UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls

Welcome to the First-Year Student Blog


We know the first year of college can bring a lot of excitement. It also can bring some challenges, and it may take some time to adjust to life as a new student. The purpose of this blog is to share more information on ways that you can make the most of your time on campus and navigate some of those challenges that the transition to school may bring. Click through the articles below to learn about getting involved, available campus resources, health and wellness, time management, homesickness, and much more.

Check back each month for a new article that will help ensure you have a smooth transition to UWRF!

First Year Student Blog

Students walking with masks on while physically distancing on campus

Making friends (while physically distancing)

September
Connecting and building relationships are important parts of your college experience, and we know how monumental this can feel just after you begin your time as a new college student. Here are a few ways you can still create memories and get involved even in these uncertain times. 

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Students walking on campus at the start of the school year

The summer before UWRF

July
The final summer before your college career begins… how does it feel?! Many students often feel excited for this new chapter of life, but also have a lot of questions about what to expect while at college. We want you to be able to be able to focus on enjoying the excitement and jitters about what lies ahead, so we’ve prepared a list of a few things that can help you make the most of this summer. Read More

NSFP Student Managers at the Spring Dancing With The Stars Program

My first year at UWRF

June
Hey, new Falcons! We are sure you are experiencing a lot of emotions and asking a lot of questions right now, and we want to let you know that this is all part of the process of transitioning to life as a college student. Our team of Student Managers want to share some stories of their transitions to UWRF with you. If you are feeling nervous or about what lies ahead, we hope that these stories can help you know that you are not alone in those feelings, and that you will make it through.
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Student working with electronic board

Considering changing your major?

June
Thinking about changing your major for the first time? Second time? Does it feel like the 100th time? Making the decision to change your major can be difficult, especially if you are not entirely confident that you know exactly what you want to change it to. Although you might not know what new major you want to declare, you may already know that your current major is not the right fit for you. Before you take the leap into a brand new major, there are a few steps you can take to help you decide whether you want to change your major or not.
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An image of the Involvement Center empty as students are away.

Supporting your mental wellness while at home

April
The start of 2020 has had its ups and downs and with classes being moved to online. As you’ve returned home early for the semester, it can seem like your schedule is being upended. For some, it can feel like an extended spring break, and for others, this can feel earth-shattering. However you may be feeling right now, we want you to be able to maintain a healthy and successful lifestyle while we all move through these strange times.
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Students Studying on Lawn

Own your midterms this semester

March
Midterms are coming—head for the hills! Or, is it time to head to the Student Success Center? Midterms can be scary and with so much going on it can feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to.
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A student in a big

Finding your fit on campus

February
When you are still getting settled in your first year, getting connected on campus can seem challenging. At UW-River Falls, we have so many different options for students to connect with one another, it might seem overwhelming to choose what to check out first.
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Two students walking in snow on campus

Making the most of your winter break

December (Bonus Blog Post)
Holy cow! Your fall semester is over! Did it go by quicker than you thought it would? Did it drag on? Well no matter how you felt, it is done and you are on your way to a well-earned break from your studies.
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Students walking on campus in snow

Surviving and thriving during finals

December
Well, Falcon, you’re nearly to the finish line. Just a few weeks of hard work come between you and the completion of your first semester at UWRF. With finals just two weeks away, take the following steps to do your very best in your classes.
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A close-up image of UWRF

First Gen UWRF

November
What does it mean to be “First Gen”? Here at UWRF, over 40% of our students are first generation college students. You’ve probably heard that statistic before… but what does it really mean, and even more so, why is this significant?
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Student studying in the Involvement Center

Academic connections

October
You’ve made it through your first month at UWRF! We imagine your excitement and nerves are still fresh, and in the midst of it all, you have only just begun your academic journey. With all of the fun campus events, activities, and beautiful fall weather, it can be hard to focus on school. 
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Students giving piggyback rides at Week of Welcome

5 things to remember when you're new to campus

September
The Week of Welcome has come and gone, and classes have officially begun… so now what? You’re figuring out life in a residence hall room, but perhaps you’re still lukewarm to the community showers. Maybe you are loving college and having a blast. Maybe you are starting to miss your friends and your hometown. We promise everything you are thinking and experiencing is normal.
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Students at Great Falcon Get Together

Kicking off your first year at UWRF

August
With summer coming to an end and the new school year rapidly approaching, you might be starting to wonder if you are ready! There’s a lot to prepare for and a seemingly endless list of things to do. Even though transitioning to college can be a stressful time, it is also an incredibly exciting time full of opportunities for growth, learning, and tons of fun.
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Orientation Leaders smiling on campus

OTL spotlight

July
With the academic year approaching, you might be feeling unsure about what to expect from the college experience. We get that-- it's a big transition! However, you won't be alone as you start this new chapter. From the second you step on campus for your first day at the Week of Welcome, you will be connected immediately with your Orientation and Transition Leader (OTL) whose goal is get you connected on campus.

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Students at Amphitheatre

Exploring River Falls

June
New Student Registration is an exciting program. We work hard to make sure that your time here on campus is well-spent! You get to see your residence hall, meet with advisers in your major, and actually choose the classes you will be taking in your first semester here, but there are other things to consider doing before leaving the River Falls area until the fall semester.

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Students at Picnic

Summer budgeting

May
We can all feel it…it’s so close: summer. The thing every student looks forward to, the much needed respite and recuperation from a long year of hard work.
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UWRF hand writing a letter

Letter to my first year self

April
The first year of college is an important time in every student’s life. It represents new freedom, new responsibilities, and new opportunities, and as such is ripe for many potential successes and hardships.
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Students Dining

Snack healthy this spring

March
One of the things that makes transitioning to college challenging is striking the right balance with your responsibilities and your newfound freedom. From having a more flexible daily schedule, to laundry, to setting your own curfew, having this independence means having to figure some things out on your own, perhaps for the first time. One of these new areas to explore is what dining habits you choose.
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UC Involvement Center

Consider your summer opportunities

February
Though the semester has only just begun, it’s never too early to start thinking about what your plans are for the summer. In fact, now is a great time to start thinking and planning to make sure you explore all the opportunities available to you.
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Students Walking to Class

Relax and refresh this winter break

January
Winter break is more than half over, and it probably feels like time is either flying by or moving entirely too slow. Either way, we hope you are using your time to relax and refresh to get ready for this upcoming semester! If not, there is still time to do a little self-care.
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