TCR Staff Members Answer First-Year Questions

By Ellyn Fritz || News Editor & Diana Lichtenstein || Staff Writer

This year is not an accurate representation of a predictable F&M year. This does not mean that it can’t be a great experience, nonetheless. 

We are juniors sitting in our apartment off campus and could not be happier. But it wasn’t a seamless transition. This is the case for most people. We are going to give you some advice that can help you along the way, especially during these strange and stressful times. We know most of us have anxiety about what this year is going to look like and no one wants to be UNC, so all the advice we are going to give, do in a socially distanced way…. please. 

We had incoming first-years ask questions about life on campus. We have similar points of views but also different experiences. The answers to these questions will be two-fold. One part will be Ellyn’s answer and the other will be Diana’s.

Matt: How much time do you recommend studying for a test?

E: I treated my first semester at Franklin and Marshall like my senior year of highschool, putting in minimum effort in the hope of maximum reward. I learned the hard way that at F&M, however much you study is still typically not enough. It is important to use your time wisely and try not to procrastinate or cram when you are studying. It is a marathon, not a sprint. 

D: This may be an unpopular opinion but some tests at F&M require one or two days of serious studying and others can require about two weeks of “chill” studying. It all really depends on your  tendencies and how much you listen in class/understand the material. My biggest recommendation is to text friends in class with questions and meet with professors (I guess over zoom?) 

Liz: What is the best food or meal you can find on campus?

E: Like the many other things that COVID has taken from us, chicken nuggets and mac&cheese on Saturday mornings in the dining hall may be a distant memory from 2019. For a decently reliable grab and go meal, I would recommend CC (college center); my sophomore year I lived off the salad bar. Blue Line also has some decent options; however, for a decent cup of coffee, get your steps in and head to Mean Cup. 

D: I’m not even sure if the cuisine is staying the same but if I am being honest, the food at F&M is not the best. If I had to choose, it would be the omelettes from the gluten free station at Dhall or the blueberry baked oatmeal at Blue Line. I think that 80% of my diet freshman year consisted of that oatmeal. 

Jack Doe: When did you first feel like you fit into the student body here at F&M?

E: I was lucky enough to have met one of my best friends through Instagram DMs before arriving on campus and shortly after move-in, I encountered another in the Brooks bathroom. I always felt comfortable on campus; however, joining a sorority meant that I belonged to a group of people, so I would say that the second semester of my first year was the first time I felt as though I fit in. 

D: I wasn’t as lucky as Ellyn. Well, I am being dramatic but it definitely did take me a little longer to feel adjusted. I did have an awesome roommate and met a few girls the second week of school. COVID makes things harder, but the key is putting yourself out there. Sadly, you cannot sit in your room and have a group of friends be delivered by a stork in the middle of the night. I wish. At the end of the day, it is an individual process. It could take a week or a few months. Please just remember the beginning is hard for everyone, but I swear patience is key. You will find your people. 

Steph: How open and flexible are teachers when you need help understanding concepts from class? Will they meet with you and help you understand or are there other programs and people in place to go to help with the material? 

E: The professors here are amazing, want to help you, and if you are putting effort into their class, they will be willing to go the extra mile for you. Utilize office hours and reach out to your professors because they want to know you. If you need additional support, there are tutors, the Q&SC, and for some classes, TAs. While struggling through Chemistry my first semester, I met with an amazing tutor once a week to help keep my head above water. 

D: I study Psych and English and found that literally almost every professor was patient and understanding. It depends on the major, though. You should check when virtual office hours are going to take place, because they really help. Also, showing that you care will make teachers have more respect for you and then will want to help. I know there are also some tutoring services for languages and also science/math (called Q&SC). Again, I am not sure how all of these things will run this year, but please look into that. 

Mikaela: How to get involved in things on campus especially during this time? 

E: For some reason my first year I had anxiety about joining various clubs and organizations. I am not sure if it was because I was nervous to walk into a room full of people I did not know or I was overwhelmed by the amount of tables at the club fair, but it took until my sophomore year to fully take advantage of all of what F&M has to offer. I think that joining a sorority my freshman year gave me the confidence in myself to join the Investment Club or begin working as the News Editor for TCR. Given the current circumstances on campus, I think the best way to get involved is to check your email for opportunities for involvement and to not think anything is “dumb” or “lame.” We can all make jokes about Zoom, but attend a virtual meeting (or an in person one if that is possible) despite any preconceived notions you may have. 

D: It is easy to ignore the F&M emails about virtual clubs, but you should really see if anything interests you. Freshman year, I joined club soccer, (Ellyn was also there but dropped after two weeks) and had no soccer experience. It was necessary for structure and I’m so glad I did it. I also signed up to be a tutor, joined The College Reporter, and joined a sorority. Although all of the things aforementioned are going to run in different ways, you should give them a shot. It could change your entire experience for the better. That is what happened to me. 

What are some of the best restaurants in Lancaster? 

We both like the same restaurants so we are going to keep this short and sweet. Callaloo, Luca, The Pressroom, and Flora’s are great for fancier nights out on the town or if you want to fully blow your college budget. Souvlaki Boys, Corelife, Mod Pizza, and Cafe One Eight are great for more chill nights of ordering in or going out. Cannot stress this enough, try Mean Cup. 

Junior Ellyn Fritz is the News Editor, her email is efritz@fandm.edu

Junior Diana Lichtenstein is a staff writer, her email is dlichten@fandm.edu

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