First years at Shepherd

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(THE PICKET) – Shepherd University freshmen are trying to adapt as they navigate the first weeks of university life.

“The classes are different because they’re smaller and your teachers won’t tell you as much. You have to figure out everything for yourself now,” said English education major Lauren Slezak, 17.

Living away from home, freshmen are negotiating the academic limits of not having curfews. Their parents are no longer demanding to know where they are or what they’re doing. The consequences and rewards of their actions now fall upon them.

Kevin Turner, 17, who has not yet declared his major, said, “You have a lot more freedom and can pretty much do what you want. You don’t have people holding your hand. You have to study more, here, than at a typical high school class, and you can have classes at different times of the day.”

Many freshmen come from far away and their hometowns stretch from Vermont to Europe. Not only are they adapting to college life, they are adapting to a different culture.

“In high school you’ve been going to school with all the same kids, but when you come to college there are all new kids from all over, you don’t know anybody, so everyone’s trying to make friends,” said English education major, Jessica Friend.

But not to worry, because upperclassmen Stacy Mummert, 19, English education major has some advice for that. She said, “Try and join clubs and groups, it helps with the transition and making friends.”

As for the classes, Stacy Jones, 19, environmental studies major said, “Pick your classes according to you; don’t choose eight o’clock classes if you’re not a morning person.”

“Always ask questions and make friends. You don’t want to go through college and regret not putting yourself out there and participating. Always do your assignments, you don’t get any make-up days, its due when it’s due,” said Amanda Dovich, 23, business administration and management major.

She notes that university policies are less forgiving than those in high schools and freshmen should be mindful of new rules.