Freshmen now into the swing of things

Maria Nann

With one semester over, some freshmen decide whether preparing for class is worth the trouble

Tiffany Alcock, sophomore communication studies major, takes time to study before class. DANA BEVERIDGE | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: DKS Editors

On a normal school day, Miranda Reed gets up an hour and five minutes before her first class. She gets ready, packs her things, checks her e-mail and arrives to class with time to spare.

Now that the first semester is over, freshmen, like Reed, are settling into daily routines. With the stress of studying, deprivation of sleep, pressure of work and temptation of socializing, some are finding it tricky to prioritize.

“I usually get there a couple minutes early because I don’t like to be late,” said Reed, a freshman communications major.

For Brianna Foreman, a freshman interior design major, however, it depends on the day.

“Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, I have class at 7:45,” she said. “I get up at 7 and lay there for 20 to 25 minutes. Then I get up and get ready to go to class – if I decide to go to class.”

In a typical week, Aaron Nicholas, freshman fashion design major, said he attends “probably 50 to 60 percent” of his classes.

“I base my day around what’s important to me,” he said. “Every other day for me is a workout day, so I usually center my day around that. I usually won’t go to class if it doesn’t pertain to my major.”

Reed said she feels differently.

“I go to 90 percent of my classes,” she said. “I feel guilty about not going to classes that I know I need to go to.”

Foreman said she goes to about 75 percent of her classes “because most of them are pretty important.”

“It depends on what class it is,” she said. “I’ve only gone to one of my classes one or two times this semester. Sometimes, I’ll go to them, and then I leave. It’s studio stuff – stuff I can do in my dorm. I just have a lot of projects and work I have to do.”

For Reed, going to class pays off. She said her lowest grade is “a B. Maybe a B-.”

“I don’t do the recommended three hours of studying for every hour of class you have,” Reed said. “I don’t have that much time.”

Instead, she reviews test material before exams, studying either alone or with someone else. She always does her homework and assignments before class, and she spends as much time as she’s given on projects and papers.

“I usually start working on papers as soon as they’re assigned,” she said. “I usually do them in steps.”

Nicholas’ routine, though quite opposite from Reed’s, isn’t necessarily hurting him.

“My grades are really good for the majority,” he said. “My fashion classes I’m doing really well in, and my science classes are like elementary sciences for me again.”

Foreman said she spends most of her study and class time working on projects.

“I spend hours and hours on them,” she said. “I get three or four projects a week in my classes, due pretty much the following week. I’ve pulled numerous all-nighters.”

Instead of being swamped with projects and work, Nicholas said he feels “underwhelmed” with his workload.

“I’m never in a position to where I feel that the material is too much,” he said. “Sometimes I’ll work late. I rarely ever have homework, but I make work for myself.”

Reed agreed.

“I never feel overwhelmed when I don’t understand something,” she said. “I just feel that they’ve gone into more depth than I’ve ever had to think about (a topic) before.”

For some of her classes, Foreman said she feels “just fine and comfortable.” But in others, she said she sometimes can be confused.

“In some of my classes, my teachers will just ramble about something that makes no sense whatsoever,” she said. “Not because what they’re saying doesn’t make sense, but just because what they’re saying has no validity.”

Foreman said this is just one example of how college has been different than high school.

“Everything is entirely new,” she said, “like what we’re covering in my classes. High school did not prepare me at all.”

In contrast, Reed said she feels very prepared for her classes, particularly classes pertaining to her major.

“I’m going to be learning what I learned my junior year of high school,” she said. “But then again, I had an exceptional teacher.”

Nicholas agreed with Reed.

“College in general is talked about as being such a great and powerful tool,” he said, “but with the knowledge that most students coming in already have, they’re already prepared for what they need to know or will be introduced to.

“Employers look at it like you just spent all this money to get a degree proving your supposed education,” he added. “It’s more about making connections with people in your industry and knowing people.”

Contact features correspondent Maria Nann at [email protected].