College Is ...

ND_MBaum_NovPic2by Madison Baumgartner

College is stressful.

College is amazing.

College is life changing.

I never really knew what to expect heading off to college. So many people had their own experiences and advice but honestly that just stressed me out. I didn’t want my college experience to be based on others but rather my own. Now that it has been a few months, I can say it is a huge mix of a little bit of everything! What I said earlier about college is entirely true but it is not even the beginning of what I would describe college as…


College is stressful. This could easily describe the course load. When I was in high school, I worked to get A’s but if I’m being real I didn’t have to try extremely hard. I was one of the top in my class and so I went to college with the mindset that it will be a piece of cake. BOY WAS I WRONG! It takes a lot of work to manage your course load. It’s difficult because probably 90% of your grade is based on tests. There are no more “easy homework points” to cushion your grade. To make things worse, most tests are all clumped together in the same week or two. So basically, you study your butt off constantly so you don’t have to study EVERYTHING last minute.

Procrastination is the villain in college.

It is a great idea to continually work hard to get stuff done early and I learned that real fast! It is also super stressful if you do not know many people. I had no clue who I was going to be living with for the next ten months! I also came not knowing anyone else and I didn’t know if I was going to meet people who I could consider my friends. One thing to remember is that:

Everyone is in the same boat as you. 

Keep that in mind and everything will seem just a little less scary. College is amazing. One of the best things about college is the fact that you no longer have a set schedule of classes every single day. Instead, I get to sleep in until 10 on Tuesday and Thursday, be done with class on Friday by 2 and have random two-hour breaks throughout the week. The other thing that is pretty amazing is the amount of freedom you have. No longer do I have to pick up my siblings from events or feed the cows every morning. This is the amazing time of transition! It is a time where you can still call your parents to ask for something, go home to sleep in your own bed and not have to worry about real “adult things.”

Take advantage of all the free stuff! ALL OF IT.

Campus groups know you are a broke college student so they always bribe you with food. As we like to say at the University of Minnesota, GOPHER IT! Go for it and take advantage of every possible free thing you can. My first week on campus I got two free cases of pop because the group did not want to carry extras around. I can’t even explain how many free pop sockets or fidget spinners I acquired either.


College is life changing. I cannot even point out all of the things that have changed in my life. The best part is that they have all been so good! Even though it has only been a few weeks, I have found an amazing group of friends that pick me up when I’m down, get me to study for tests and always have my back. I am at the point of not being able to imagine my life without them!                 

You will find your besties in college.

One of the best ways to find this group of people is to join something! For me, I got out of my comfort zone, joined a sorority, the pre-vet club, and the Gopher Dairy Club. These really opened the doors to meet amazing people who truly want to get to know me for me.

College lets you be you.

Whoever you were in high school can completely cease to be! College is the time and the place to figure out who “you” really are. But once you do that, be sure to stay true to yourself. For me, I feel so happy that there are people here who accept all of me! This goes back to finding a good group of friends. Make sure they know and love you for you.


May I remind you, everyone has their own experiences of college and not a single one is exactly the same. College may be stressful at times, amazing at others and overall, life changing but don’t forget to make your own experience out of it!


With Love,

Madison- ND DYW 2017

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