The Sentry

The RMU freshman experience

Photo+credit%3A+Alexa+Headley
Photo credit: Alexa Headley

Photo credit: Alexa Headley

Photo credit: Alexa Headley

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The school year will officially end next week, which causes many of us to panic about finals or about how to move things out of our dorms. As we struggle to get over that finish line, we can all rejoice that summer is shortly on its way.

The freshmen of the Class of 2021 will be experiencing this joy for the first time. Last semester, freshmen were interviewed during their first semester to see how they were adjusting to life at RMU, and those same freshmen were contacted recently to see how their perspective has changed over the year.

Charles Kirkland, III, a biomedical engineering major, had a positive outlook of college when asked about what expectations he had before coming to RMU. He assumed that there would be a lot of studying involved but also anticipated having fun with friends. He was really happy to be away from home–finding that the change in scenery can be refreshing for his daily life.

“It makes it a lot better when I talk to my parents because they actually want to talk to me,” Kirkland said. “It’s not because they see me every day, it’s because they actually miss me.”

Mikelle Miles, a nursing major, and McKenna Benke, a hospitality and tourism management major, both thought that college would be difficult, and people would be smarter than them. As the semester went on, they both realized that it is nothing like that at all.

“I heard classes would be more difficult and I wouldn’t have as much free time, but that’s not true,” Benke said. “I like the free time. I like the freedom and getting to recreate myself.”

For Miles, having friends made a big difference.

“I’m very shy, so I’m happy that I have a nice group of friends to be with,” Miles said.

Other than disliking classes and professors for the first semester, Kirkland views his independence as a blessing and a curse. Even though he misses his friends and family back home, he’s still able to enjoy his time at RMU.

“I made some lifelong friends,” Kirkland said. “If I hadn’t moved in early, it probably would’ve been a little bit harder. Moving in early helped.”

Not surprisingly, their opinions about their new school also change during the school year. Miles mentioned that she had negative thoughts coming in, but she has learned to love RMU during her time on campus.

“I literally hated my first week here, and I was just a shy girl and wasn’t talkative so I thought everyone here was mean and rude,” Miles said. “But it’s not like that. I just had to put myself out there a little more. Now I have nice friends to hangout with.”

Benke described her first semester as scary, but she is doing far better in her second semester.

“It’s not as intimidating,” Benke said. “I’ve been able to go to the Tutoring Center for help, something I would not have done my first semester.”

This semester, they all enjoyed their classes more and had better professors. Not surprisingly, they also got to know themselves better as the year has gone along.

“I learned time management,” Kirkland said. “How much I can handle in one semester, and how to study because what I was doing [last semester] was not studying.”

“I’ve grown as a student,” Benke said. “I’ve learned how to study and become more independent.”

“I’ve grown in my faith in CCO (a campus ministry at RMU) and I have gotten confident in myself,” Miles said.

As their second semester winds down, these freshmen have grown into enjoying RMU and have learned more about themselves–developing the skills needed to become a productive college student. Kirkland, Benke, and Miles all said that they are really excited and looking forward to taking more classes relating to their major during their sophomore year.

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