First-year experiences bring us together

College soon proves itself to intense study, but you don't have to study solo. | PC: Zach Morrison

College soon proves itself to intense study, but you don't have to study solo. | PC: Zach Morrison

As the year winds down, I think it’s fair to say we’ve all had our fair share of experiences—life lessons, if you must. We've had moments of great strength and moments of despairing weakness, classes we loved and classes we loathed, good habits we formed or didn’t embrace at all. All together, these comprise what define our time at Union.

And for some reason, a new group of students decided to embark on their next adventure at Union College. Whether coming from high school or transferring from another college, these young adults decided to spend their year here.

I surveyed many first-year-at-Union students to understand what they will do differently next year out of the experiences they've garnered this year.

What I expected wasn’t anything like what I received. Here’s what our first-year friends had to share.

Alyse Maxwell, a freshman pre-nursing major, said, “I had an idea of what college is like, but hearing is way different than experiencing. I made immature choices. Next year, I plan to put myself more out there, use the strong qualities God has given me, and work on my weaknesses. There's always room to improve and challenge myself.”

Maxwell is absolutely right. Diamonds only form under pressure, and challenging yourself by getting out of your comfort zone is a surefire way to apply the pressure.

Abigail Beaven, a pre-physical therapy major, added to the list of things to improve upon. “Next year, I will definitely do more scheduling! I really didn't do any this year, and it's a bit of a miracle I never forgot an assignment or turned anything in late. I'm also going to try to find a balance between work and friends.”

Beaven makes a good point. Miracles do happen, and balance is the key to life. Words to live by, if you ask me.

Senior and transfer nursing major Zachary Krall chimed in, “Based on friendships I developed in my first year, I'll be spending a lot more time with them in my second and final year here. I see myself avoiding extra time at a minimum wage job and spending more time relishing in the moment here in Lincoln, especially since it is my last year of college. ”

I couldn’t have said it better myself. Despite popular belief, Lincoln does host tons of fun activities to do with friends. Sometimes you just have to look a little harder. However, you don’t want to spend too much time exploring the city when your scholarly duties call.  

Freshman Eugene Carle, an international rescue and relief major, explained, “I can sum up my entire year in one word: busy. In high school, I was able to do sports, music, school,and have plenty of time left over, which was definitely not the case for my first year of college. So, one thing I will do differently next year is to try and not do everything.”

The first year of college life seems to determine what one learns from a given experience and takes away for the next year. From what I’ve found, everyone strives to be a better student. It’s something we all experience. Perhaps we’re not as different as it may seem, and experiences really do create common ground which brings us together.

Sean Hendrix is a senior studying biomedical science.