Conversation with a First-Year Student

Coming to a new school to a new campus full of new people, living situations, classes, schedules and more can be stressful. Being a first-year student can prove to be a difficult adjustment no matter where what college you choose.

We spoke with first-year student Morgan Hughes about how the transition and overall first-year experience has been at The University of Scranton.

“As most people can expect, the first week was very overwhelming and stressful because you’re walking into an entirely new routine surrounded by people you’ve never met. However, there are so many other students that completely understand what you’re feeling, and there are so many people that are willing to check up on you and talk about your experiences, whether it’s your RA, someone in the counseling or advising center, or even just someone you pass when walking around campus,” Hughes said.

Hughes, who is an occupational therapy major, found that the workload seemed a little intimidating at first.

“For me, one of the most difficult parts was receiving a full syllabus in each class because, for the first time, I was seeing every exam date and deadline for the entire semester at once,” Hughes said.

However, Hughes figured out how to balance her classes, studying and activities. 

“For those who are planning to major in something more geared toward science (like me), you can expect to be spending quite a bit of time studying, but in terms of assignments, most classes are very manageable as long as you budget your time and do your best to keep yourself from procrastinating,” Hughes said.

She has also put her planner to use to help her manage her time effectively.

“Buy a planner! The most important way to handle your stress is to plan out what you need to do and set a goal for when you will get it done. There is a lot more to keep track of in college than you might be used to, so find a method that allows you to manage it and remember it the best,” Hughes said.

When it comes to life quality at Scranton, Hughes is very pleased with the opportunities the campus offers to get involved.

“Scranton definitely exceeded my expectations regarding just how many ways you can be involved and meet people on campus. The Club Fair that Scranton puts on at the beginning of the semester plays a huge role in allowing you to figure out how you might want to get involved on campus, and there are so many opportunities that come about throughout the semester that allow you to get involved as well,”she said.”

She is a member of Urban Beats Crew, a hip-hop dance group and the Student Occupational Therapy Association, “which allows me to get to know more people within my major,” Hughes said.

When it comes to academics, Hughes feels that Scranton allows her to reach her full potential. 

“My overall favorite thing about Scranton is all of the opportunities you have to spend time learning with other students and faculty in order to reach your fullest potential. Whether it is meeting with a tutor, going to open labs or just using a study room with your friends, there are so many ways that the Scranton community allows you to be the best you can be in your academics,” Hughes said.

Many first-year students may feel homesick, especially at points throughout the first semester. Hughes realizes that this is a reality, and she does her best to keep a positive mindset.

“Being about more three hours away from home, there have definitely been numerous times that I’ve felt homesick and wished I could be back with my family. For me, I try to call my parents on a regular basis, and I also text them quite a bit to keep up with some of the things going on at home,” she said. “The most important thing to do to deal with homesickness is to always make sure that you FaceTime your parents when you call them so they can show you your dog.”

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