Freshman Findings: Student gives semester an A

The first semester of college can be one of the most difficult times for many students since it is a period of adjustment. Making the transition to a new school is never easy, but it is not impossible.
My first semester as a public relations major was more successful than I thought it would be. However, there are always some bumps in the road and nothing is ever perfect. I was able to flourish socially and make great friends, but at the same time I faced some academic difficulties. I don’t believe that I would have found such great people to call my friends without all of the clubs and events held on campus. While I found it easy to meet people who share my interests, finding success in academics and transportation was a different story.
I live 15 minutes away from campus and was excited about commuting to Rider. However, I ended up relocating and living on campus because of personal reasons. I spent the first half of the semester as a commuter and the second half as a resident, so I experienced Rider from both points of view. This experience has opened my eyes to the pros and cons of both situations. It has also had an impact on my college experience, because not everyone can say that they have lived both on and off campus during the same semester.
Academically, I faced numerous struggles. The classes themselves are not difficult, but when tests come it’s a different story. Obviously, the textbooks are much more advanced and the amount of material on each test, quiz or exam is a lot to take in. But in the end, it was something I had to adjust to.
This semester, I took Speech Communication, which was completely new to me. I also had the opportunity to take Communication, Culture and Media, which is another unique subject that I was excited to learn. The diverse offering of classes is what makes college so much fun. I can take classes on roughly any subject and am able to learn a vast amount about some of my interests.
College has also given me the opportunity to meet some amazing speakers including Dan Gheesling from the hit TV show Big Brother and Academy Award-winning director Oliver Stone. I was also able to attend my first fall concert and even received an autograph from Travis Clark, the lead singer of We the Kings.
I have been enjoying the freedom in regards to how I spend my time. There is much more freedom in college and it feels amazing to have more control over my study habits. There are more responsibilities as well, but these are all part of growing up. College is a new experience, and it is nothing like what I thought it would be: It’s even better.

-Valerie Bell
Freshman public relations major

Printed in the 12/4/13 edition.

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