A Freshman’s Guide to College

By Ada Li


As I enter my last year of college as a senior, I wish there was someone to give me a guide to college. Now I realize how stupid that sounds, because you don’t need one. The word “guide” sounds official, like you need to completely follow it in order to say you have really lived the college experience. Everyone’s college experience is different, and as unoriginal as this sounds, college is a trial and error part of your young adult life. That being said, I would like to share some of my experiences for you to draw inspiration from and pave your own path.




My freshman year of college was more hanging out with friends instead of going to parties. People were attending parties while my friends and I opted for late night adventures. These late night adventures included exploring random campus buildings, going to the graveyard in hopes of seeing ghosts (even though they aren’t real), and laying on the Quad. We also got to know our RAs and that definitely helped us out in the long run. So why I am telling you this? It is okay to party but sometimes you need to do other things so you don’t look back at your college years as just partying. Stay up late at the dorms just watching movies or playing Monopoly Deal (or other board games). Not to mention there are plenty of activities U of I offers on weeknights and weekdays.




Remember that there is more to U of I than just campustown. Explore downtown Champaign and downtown Urbana. Both areas have good restaurants for when you’re tired of the restaurants on Green Street. Downtown Urbana also have the Farmers Market on Saturdays during the spring, summer, and fall that offers locally grown food and homemade food. When the weather is warm, besides chilling at the Quad, opt for the Idea Garden at the Arboretum located past the Florida Avenue Residence Hall.  




In terms of love, don’t come into college feeling that you will find your significant other. It might happen but it might not so just let things progress naturally. There are plenty more things to do on campus that will keep you busy for your entire college career. Enjoy your four years here learning, growing, and making friends.


All in all, leave any expectations you have about college at home and just fully throw yourself into this new and exciting chapter of your life without any clue of what is to come tomorrow. Make mistakes, learn from them, and truly grow.



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