New freshmen adjust to experience of college life

Published by adviser, Author: Stephanie Cheek - Rocket Contributor, Date: August 31, 2012

The transition from high school to college is a change that all freshmen have to face – from moving into a dorm room, attending classes, and even being away from home, it can be a completely different experience.

This past weekend was Slippery Rock University’s annual Weekend of Welcome (WOW), marking the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year with the moving in of this year’s freshmen class.

According to a couple members of this year’s incoming freshmen, the classes mark perhaps the biggest difference from high school to college. College students do not have to be in classes all day, unless that is their schedule and the professors trust them to act like adults.

They have to become independent, which is a new change, and their parents are not always there to help with things like laundry and making sure they go to class on time. Socially, they are free to meet new people and make friends with a wide variety of people.

Freshman music therapy and music performance major Katie Socash, 18, said it will take a little time to get used to the environment because of the size of the campus and the campus community.

“I came from a small school, so it’s hard for me not to see the same people everyday and know everyone,” Socash said.

For those who choose to pursue higher education, change is necessary to make a successful transition from high school to college, but different people have different ways of handling the change. Some students enter fully prepared while others need to take it day by day, trying to balance schoolwork and a social life.

For freshman biology major Jon Stonebraker, 19, he was ready for the change of scenery. Stonebraker said he applied and was accepted into Slippery Rock University early on in his senior year of high school, giving him plenty of time to get used to the idea of living away from home.

“I felt ready because my sister came to Slippery Rock University so I was familiar with the campus, plus it was a change compared to other people in my high school,” Stonebraker said.

This year’s WOW weekend was a hit, according to Socash and Stonebraker. They both liked the idea of moving in earlier so they can meet and get to know other students in the freshman class so they can create a bond with their own graduating class.

The only complaint that they both had was that the Saturday seminars were long and they wished they focused more on the website and how to use the web-based program, Desire2Learn.

While the freshmen were just joining the school community, upperclassmen were returning for the fall semester.

Senior criminology major Josh Lavery, 21, remembers the difficulties that came with being a freshman.

“[The most difficult part of my freshman year was] my roommate,” Lavery said. “He was rude, messy, and it was hard to compromise with him.”
Lavery said he did not feel fully comfortable with attending Slippery Rock until he was a sophomore and was rooming with his friends in Rhoads Hall.

When it comes to advice for the new freshman class, Lavery said it’s best to focus on the essentials of school.

“Go to class, work hard, and always make room to have fun,” he said.


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