Freshman year of college is a time of firsts. For some students, freshman year means their first time living without their parents, their first time without a strict daily schedule and the first time they will walk into the wrong classroom in front of possibly 100 other confused freshmen.
Freshman Caitie Brodwater moved to Bloomington from Newburgh, Indiana. She said although she did once walk into the wrong classroom for her finite course, she has not had much trouble figuring out the layout of her classes.
“I haven’t had any trouble finding my classes,” Brodwater said. “Three days in, once I had been to all of my classes, I knew where they were.”
Freshmen Jack Chen, Carley Divish, Kamaron Farver, Lauren Paquette and Max Fink all said it was pretty easy to get around campus, and they stopped using online maps to get to their classes after the first few days.
“Now, I just look it up for certain locations that I haven’t heard of,” said Farver, who is from Elkhart, Indiana.
Divish, Farver and Fink all said the easiest part about being at IU was making friends.
All of the freshmen are in the same position of being nervous and wanting to make friends, so it makes it easier to put yourself out there, said Fink, who is from Fairfield, Connecticut.
“There is no problem with introducing yourself to someone,” Fink said. “Nobody wants to be alone.”
The hardest thing to adjust to has been the workload, Brodwater said.
“It’s college,” Brodwater said. “It's harder than what you might expect until you get there. It’s more involved, I would say. Instead of just having some busy work or something to do, you have to think about what you’re saying, write an essay or do research or something.”
Paquette, who lives in Read Center and is majoring in exercise science, said her classes were not as hard as she expected because she feels like the course work is more engaging.
“I got into class, and it was more of what I was interested in,” Paquette said. “It’s more like exploring and reaching out to people and reaching out to the community which I think I like better.”
For one of her classes, Paquette said she is partnering with Greene County to look into the effects of putting a YMCA into rural counties where they are not currently present.
Chen, an international student from Beijing, China, said the hardest part for him has been trying to communicate with his classmates.
“When my American classmates, they are talking or they are chatting, they speak fast, and I can’t know what they are talking about,” Chen said. “It’s hard to join in.”
Chen said his favorite thing about IU is riding the Lime scooters because he doesn’t have a license to operate a car, so the Lime is the fastest way he can get around.
Divish said her favorite part about IU is the scenery, particularly the limestone.
“It makes everything look like a castle,” said Divish, who is majoring in anthropology and archeology. “Especially the IMU. I know it’s been said, but it looks like Hogwarts, and it makes me really happy as a ‘Harry Potter’ nerd.”
Throughout the week, some of these freshmen had a “freshman moment,” or a slip up that occurs because of inexperience.
Farver accidentally went into a classroom on the third floor of Ballantine Hall when his class was on the second floor of the building.
“I knew I was in the wrong class when the guy started playing religious music and I was like, ‘That doesn’t sound like math to me,’” Farver said.
Paquette didn’t know that the busses stop after every completion of one route, and she had to walk from Memorial Stadium to Wright Food Court. She said she wishes people would have told her more about how to get around using the bus system before she came to campus.
“I always got advice on how to walk around, but I never really got advice on how to get around other than that,” Paquette said. “So, if somebody were to tell me like how the busses work or how TapRide works then I would probably use those more.”
Fink said he wished he would have received more instructions on how to pack, specifically regarding his shirt to pants ratio. He said he feels like he brought five pairs of shorts but 50 T-shirts. Otherwise though, he said he has had a great experience on campus.
“I’m just happy to be here,” Fink said.
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