Freshmen adapt to college life

Lee-Anna Bardun

Freshmen are relearning basic life skills as they settle into college.

“It’s a really big change,” said Jasmine McNair, a freshman criminal justice major.

Going from the comforts of home to a college campus presents all sorts of new and different obstacles for first-year students.

A big challenge for most freshmen is being around so many people they don’t know.

“A lot went to high school and lived in the same town, and when they come here it’s a whole new deal,” said Pete Finnerty, a teaching fellow and administrator of the Counseling and Human Development Center in White Hall. “They’re used to living with family and suddenly, they’re living with 20 other strangers in a dorm.”

The transition from home life to residence hall life can be a little uncomfortable.

“Home life is a lot nicer,” said Vinnie Stellato, a freshman business management major. “It feels cramped in the dorms, and it’s super hot all the time.”

Most freshmen are required to live in residence halls their first year, and a lot have to learn to get along with a roommate they didn’t know prior to moving in.

Arielle Brafman, a freshman integrated science major, came to Kent from Maryland.

“With dorm life you have to learn to be a lot more social,” Brafman said. “It’s a lot easier to talk to family.”

Brafman is optimistic and said she’s getting to know people “slowly but surely.”

“It’s definitely harder for me because I’m out of state,” she said.

On top of the new living situations, freshmen still have to make time for classes, which are very different from the high school classes they’re used to.

“It’s so difficult coming from high school to college,” McNair said. “We have to use computers for everything.”

Some are also not used to the differences in class times. Most high school classes don’t last much past 3 p.m., and a lot of college students take classes lasting well beyond that time.

“The ones at night feel so long,” Stellato said. “It’s different having classes at 5:30 at night.” Stellato said his biggest obstacle may be being on his own and making himself study.

Brafman said her first week of classes was not too bad.

“It was pretty easy mainly because teachers didn’t pound the work on you,” she said. “I definitely expect class work to get a lot harder, though.”

Other than class work and a social life, some freshmen have to relearn basics, said Finnerty, who helps students at the counseling center. Their mothers are no longer there to do things like make dinner and do the dishes.

“They’re relearning the basics of life like, how to get food, how to do laundry,” Finnerty said. “Home life usually has a lot more structure.”

College offers a lot of freedom to new students they may not be used to, Finnerty said, which can be good or bad.

Overall, starting college is a pretty positive experience for most students, Finnerty said. It is a place for students to be independent, meet new people and grow.

Contact student life reporter Lee-Anna Bardun at [email protected]

Having trouble adjusting?

Pete Finnerty, a teaching fellow and administrator at the Counseling and Human Development Center, encourages students who are having trouble adjusting to come in to the center.

“There’s a lot of resources here,” he said. “A lot of people don’t even know they have these resources.”

Finnerty said they see a wide mix of students at the counseling center. A lot are freshmen; some are just feeling stressed and others have bigger issues.

“Services are free; most students don’t realize that,” he said.

Starting Sept. 22, the counseling center will be having sessions geared toward freshmen, yet anyone can attend.

Group sessions are held in the Counseling and Human Development Center in 325 White Hall.

&bull 3 p.m. Sept. 22,

stress management

&bull 5 p.m. Sept. 22,

study skills

&bull 2 p.m. Sept. 23,

building relationships

&bull 6 p.m. Sept. 23,


&bull 4 p.m. Sept. 24,

adjusting to college