Freshmen comment on college life

By this point in the year, most people have grown accustomed to their day-to-day lives as students at Gannon University. But it can be difficult to remember what it was like in the first weeks as a Gannon student. Even freshmen can have difficulty remembering how tough it was.

Brianna Woods, a theatre and communication arts major, said that she’s adjusting to college pretty well, but it took her a greater part of her first semester to really get into the swing of things.

“Making my own schedule and having complete freedom over my free time activities was something that was exciting, but also came with its own challenges,” Woods said.

Managing free time can be one of the most difficult things to do for new freshmen, according to psychology professor Barbara Townsend. This is especially true with the students who did not have as much freedom back in high school, according to Townsend.

According to Townsend, freshmen have a lot more to worry about at first and a more difficult time than upperclassmen do, aside from classes. She said there’s a lot of transitioning that freshmen have to do that affects their college experience.

“For a lot of them,” Townsend said, “it’s their first time dealing with lack of privacy, homesickness and changes to their food and sleep schedule. On top of all of that, they don’t want to seem like they’re transitioning.”

This is also a time, Townsend said, when the freshman students are on a quest for their identity. This search has already begun, but their identity has not been solidified quite yet. As it solidifies, the students will become less chameleon-like from trying to “fit in.”

As of now, freshman students are becoming more adjusted to Gannon’s campus. Woods describes feeling like she’s at home at Gannon.

“Even in downtown Erie, GU manages to give me a comfortable, homey feeling,” she said.

Seth Morrisroe, a freshman biology major, also notes that he has adjusted to college life well and that he feels as though he can comfortably make his way around campus.

“College is not much different than I expected it to be,” Morrisroe said. “The only major difference is that I thought I would continue to sleep on a regular schedule, and found out that that was not going to happen. But Gannon has grown on me, and I can honestly say I do like it here because of the small classes, how friendly the teachers are, and I really like seeing someone I know every time I go anywhere.”

There were also some surprises for Woods when she came to Gannon. She said she did not expect college to be quite as time consuming outside of the classroom.

“The bulk of my time is spent in shows, rehearsing, crying – sometimes it’s needed in a script and sometimes it’s because I’m stressed – and of course getting Starbucks more than daily so that I can stay awake through all of this.”

But also with all this stress comes multiple positive things for Woods. While she does mention that she misses her high school friends, she’s found her place among people here, too.

“I am very happy to be surrounded by so many people that are as motivated and driven as I am,” she said. “I enjoy so much talking with people that have the same interests as myself and love to pursue those interests.”



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