fretting over choosing the right major, the one where I’d get a job, love every class, etc. Looking back on it now, the specific choice of major is not the most important choice you make as a student, not even close. My accomplishments in and around UW–Madison (internships, research and publications) did not rely on my choice of major, and now I plan to attend graduate school in a different scientific field! So do not worry about the perfect choice, just choose one and work to find your niche!”

– Adam Kornberg, senior studying Biochemistry.

Leslie Levy

Studying abroad

“I would have studied abroad. I didn’t end up studying abroad, because I changed my major too many times and ended up not having enough time to both study abroad and complete my major in four years. I definitely regret not studying abroad. It would have been fun to travel with friends, meet new people and be immersed in a new culture.”

– Lesley Levy, senior studying Accounting.

Brock Gilsdorf

Joining fun student organizations

“I would have got involved my freshman year in a student organization just for fun!  My freshman year I joined the typical pre-med clubs and while those had useful information that taught me a lot, they were always serious. There are so many student organizations that are more for just fun, rather than professional development, and I think those are important to get involved with early as well to find a friend group that might last with you the rest of your college career.”

– Brock Gilsdorf, senior studying Biochemistry.

Heidi Webb

Finding my purpose

“I would have found my purpose sooner. I think every college student hits a point in their college careers where they feel like they are in a stalemate. I was constantly asking myself what am I doing here? It seems as though I am here killing myself with all of my studying, spending way too much money and asking myself what my purpose was. I found my purpose when I started working at an assisted living facility, finally I had something else to focus on besides school. Whether it be volunteering, holding an officer position in a club or organization, tutoring another student, or like me, finding purposeful work.”

– Heidi Webb, senior studying Biology.

Meet with your advisor

Associate Vice Provost Wren Singer agrees with this advice, and she adds one others to help everyone who is undertaking the college experience:  “My best advice is to meet with your advisor, early and often.  Your advisor will help you sort through the endless amazing options here and make choices that are best for your academic and career future!”