Danielle’s Graduating Advice On…

The end of my senior year is happening, I picked up my graduation regalia this week and made my celebration plans. I had an hour long shower reflection contemplating my time at and after UVM, happy cried a bit, as well as reflected on the memories about my time during these four years. In that hour sitting on my shower floor I realized some advice that I would like to pass onto you. 

Get To Know People On Residence Hall Floor 

I lived on campus for my first two years at UVM and there were some themes I learned during that time. I started college in fall of 2020, so campus life was very isolated. Fortunately, my first year residence hall floor (shout out to Wright Floor 3!) was very social and we ended up building our own community where we had weekly floor dinners, TV and movie nights, and planned game nights or activities to keep us engaged. All of those were planned by the residents on our floor. What I’m trying to say is that you can build a community with people on your floor as they can become future friends, connections, and people you can catch up with time to time.  

Bring A Fan!  

Most resident halls do not have air conditioning so you will mostly be sweating in the middle of the night when the seasons change. Also, you will likely use your fan all 4 years, as the majority of the Burlington apartments do not have AC units as well. I got my box fan from target for $20 bucks and I still use it today! 

Friendships Aren’t Stationary 

When I started college I thought that the friends I made my first year would be my friends forever. While this is a nice thought, it is important to recognize that you and other people change and sometimes separation or slowly fading friendship is okay. There are people in your life that can show up in different ways and change isn’t always a bad thing! 

Don’t Feel Pressure To Have A Big Group Of Friends

I have always had a small amount of friends, and found myself throughout college feeling like I was missing out because I didn’t have a large group of friends I could do things with/experience ‘college’ with. My sophomore spring, I was feeling a bit of ‘large friend group jealousy’ and downloaded Bumble Friends, went to more on campus events that were more discussion or interactive based, signed up for new clubs, and trying making plans with people in my classes that I connected with. Some of those things worked, and some didn’t, but coming to terms that I was happy with my small group of friends (nor did really want a large circle) and that it didn’t make my college experience worse was a big turning point for me. The FOMO still pops up time to time, but you have to remind yourself of the awesome people in your network and you can always go to things that you want to on your own! Try that new restaurant, go to that art show, celebrate an accomplishment with take out. You can be your own best friend! 

Take Advantage Of Campus Resources 

One of the campus resources I used the most while I was at UVM was Student Health. If I thought something was wrong with my health or if I wanted to get something checked out, you know where I went… student health. The nurses and doctors there are there for you and your mental and physical health. Also, I am a fan of the career center for when you want to talk about career opportunities or spruce up your LinkedIn or resume. Go check out our awesome career center blog for more information about those resources!  

There are many other resources including the identity centers and living well that have let’s talk sessions and events, the writing Center that will cover all of your writing need (including essays, resumes/cover letters, and so much more), and the print and mail center! The print and mail center became my best friend when I started my design work. They are extremely helpful and will help you print anything and everything… I highly recommend going in person when making a print request! 

Be Open To Experiences + Opportunities 

I am not telling you to say yes to everything, but be mindful of job, internship, research, and community involvement opportunities. The majority of work of experiences in college (summer research, UVM BORED, Civic Engagement, etc.) and was because opportunity emails, going to events that peeked my interest/ talking with organizers, and reaching out to career professionals. A wonderful thing about college is that you meet so many people. Send some cold emails, make those connections/meetings, send those thank you and follow up emails, and maintain those connections. You might even land a job/internship, scholarship, or opportunity because of this. 

I Know You Heard Of Summer U… 

Throughout college I was privileged enough to have taken classes in the summer. I highly recommend trying to get the classes you aren’t necessarily looking forward to done and over with during the summer so you can take classes you are more interested in during the semester. Summer courses takes a semester’s length of work and condenses it to be typically 3-4 weeks long. Don’t let this intimidate you as majority of the time it is online, and is still manageable when working a summer job! 

Minors Are A Great Way To Expand On Your Interests 

Heading into college I didn’t have any minors and after taking a ballet class my freshman year, I decided to add on a dance minor. Unfortunately, I dropped the minor because of a long-term concussion, but that lead me to explore other things I was interested in. I eventually added on a Studio Art at the beginning of my junior year, and then an Applied Design minor during my final year here. Minors help you explore your interests, passions, and maybe even possible career paths. You don’t necessarily have to stick to a minor your whole time here, like anything else college and minors help you explore more about yourself. The sky is the limit!

Overall, college is a time to growth, try new things, explore your interests, and most importantly being yourself. Looking back, I didn’t realize how much I grew as a person until writing this. A lot of change can happen in 4 years; embrace it even if it is scary from time to time. Make the most out of your college experience because before you know it, you are picking up your regalia at the bookstore. Enjoy whatever time left you here at UVM and whether or not you take my advice:) 

See you on the flip side,


*And if you are looking for some more advice, keep an eye out for Téa’s senior blog next week!*