Guest Blog: What to Expect Your First Year as a Hawkeye

The Iowa Admissions blog is dedicated to showing perspectives from around the university. Here, you’ll hear from Alaina, a junior from Madison, Wisconsin, about what it’s like your first year at Iowa.

What to Expect Your First Year as a Hawkeye

Your first few days on campus are going to be…crazy. A blur. Weird. Awkward. Amazing.

First of all, let’s just put it out there right now that no one knows what they’re doing immediately when they show up to campus. Just because it looks like everyone else knows what they’re doing, don’t worry—they’re all probably just as nervous as you are.

When I moved into my residence hall room back in August of 2015, it was almost a hundred degrees. I had my mom, my dad, my stepmom, and my best friend in tow to help me move all my stuff. I honestly don’t remember a ton about my first few days on campus—there was so much going on! I met my roommate, struggled to put together a futon, made friends with a bunch of people on my floor, got lost a couple times, and then all of a sudden classes were starting.

Somewhere in there, On Iowa! happened. On Iowa! is actually amazing because it gets you out of your room and out into campus, meeting people and making friends! It’s super fun and it helps fill those awkward couple of days between move in and the start of classes. It also helps you find your way around campus better so that you’re not completely lost before your first class starts.

Speaking of which, I would definitely recommend tracking down your classrooms before the first day actually happens. It’s not fun to be running all over the building trying to find your class and then getting there 10 minutes late on the first day.

I joined a lot of student orgs my first year, and I’m no longer in any of them. But that’s okay! I didn’t hate them, but I decided they weren’t for me and joined different ones the next year. In my opinion, that’s the best part of college: you get to stop doing things if you decide you don’t like them. Don’t fit in with the student orgs you joined? That’s okay, join different ones! Realize you hate your major even though you were sure that’s what you wanted to study? Happens to lots of people—you can change it if you want! Don’t get along with your roommate? That’s okay, you’ll be living somewhere else next year.

I think the hardest part of college to get used to is the amount of freedom you have. This is your life. This is your school. Do what you want, not what you think anyone else wants. You have four years to make this into whatever you want it to be. Your first year is going to go by in a blur, so make the most of it! Take pictures and write stuff down because you’re going to want to remember this.

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