It has been nearly eight weeks since the Fall 2012 semester kicked off at Regent University. Summer has long since faded in the distance, replaced now with the steady routines and schedules of academic life. Returning students have been busy settling into those routines once again, this time with the help of last year’s experience to guide them. For the new freshman class, however, college has been an entirely new experience. As with every year, these students have been adjusting to a totally new lifestyle over the past few weeks, in addition to a totally new academic environment.
So what are their thoughts now that they’ve had time to take in their first college experience? Out of nearly thirty freshmen interviewed, both in person and through online polls, very few had anything negative to say about their Regent experience so far. When asked if their experience matched their expectations, the most common answer was no—for a large majority of freshmen, college here at Regent has so far been even better than expected. The biggest misconception among freshmen seemed to be the workload.
“It’s very challenging now, but I expected to be studying all the way till three o’clock in the morning and . . . not a lot of people hanging out,” said freshman Donovan Campbell. This seems to sum up the mindset of most freshmen prior to this semester. In an online survey, most identified their workload as “stressful, but still manageable,” leaving plenty of time for social interaction and campus events such as UnChapel and lifegroup. While the academics at Regent are meant to be intense, it turns out they are not as terrifying as most freshmen imagined them to be.
During their free time, the most popular activity among freshmen was hanging out with friends. It’s an amazing thing to ask what a student thinks of the Regent community and watch as a smile spreads across their face. You know their answer is genuine. Several used the words “family” and “tight-knit” to describe it, and although some may inevitably experience the typical conflict with roommates on occasion, responses were still overwhelmingly positive overall. Closely followed by the independence and freedom college life brings, the community was listed as everyone’s favorite thing about college.
Of course, this does not mean anyone is immune to the occasional homesickness. More than half confessed to being a least a little homesick, with almost 20% saying they were very homesick. That aside, however, it seems most freshman are adjusting well to their new life here at college. While some claimed to have great high school experiences, a good portion said that within the next four years, they could see their college experience surpassing it—that is, if it hasn’t already in the eight short weeks they’ve been here, as is the case with some freshmen.
One thing that is almost sure to be unanimous? Fall break is next week, and freshmen or not, students will most certainly be looking forward to some time to relax and hang out with friends and family before diving into the second half of this semester.