Some freshmen think the dorms don’t deliver

Jenna Staul

When David Hunt, freshman visual communication design major, unloaded his belongings into his Small Group residence hall, he was surprised to find that his new home didn’t quite live up to his expectations.

“I would have liked to have known that the walls are painted cinder blocks, and the bed looks like it came from a prison,” Hunt said.

Hunt, like many freshmen, has encountered surprises in his time adjusting during his first weeks at Kent State.

Brian Havran, freshman computer science major, came unprepared for his first weeks of school, neglecting to bring the toiletry items that many likely wouldn’t leave home without.

“I wish I had actually brought stuff,” Havran said. “I didn’t bring anything. I had to go shopping for soap, shampoo, detergent. I went out and bought more clothes – like two or three more shirts, because I figured that would be cheaper than doing more laundry.”

Lauren Pernetti, coordinator of First Year Colloquium, cautions new students to be patient during their first weeks of school, as the time it takes to adjust to college life is unique to each student.

“Its not one size fits all,” Pernetti said. “Different students react differently.”

Pernetti said a student’s background is the best indicator of how they will adjust in college.

“People with siblings who went to college sometimes come into it with more realistic expectations,” she said. “Sometimes people who are more isolated have a harder time. But it really depends on what kind of student you are.”

Lisa Crea, freshmen secondary education major, said she is still adjusting to her new life – complete with a bout of unexpected homesickness – nearly two and a half hours from home.

“I was homesick at first,” Crea said. “But I’m getting used to it. So far its been fun.”

Pernetti said freshmen can turn to a number of sources on campus including resident assistants and their First Year Colloquium instructors for help in adjusting to college.

“One of the biggest adjustments is learning how to be more generous with their thoughts and feelings, especially with students living on campus,” Pernetti said. “But it’s our responsibility to be sensitive to where they are.”

Micah Dowell, a freshmen psychology and pre-medicine major, has been pleasantly surprised in his initial days of college. He said Kent State’s social environment was much more inviting than he expected.

“I was completely surprised by the diversity,” Dowell said. “You can act like an oddball because there are so many oddballs here anyway.”

Contact news correspondent Jenna Staul at [email protected].