Words of Wisdom: What former students have to say

Brittany Schenk

Freshman class of 2009, you have the opportunity to learn from those who came here before you, those who have already stepped into the wrong classroom or fallen out of their desk or gotten conned by upperclassmen to use all their leftover FlashCash to buy them food. To provide some comfort and help you have the best and most informed freshman year, we grabbed some people to share their advice on how to remain responsible while having fun.

Here’s what they had to say:

Ashley Katona

Graduated from Kent State in 2006, freshman in 2002

Words of Wisdom: Get involved.

“When I was a freshman, I told myself that I didn’t want to do things that I would regret, so I got involved in as many activities as a could. Take advantage of all the organizations Kent State has to offer. I think (students) will be very grateful for that when they sit in their first interview. They will have a lot of things to talk about.”

Memorable story about freshman year: “I had an experience in the dorms where I stayed up till 3 or 4 in the morning studying for a final, and I slept through the alarm. I didn’t wake up until my roommate asked me if I had a final. Tell your roommate what time your finals are so you can be up for your final.”

Jennifer Kramer

Graduated in 2000, freshman in 1997

Words of Wisdom: Study, study, study! It’s never too early to start.

“Study early on in the semester. You want to explore and you want to have fun, but you also have this responsibility. The first couple of semesters can set the stage for you. Do the study guides your professors give you. They don’t just give them to you just to use paper.”

Chelsea McPeek

Graduated in 2009, freshman in 2005

Words of Wisdom: Stay on campus.

“I would encourage people to stay on the weekends and not commute as much. Branch out and meet new people. Stay away from hanging out with people you know.”

Memorable story about freshman year: McPeek remembers meeting a few people the day she moved into her residence hall. They decided to take a trip and ride a random PARTA bus. After three hours and stops in Akron and Canton, they finally arrived back in Kent.

“Know the bus route,” McPeek said.

Beth Bloom

Graduated in 2009, freshman in 2005

Words of Wisdom: Get to know professors and ask questions.

“It can be scary as a freshman. Really utilize office hours and get to know professors, and, of course, go to class.”

For Bloom, building strong relationships with her professors eventually led to references that landed her a job teaching journalism.

Memorable story about freshman year: “I had braces, and it was a mortifying experience.”

Jill Jones

Graduated in 2009, freshman in 2005

Words of Wisdom: Try new things and make friends.

“Looking back, I think it’s important to try new things. Even if (the events) are kind of ridiculous, go! You can always leave if it’s dumb.”

“Find at least one friend in every class. Bump heads when you study for tests.”

Memorable story about freshman year: Jones remembers taking an “intimidating class” where she was one of the youngest students. She said she was not used to the desks in the classroom, which proved to be a problem when she dropped her pencil. When Jones reached for her pencil, the desk fell over. “The whole desk flipped forward, and no one laughed,” she said. “I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, I am not going to make it through college.'”

David Danenberg

Graduated in 2009, freshman in 2005

Words of Wisdom: Stick to a budget.

“Many students are on budgets, so books, food, and personal care supplies are what money should be spent on. If you plan on spending money for entertainment purposes, be sure you have set aside enough to keep you living an enjoyable and healthy lifestyle.

Being on your own at a university is a great feeling, but it is the start to the rest of your life. You must make wise decisions. Weigh your options, think about why you are at Kent State, and have fun.”

Memorable story about freshman year: “The one story that always sticks in the back of my mind as a dumb decision I made was freshman year when I went to a hayride with the fraternity I was pledging. It was toward the end of the event when I started to get comfortable with the members of the fraternity and I decided to show off my tree-climbing skills, which is basically none. The brothers laughed at the silly freshman and then carried on. “

Michael Cesa

Graduated in 1976, freshman in 1972

Words of Wisdom: Experience the university.

“Use everything the university has to offer.”

Cesa said that things such as the Student Recreation and Wellness Center, the Kent State University Ice Arena and student organizations are an important part of creating a dynamic experience at Kent State. He said he still stays in touch with people he went to school with today. “I have a great sense of community with Kent State.”

Memorable story about freshman year: “I lost two roommates after the first two quarters. They had a very good time but didn’t keep their grades up. The university asked them to leave. I was the last man standing.”

Contact news correspondent Brittany Schenk at [email protected].