5 Things I Learned My Freshman Year

By Madi Beumee
Distinguished Young Woman of New Jersey for 2015
April BlogAs I wrap up my first year of college, I’ve realized all the invaluable lessons I’ve learned in just nine months. I know college is all about self discovery, but I never would have imagined that I’d learn and grow so much in a year.

1. It’s okay to stay in for the night. When I first got to campus I felt like I had to go out every night to shows and cabarets to meet people and get the stereotypical “college experience”. As fun as that can be, spending the night cuddled up in your friend’s dorm room watching Silence of the Lambs can be just as fun. I’ve learned that staying in can be just as entertaining as going out.

2. Your biggest critic is yourself. In high school I was so concerned with how I looked and what I was wearing 24/7. When I got to college I was so relieved to see that basically anything was acceptable. Running to the dining hall makeup-less in your pajamas or walking around campus sweaty after the gym? Perfectly acceptable.

3. College classes are hard. I definitely underestimated the workload that comes along with taking college courses. I remember spending a total of nine hours in the library my first weekend. As overwhelming as the workload has been this year, it has made me appreciate free nights and the payoff much more.

4. College has the greatest sense of community. Whether it’d be standing in an entire sea of orange cheering on the school we all love or passing by people you’ve met at the dining hall, college has an incredible sense of community. It’s incredible to see that everyone is so proud to call Syracuse their home.

5. Why everyone says “it’s the best four years of your life”. I have made so many incredible memories already. Whether it’d be screaming my face off front row at the football game or cheering on the basketball team when they made the Final Four, college is an incredible mixture of freedom, hard work, and fun.


Madi Beumee is a college freshman at Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York. Originally from Denville, New Jersey, Madi was a participant in the Distinguished Young Women program and was selected as the Distinguished Young Woman of New Jersey for 2015. Learn more about Madi here!

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