F&M’s first week from the perspective of first-year student

By Marian Pinsk || Contributing Writer 

Asking for directions to College Center for three days straight, forgetting to pack trash bags, running up and down the hall franticly during course selection, losing fobs. Welcome to my world – the world of a new college student who two weeks ago could tell you next to nothing about F&M and certainly nothing about the surrounding city of Lancaster.

First-years arrived on campus on August 25th; we unpacked our bags, met our hall-mates and HA’s, and attended countless new student events. In fact each day of orientation was essentially the same – we met new people, played loads of icebreaker games, got oriented with the campus, and listened to talks on topics ranging from sexual assault to course selection. Although we were completely exhausted and drained by the end of the week, orientation “was a cool way to meet everybody in [our] hall[s] and in [our] house[s]. It was a unique way to network before the real stresses of the school year started” according to freshman Will Kay. By popular vote, the best part of orientation was decidedly Skit Night during which upperclassmen acted out the story behind the founding of F&M. It was well thought through and incredibly funny.

As orientation came to a close, discussions about classes and professors were pervasive – we were all tracking down the rooms for each of our courses, struggling to get our textbooks, and asking around desperately – hoping that we should find just one person in each of our classes. We knew there would be a lot of work – namely reading and writing – we expected that. We understood that our professors would be hard graders and that generally expectations would be higher than they were in high school. However, I don’t think any of us anticipated the extent to which each of these things would be so. Freshman Giuseppe Inglima commented that “the whole transition between high school and college has been a wakeup call. A main difference between high school and college is that in high school you could get away with not doing work on Fridays. In college – no way in hell”. Adjusting to the workload and the new classes is going to be difficult; however, after talking to some of my peers, I think the general consensus is that it’s getting easier with each day and that if we put in the work, we will see better and better results.

Aside from classes, most of us are concerned about clubs and activities. How many clubs should we be a part of? Which sports have reasonable time commitments? How hard is it to balance school work and activities? I know that after the club fair, most of us were incredibly overwhelmed by the innumerable options in terms of campus involvement. “The club fair was a great opportunity to see all the things F&M has to offer. Anything you could possibly think of was there. It is a little overwhelming with all the clubs and only so many days in the week” according to freshman, Zoe Katz.

Although tough courses and clubs take up much of our brain power, honestly, I think many of us are most worried about how we fit into F&M’s community. Who are our people? It’s hard because most of our close friends are from home – we don’t yet know the people here nearly as well. Although I cannot say this from experience, it seems to me that we are all in the same boat. We are all getting situated – still learning names and matching them to faces, still learning the names of each building. We all want to be part of the F&M community, and it will take time and energy, and maybe even a couple semesters – but we will get there.

Because we chose F&M, because we were accepted, we can be sure there is someone out there who thinks we’ll make it here – thinks we’ll thrive here. Class of 2020, yes we are new, but we’re also smart and ambitious, and we are ready to take on college – fobs, dip-deals and all.

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First-year Marian Pinsk is a contributing writer. Her email is mpinsk@fandm.edu.

Photo courtesy of www.fandm.edu.

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