Adjusting to college is difficult for any first-year student and every persons has a different experience.
Many people struggle when first thrust into the college environment. Oftentimes, ideas about college are coming from movies and shows that are misleading as to what being a college student is like. For some, college presents a big change, and for others, the transition is easy.
Eastern Michigan University first-year student Chelsea Stalsberg, from Northville, Michigan, is a commuter.
Stalsberg said that “the 25-minute commute” is the only thing she had to get used to. When deciding where she wanted to go for college, Stalsberg wanted to make sure that her college would be beneficial to helping her find a career path in her area of interest.
She said that what ultimately made her choose to attend EMU was “the College of Education, location, good community, and The Honors College.”
With all the driving back and forth from campus, one might think that there is an aspect of college that commuting students miss out on. However, for Stalsberg, that is not the case.
“I have been initiated into Omega Phi Alpha, and interested in a teacher sorority, Kappa Delta Pi,” Stalsberg said.
For Stalsberg, her community is her Sorority sisters, who also share with her an education major, as well as the close-knit community of EMU’s Honors College.
Stalsberg had many different thoughts about what college would be like, especially as a commuter, and she is proud to say that EMU is living up to her expectations.
While many aspects of college can be exciting, like moving into a dorm room and being on one's own for the first time, the excitement often comes with a fair share of struggles. For some, the main struggle is having to adjust to an entirely new environment.
Rituparna Ghosh, a first-year International student from Bangladesh, coveys that “the cold weather and food habits," are just some of the things she has had to adjust to.
When moving to an unfamiliar place, one usually has assumptions or expectations about what it will be like. Ghosh had her fair share of expectations and is proud to say that EMU has not failed in living up to them.
“New experiences being collected from my journey, new friends worldwide, loads of adventures during the day and night. So many clubs to choose from," Ghosh said. "Tremendous amount of free food, gifts and giveaways which are always fun to collect with friends, [and lastly] movie nights.”
Being an international student could make one feel isolated, as attending a school in a different country so far from home can be difficult. However, Ghosh said that she couldn’t feel more connected to the community here at EMU.
“The inclusion and diversity that I’m a part here, I feel like home mostly," Ghosh expresses. "Meeting different people from different countries and cultures, adapting to the weather, converting to the U.S. lifestyle, I feel proud that I did it all by myself alone.”
Moving out of the house is sometimes one of the most exciting and largest adjusments that college students make. When one thinks of university, more often than not, one thinks of dorm life.
First-year student Joplin Collins, from Coldwater, Michigan, expresses that one drastic change for her was living with a roommate.
“It’s weird sharing your living space with a stranger," Collins said.
With Collins living on campus, she has an advantage when it comes to living the “normal” college life that is perceived in movies and tv shows. With the hustle and bustle of walking to different buildings and getting to class on time, it can be a stressful task, especially for any college first-year.
Taking into consideration all the events that EMU has going on, time management quickly becomes an essential skill to learn. Collins expresses that the tons of homework that she receives, definitely makes her time management more difficult.
“After classes some days I want to come back to my dorm and take a nap or just chill, but I know I can’t because I need to get a head start on homework,” Collins said.
Aside from the stress of homework, Collins expresses that she is adjusting well to college life.
“I have made some amazing friends here already and I wouldn’t trade them for the world,” Collins said.
With her friends and the events she does through EMU’s Hillel, a Jewish organization, Collins believes she is finding a strong community here at EMU.
Personally, while adjusting to college can be a difficult challenge, I feel lucky enough to have effortlessly found my way.
I was very anxious about starting college, because this would be the first year not knowing who my classmates are. I have gone to school with the same people my whole life, and now being separated from them was very worrisome for me. But, I am flourishing here at EMU. I’ve made so many amazing new friends, became a board member for different clubs and organizations, as well as being an active member in The Honors College.
For me and many other students, EMU is turning out to be a tremendous opportunity in helping us to find our own path in life.
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