Start at the beginning

By on September 4, 2003

Students have moved in, bought their books, met roommates, started classes, and now are wondering what to do next.

As a freshman, each day of college holds a new experience, and sometimes it is difficult to figure out what to expect. Most students share the same concerns about making friends, meeting people and finding others who share their interests.

Students also worry about what to expect from their professors and how to handle the work load. They have questions about life on campus and missing their families and friends back home.

First and foremost, freshmen should expect a life that’s very different than living at home and going to high school. For many, college is the first time they are away from their parents for an extended period of time. It takes time to adjust to living with people they do not know and being on their own, as well as learning to be independent and self-sufficient.

Being away from home for weeks or even months at a time may leave freshmen feeling sad and missing their families and friends.

“Freshmen should expect to get homesick sometimes,” said sophomore, Lauren Franco.

Feeling homesick is a common reaction to being in a new environment and being separated to a life that is familiar to you.

Freshmen should also expect to learn how to balance school work with fun and partying.

“Partying is fun and is a big part of the college experience,” said sophomore Darrah Black.

“But sometimes people make the mistake of partying too much at the beginning of the semester, and then midterms come up and they’re not ready.”

Often the overwhelming amount of freedom that comes from being in college is enough to make freshmen spend much of their time neglecting the work that is piling up. It is important to balance the two aspects of college life.

Many freshmen also find that college professors assign more work than their high school teachers did.

“Freshmen should expect to be a little overwhelmed with work in the beginning,” said sophomore Heather Telesca.

“But it’ll get better and everything will fall into place.”

Often, upon entering college, freshmen are sharing a room with others for the first time. For many, it is difficult to adjust to the lack of peace and quiet and to learn how to get along with people with different habits.

Sebastian Panioto, junior, said that freshmen should “expect to have no privacy and to have your living space the corner of a room.”

Freshmen must also learn how to communicate with their roommates and establish rules for the room.

“Freshmen should be ready to making compromises in their living situations,” said sophomore Jennifer Pescik.

“There is a great chance that they will not have identical, or even similar, schedules to their roommates, so they need to establish rules for the room from the very beginning.”

One of the biggest concerns freshmen have is about making friends. Starting at a new school knowing very few people- or in some cases, no one- can be nerve wracking for anyone. However, freshmen year is a great opportunity to make new friends and become more accepting of others.

“Freshmen should be open to meeting new people,” says Black.

“If they come from a place with not much diversity, college is a good place to meet people from other backgrounds and people who come from other places.”

Starting freshmen year may be a nerve-wracking new experience. The important thing for people to realize is that all freshmen are in the same situation, and with time, they will feel right at home on campus.


About Emily Wakeman