Freshman Spotlight: How one freshman handled her first weekend at Kent


Freshman entrepreneurship major Jaynanne Sheehan signs up for information from the Office of Global Education during BlastOff 2015 on Aug. 30, 2015.

Rachel Duthie

Jaynanne Sheehan could not stop crying the day before she had to move into her dorm at Kent State for the first time.

“(The next day) was so weird because I was by myself when I woke up because my parents were not home yet. It was just me packing all by myself. It was really sad emptying parts of my room,” Sheehan said. “But at the same time, I was thinking, ‘I’m ready for this, it’s here.’ And I am. It’s easier than I thought. Everything is just so exciting now.”

Her story is only one of the thousands of new students who arrived on Thursday to participate in Kent State’s annual Welcome Weekend festivities.

Organized by the Center for Undergraduate Excellence, first-year students who moved in this weekend were given the opportunity to participate in a variety of fun events, ranging from ice cream socials to explorations downtown, in order to become more acquainted with the university.

Sheehan, an entrepreneurship major, is no stranger to Kent. Her home is just 10 minutes away, so she is very familiar with campus and its class options. She said the university’s close proximity to her home was one of the major reasons she wanted to attend Kent; however, she still experienced the unexpected.

“Living with someone else is weird. You’re always with someone else, and you can’t really change in front of them,” she said. “I didn’t know that going to the bathroom had to be such a process, and I always forget that I have to key myself in everywhere. It’s just so different from home.”

Despite her difficulties adjusting, Sheehan has found comfort in the activities she has attended all across campus. She couldn’t help noticing the energy surrounding convocation and the persistence for students to get involved inspired her to want to join organizations such as KSU Crew and student government.

Her favorite event was going to her first FYE class in business, where she discussed “The Terrorist’s Son,” this year’s common reading book, and met with other like-minded classmates.

“It was really cool. Our FYE teacher was an economics professor, and he gave us practical advice that I really enjoyed,” she said. “It made me really excited to take classes in business.”

The final event of Welcome Weekend was Kent State’s original Back to School BlastOff, an outdoor event that allows students to find out about hundreds of different student organizations they can join. A hot air balloon ride, live music and an array of inflatables adorned the event.

Despite its overwhelming nature, as tons of students are practically squished in together as they try to make their way through, Sheehan couldn’t imagine a more perfect way to successfully start her freshman year.

“All of the clubs and booths seemed really interested in talking to everyone,” she said. “Even if you said you weren’t interested, they were still really nice.”

As the night dwindled, Sheehan was pleasantly surprised to find the Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization, an organization directly relevant to her major, plus CHAARG and Women’s Club Lacrosse to fuel her passion for exercise.

Above all the radically different experiences she had these past couple of days, she couldn’t be more optimistic to start her journey as a college student.

“My biggest goal is not to get straight As but to make sure I balance school and work while still having fun time,” she said. “I want to have stories to tell.”

Contact Rachel Duthie at [email protected].