Face-Off: Seminar is what you make of it

headshot_WEBIn a long list of school programs that Rider students are completely lethargic toward, Freshman Seminar is at the top.
The truth is, I had never met such a dull, apathetic group of people until I came to Rider University. Every year, the university puts together exciting organizations, events and programs to help boost students’ morale, school spirit and success. No matter what it is, chances are Rider students will meet it with the same “Uh, I’m too cool for that” attitude.
One of these longstanding programs is Freshman Seminar. At first, I was a little resentful toward the idea. This was pretty natural, considering I was to have the class on Fridays once a week. I was originally supposed to be finished with Friday class by 10:10 a.m., so adding an extra hour of seemingly unnecessary lecture to my weekend seemed unfair.
But right from the start, I honestly enjoyed spending the extra hour in Memorial Hall. My instructor, Sara Young-Singh, created a very laid-back environment that consisted mostly of class discussion. Every class, we would talk about our highs and lows for the week and she would provide us with feedback, compliments, you name it. Not to mention, she did bring us Dunkin’ Donuts frequently, which definitely earns her some points in my book.
It was very clear to me during every class discussion that Freshman Seminar was serving a very distinct purpose. This purpose was not to take a random hour out of my day or to punish me. It was to make sure my freshman year experience was a fruitful one, and to make sure I was adjusting well to college life in my first semester.
Not only did Young-Singh provide us with great information, but we had several guest speakers from different university departments talk to us about Rider. I learned some invaluable things about studying abroad, internships, rèsumè-building and campus life.
I not only learned how to register for classes, but also learned the importance of four-year planning. We were given a sheet where we could document every course we planned on taking for every remaining semester. With this, I have been able to successfully balance my required department core as well as classes I was simply interested in taking.
If it wasn’t for Freshman Seminar, I wouldn’t be nearly as involved as I am on campus right now. The class opened my eyes to The Rider News, 107.7 The Bronc, intramural sports and Greek Life, just a few of the terrific opportunities here.
The bottom line is this: If you were one of the many Rider students who disapproved of Freshman Seminar (for whatever reason), then you may be one of the many Rider students who need to stop being so closed-minded.
Too many students at this great university spend the majority of their time sitting in their dorm, wishing they attended school elsewhere. Instead of moping around and feeling sorry for yourself, you should move out of your comfort zone. Yeah, I said it.

– Brandon Scalea
Sophomore journalism major

 

Printed in the 10/14/15 issue.

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