We asked current students to think back to their freshmen year and what they wish they had known. Their advice is below.
Talk to professors at the beginning of the semester to find out finals dates and flexibility of moving finals depending on travel, but do not let your parents book your flights until you have finalized your classes and had these conversations with professors.
As far as travel goes, it’s a great idea to make friends that are somewhat near your hometown. I would always carpool with people on my trip back to Atlanta, and my friends parents would just meet us off of the highway at an exit close to their home. Everybody benefits from carpooling! It’s better for the environment, I had good company to drive back home instead of driving alone, and my friends had a way of much cheaper travel! The parents of my friends were even nice enough to insist on giving me gas money- you really can’t go wrong with carpooling back home.
Wake is very accessible when traveling. There are shuttles that can take you to the airports in Charlotte or Greensboro over holidays, and people are usually very friendly. I’ve taken several of my friends to the airport on my way out of town for breaks.
Book flights or arrange travel far in advance to take the stress away. Don’t wait until the last minute to figure out your final exam schedule!
Leave the car at home; take the train.
Don’t bring your car your freshman year. You don’t need to go see mom and dad every weekend. Nor do you need to go see your best friend at UNC-CH. The freshman parking lot really isn’t that inconvenient, and I find that leaving campus makes you realize how awesome it is!
Having a car is great if you play golf.
You don’t need a car, but it can be nice to have just to get off campus periodically.
There are two three-day weekends where most kids leave campus: Fall break and Easter Break. However, I was one of the “few” that stayed at Wake. Whether it is for financial reasons or scheduling, staying on campus during these weekends is not that bad. There is actually a decent amount of people on campus and the dining halls remain open. Fall break was actually really fun this past year because all of my friends ended up staying and the Winston-Salem area has fun fall activities. More people tend to leave over Easter Weekend, but there are still people on campus who you get to know better and become much closer too. Over Thanksgiving break, pretty much the entire campus leaves except for the select few that cannot travel home or to a friend’s house. The dining options are much more scarce and it is probably one of the emptiest times on campus.
Constantly be on the lookout for travel opportunities.
Editorial note: The comments have been minimally edited and grouped together for coherence. In come cases, comments were combined with others. When we had students responding with the same advice, we repeated it for emphasis. In the event a student offered advice that ran counter to what Wake Forest advises, it was not included. These comments represent the views of the student commentators, not the views of the Parent Programs office or Wake Forest.