Students Provide Advice for First Years

By Samantha Sonnie – Staff Writer  

Moving away from home to a new environment is no doubt difficult. It is challenging to overcome the negative or overwhelming thoughts that are influenced by the sudden change. 

Adjusting to the college lifestyle can be easier for some than others, but it is still okay to struggle.  

 As a college freshman myself, this new chapter in life is definitely a challenge; fortunately, there are many students on campus willing to provide guidance and advice.  

One of the first and most difficult feelings for college freshman is homesickness. Nevils Hall Resident Advisor (RA) Moira Courtney said that homesickness is expected.  

“It is totally normal to feel some homesickness. I recommend keeping connected to your people from home but also immersing yourself in our campus community,” Courtney said.  

Speaking from personal experience, immersing yourself in the community is extremely helpful. I joined the cross-country team which has eased the anxiety I felt about college and has made me feel part of a community.  

Co-RA of Nevils Hall Emily Gondek said routines are important to establish in the beginning of your first year.  

“I wish I developed better routines at the beginning of my transition to college. There are so many new and exciting things to do as a first-year. I wish I had better managed to establish self-care and study routines at the start rather than stressing and trying to figure it out later,” Gondek said.  

Staying on top of work, while also caring for yourself is important. Another large part of the first few weeks of freshman year is making friends. Finding and making friends is a nerve wrecking part of college, especially if you’re struggling to find the right people in which you feel you belong.  

Courtney said that an important aspect in making friends is to exercise is patience.  

“It is super important to be patient when making friends. Often the people you initially click with aren’t going to be your long-term besties and that’s okay,” Courtney said.  

Maintaining this priority is completely normal; however, like Courtney and Gondek said, it is important to be patient. While college is a new, intimidating adventure, it is exciting.  

“Be open to getting to know others. I know being surrounded by so many new faces can be intimidating, but it can be as simple as leaving your door in the hall open when you are home, talking to your professor after class, or asking one of your classmates a question,” Gondek said. 

So, while putting yourself out there may seem scary, it can be extremely beneficial.  

“Definitely push yourself, do things that you love and try new things! Go to events, sign up for classes that interest you,” Courtney said. 

 Freshman year is difficult to navigate, but not impossible. Through these pieces of advice, the class of 2026 can and will have a great first year.