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Alumni Advice — Words of Wisdom for UW Students

Photo by Althea Dotzour / UW–Madison

To help inspire Badgers to have a strong start to their semester, we asked our alumni to offer some encouraging words to students at UW–Madison. Here is what they had to say (published verbatim).


Use this time to explore your passions. Take a chance on a class that sounds interesting. Get involved in clubs and orgs. UW-Madison is an amazing place -- take advantage of everything it has to offer!

Scott C

On your way to reach your destination, there will always be stops and stations.You were lucky enough to be at one of the finest educational life stations so show us your finest achievements on your way to the top.

Najlaa F

Keep in sight your goals and missions! Never forget that there's always light at the end of the tunnel! You got this!

Adriana U

Don’t forget that you’re here because UW Madison saw something great in you and wants you here. You can do this. You chose this university. You were chosen for this time and place, make the most of it that you can. Have a great year!

Rachel J

Embrace change, manage your time wisely, connect with professors, utilize university resources, stay curious, maintain a balance between academics and social life, learn from setbacks, prioritize your health, plan for the future, and most importantly, savor every moment of this transformative experience. Your potential is boundless, so trust yourself, stay determined, and relish the adventure that is your university years. Best wishes for a rewarding and successful journey!

Dean S

Believe you can and you are half way there! Take it all in, and take it one day at a time. If you find one day at a time is tough sometimes, take it one hour at a time. Believe in yourself young Badgers!!

Kathleen L

Enjoy every minute of being at Wisconsin because it goes by fast. It will be the greatest four years of your life.

David I

Talk to people on the bus. Take your headphones out. Ask your professor questions during office hours. Write a thank you note. Take some time to breathe. Remember, if its "FREE".. its NOT... you already paid for it. Go to everything!

Jay S

Give equal weight to academics and the personal connections you make at UW. Later in your career, it's those personal connections that advance your career and open doors that are otherwise closed.

Andrew S

Make sure to get sleep and eat well and take good care of yourself. Reach out and get to know someone that is different from you and take advantage of all that the University has to offer. There’s so many different kinds of activities and people than you’ve ever been exposed to before and you are so lucky to be in such a wonderful environment. Soak up the moment, you’ve worked hard to get here and enjoy it! And by all means, go sit on the terrace and look at the lakefront.

Nalisa W

Congratulations on making the decision to invest in your future! Absolutely take time to reconnect with friends (and professors) and yet remember why you are there —to graduate with a degree. Find that balance!

Rose S

Your potential for greatness is only limited by the extent of your determination and the depth of your dreams. Go Badgers!

Afzar M

It’s a marathon, not a sprint… slow down and take it all in!

Lyle W

Take advantage of everything your school has to offer!
Learn something new and fun and remain curious!
Make friends and study hard!

Nicole K

First semester is the hardest! Not because of the classes, but adjusting to this new journey. Eat, sleep, go to your classes, try your best to stick to a routine and schedule, ask for help, find a way meaningful to you to take a break and release stress, be accountable, but not so hard on yourself. This is a journey you’ve never been on and there will be bumps along the way, but it’s a great ride! You’ve got this! Go Badgers!

Traci W

We are all here for you- reach out to your faculty members and advisors. Together we are stronger! Go Badgers!

Bernadette G

Work hard and study hard! Keep up with classes and homework! Take time to rest, relax, rejuvenate, and have some fun!

Jamie B

Study hard, have fun, learn the lyrics to Jump Around, and go to Badger football games.

Toni C

Study & have fun! Don’t fall behind in the class work.

Sara M

Enjoy your time, it goes fast! Make memories and work hard!

Michelle D

Go to all your classes, study hard, go to campus events to get involved and meet people.

Angela L

Don’t feel like you have to have it all figured out your first day, week, month or year! You are undergoing a huge transition and learning curve! On Wisconsin!

Heather P

Go to the terrace at sunset as often as you can, to forge memories that will last a lifetime.

Marilyn S

College is about balance. Strike a balance between fun and the serious stuff but don’t neglect either.

Paul S

Attend your classes! And not just because you'll get a better grade, but because the most valuable thing you get for your tuition is face time with profs who are the leaders in their fields. You may never again be in the presence of so many intelligent and knowledgeable people. Learn as much as possible from them.

Sue J

Two words: College Library

Laura E

Go to your classes and study as you go along through the semester. That way when finals come you don’t have the pressure of cramming. I have to be honest with you. I hardly studied when finals came because I did my work during the whole semester so I didn’t have to do all that cramming. It made my life a lot easier and I was out in four years. If you don’t know it one day before finals, you’re not gonna know it on the day of finals.

Cynthia E

Stay current in all your courses with readings and other course work; find a passion, a cause, a group whom you think is doing something important that you couldn’t do in high school. Take time to talk to your classmates, especially in small classes. Finally, go to your professors’ office hours.

Steven R

Read and really appreciate the Sifting & Winnowing plaque on Bascom. Study it along with the real meaning of the Wisconsin Idea. These concepts are arguably the UW's most important accomplishments, and they require active and ongoing participation.

Jay R

Don’t be afraid to talk to your professors. Take advantage of their office hours. Use the writing lab. Use the campus resources (get the most from your tuition dollars)!

Andrea S


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