Freshmen frolic with excitement of new experiences at UCSD

    With their minds and hearts filled with fears, expectations, hopes and countless emotions, freshmen eagerly begin a new chapter in their lives that the rest of us can all remember: the first year of college.

    Jessica Horton/Guardian
    The newest crop of students anticipate the hard work, sacrifice and fun that is college life at UCSD

    From television and movies, one can obtain numerous ideas of what college life is like. The image of college life can range from silent libraries filled with studious students to fraternity houses packed with drunken partygoers.

    But when it comes down to it, freshmen at UCSD have very basic and understandable expectations of what their college experience will be.

    “”I think college is going to be hard in many ways. I feel like my high school classes will seem super easy compared to college courses,”” said Thurgood Marshall College freshman Robert Shapiro. “”Also, I think because we are in a new environment with new people, we will be forced out of our comfort zone, which will be tough at first, but will probably make us stronger and more mature.””

    Going from small, personal classrooms in high school to large, impersonal lecture halls characteristic of large universities, is a huge change for most students. Many expect that this academic change will bring a new set of worries and challenges.

    “”I think a challenge of college is the class sizes. We’re used to small 30-person class sizes and now some classes will be a couple hundred people. I think the hardest thing will be keeping ourselves accountable for getting everything done on time,”” said Revelle College freshman Jennifer Hirsh.

    Breaking away from the security of home and the dependence on their parents brings a new array of challenges for first-years. Not only are freshmen forced to socialize with a completely new group of people, but they also must adapt to living in dorms.

    “”I think the hardest challenge is studying on your own. You can always say ‘I’ll do it later,’ but will you really do it? That’s probably the hardest thing,”” Marshall freshman Takumi Kato said.

    “”The freedom of college can be a challenge,”” Hirsch said. “”Some people may take advantage of it and do things that they’ll regret. Also, shyness and homesickness can be a challenge to many first years who are away from home for the first time.””

    Other obstacles freshmen often face lie deeper than getting lost on campus or running out of meal points. Adapting to a completely new place can emotionally affect anyone in a new environment.

    “”I think freshman year can be a humbling experience. You will probably be less confident since your old friends aren’t around to make you feel secure,”” Shapiro said. “”I think freshman year can be lonely for some people because we’re used to having a constant group of friends in high school, and in college you have to start over with none.””

    Freshmen are expecting that college will either help them along the path in life they have already set out for themselves, or help them find a path suitable to them for a successful journey. While some are keeping their career options open, others are certain on what they want to do in life.

    “”I’m coming to college hoping to explore and see what options I have for a career. Right now, I’m a communications major with intentions of going into journalism. However, I want to take a lot of general education requirements so that I get a feel of different areas of life, and maybe find an area that’s better suited to me,”” Hirsh said.

    Despite the challenges freshmen are anticipating, they are also looking forward to the positive aspects of college life. Most freshmen agree that the best times in college do not revolve around what one learns in class, but instead around the experiences they will have with new friends.

    “”The highlights of starting college definitely have to be hanging out with new people, especially your suitemates and roommates. I am looking forward to meeting new people, and possibly having a girlfriend,”” Kato said.

    Freshman year may be a life changing experience for many new students, but the life lessons and self-discoveries will certainly not stop there. By the end of their college careers, many freshmen anticipate numerous changes to occur in their behavior and thought.

    “”This year, I hope to accomplish a sense of independence. Right now, I feel very dependent on my parents,”” Hirsh said.

    “”I think from the beginning of my college life until the end, I’ll become way more mature and less naive. I’ll definitely understand the repercussions of procrastinating and hopefully learn from them,”” Kato said.

    By the end of these ten months, freshmen expectations of college may be proven true or false, but overall it will be a learning experience that holds promises of providing them with a better understanding of themselves and life at UCSD.

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