Freshmen recount first semester of college

By Natalie Orr, News Editor

Think back to when you first started out in college. What are some of the things you remember? Dorms? Rob’s Dining Hall? New Roo Weekend? With their first semester out of the way and their second just begun, a few freshmen students were interviewed last week about their college experience so far.

Kurt Dierdorf, a civil engineering student who lives in Bulger, wishes he lived in Spicer because of the variety of people who live there. He also talked about college work, saying, “For me, it was very difficult to adjust to the workload because I did not have to study as much in high school, but in college you can’t just get by without studying, especially if you are an engineering major,” Dierdorf said.

“I spend the majority of my time at the rec center when I’m not in class and at a friend’s house off-campus after class to get my mind off of school,” Dierdorf continued. “My goal for this semester is to meet some new friends and improve my GPA.”

Austin Saal, a business student, said he enjoys living in Spicer because it’s newer, but did not like its location. “I had class in Polsky in the mornings last semester and the walk to class was too far,” he said.

“For me, the most difficult aspect of college to adjust to was having a meal plan and not having home-cooked food as often,” Saal continued. “At the beginning of freshman year I was a pre-physical therapy major, but I changed it to business. I spend [the] majority of time that I’m not in my dorm or in class in the union and with friends. This semester I want to go to the library more often to study, meet new friends, and take advantage of the new places to eat around campus such as Chick-fil-A.”  

Not all freshmen experienced living on campus, however; many students commute from schools in Summit and Cuyahoga counties.

Freshman Dori Banfalvi, a biology pre-med major, talked briefly about her first semester of college, in which she commuted from Cuyahoga Falls.

“For me, adjusting to college was very easy. I took AP classes in high school, so my teachers prepared me well for the workload,” Banfalvi said.

When she is on campus, she spends her time between classes at Starbucks or in the library. Her biggest goal for next semester is meeting more people and keeping a high GPA.

John Kovac, an aerospace engineering major, explained how his biggest challenges were finding his classes and being on time.

“I struggled because I’m used to all my classes being in the same building like they were in high school,” Kovac said. “Polsky is an especially confusing building because the ground level is the second floor instead of the first and is so far from the rest of campus.

When on campus, Kovac spends a lot of time in the library studying. “Because my major is a branch of engineering that is very difficult, I have to study for hours on hours each week, especially if I want to work for NASA one day.”

“What I like about college versus high school is the amount of freedom I have which is much higher than what I am used to,” Kovac said. “I have time to do what I want when I want, but sometimes prioritizing is difficult especially with a job and a time-consuming major.”

Another aspect of freshman year that most students experience is living with another person for the first time who is not family.

Braelynn Johnson and Autum Dearsman, both originally nursing majors, knew each other before college and believe that rooming together was one of the best decisions they made before coming to college.

“I love living with my best friend in South,” Johnson said, “however, I wish we could have lived in Richie because of the location in the center of campus.”

Dearsman said she had the same sense of relief living with a close friend and not a random roommate, but looks forward to living off campus next year and leaving the dorms.

“Adjusting to college was especially difficult to me because of the workload and being away from my family all the time,” she said.