UA freshmen and seniors share perspectives

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UA freshmen and seniors share perspectives

Sarah Elegante is a freshman majoring in elementary education.  CW | Danielle Parker

Aaron Bonner

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Among the thousands of incoming students flooding the Quad and Ferguson Center is Sarah Elegante, a freshman majoring in elementary education. For some, the adjustment to campus life can be a struggle, but Elegante said the experience has been fine because campus is so friendly and inviting. She said there are people everywhere for her to meet.

“It has been a pretty easy adjustment,” Elegante said. “I have a few friends from high school that are going here and we are going out and meeting new people. It’s so easy to make friends and figure out the campus because there are people all over who are willing to help or who are just as incredibly lost as we are.”

Elegante said the differences between high school and college were pronounced,and she compared college to a summer camp she’s afraid she’ll have to leave to go back to the dreary world of high school. Being able to take a nap or get coffee between classes is weird in a good way, Elegante said, and has left her feeling 
less stressed.

Before classes started, Elegante said she was afraid her professors would be boring or mean. She pictured her classes as being stressful and worried she’d go to the wrong buildings. Fortunately, she said, these fears ended up being trivial because she made it to her classes with time 
to spare.

For Taylor Holmes, a senior majoring in biology, her last first day of college has ended. Holmes said she can still remember what it was like to be a freshman coming to the University.

“When I was a freshman, my first day of the semester was overwhelming,” Holmes said. “I had 10 minutes to get from one side of campus to another, so I was rushed and anxious. I think I visited the bookstore probably five times because I was worried about getting all of my books for classes before I went to them for the first time.”

Holmes said she had difficulty adjusting to campus life because of the amount of freedom it lent her. In the beginning, she would go to whatever student organizations her friends and roommates were going to and it took a few months for her to realize they weren’t interested in the same things. She started branching out into organizations and events she was interested in.

“Now, I don’t worry about having all my books on the first day or about being late to class,” she said. “I know professors aren’t like I envisioned them being my 
freshman year.”

Looking back on freshman year, Holmes said she regrets she underestimated herself by taking an easier course load and not challenging herself.

“I kept telling myself that I didn’t need to be overwhelmed and needed some time to adjust,” Holmes said. “I regret not challenging myself that year. A piece of advice to new students: Find an upperclassman friend that has already been through most of your major. Learning from their successes and mistakes is something that would have been extremely beneficial to me as 
a freshman.”

Elegante said she looks forward to getting more involved both in her studies and with on-campus organizations.

“I really look forward to getting more involved in my major,” she said. “I hope to join a few service clubs. I’m especially interested in Al’s Pals and the 57-mile project,” she said. “They both seem like really worthwhile and rewarding causes. I look forward to the friendships and adventures college life will throw my way.”