ty lynas
Ty Lynas socializes with a group of friends to relieve stress during the busier times of the semester.
Photo by MU Athletics

First-Year Students Reflect on First Semester of College

Ian Snelling

It is a big transition from high school to college: students have much more free time than in high school, and with more free time comes responsibility, which includes how you utilize your free time. Do you do schoolwork? Do you work out? Do you socialize? Depending on how you use your free time, your first semester of college could be stressful––or relaxed.

Logan Willoughby, a first-year student from Whiteland, Ind., falls back on hobbies and interests to relieve stress. “I typically go into the weight room or basketball gym,” he said.

Socializing relieves stress as well. Ty Lynas, from Crawfordsville, Ind., likes to get what he calls “a good group of friends.” Having a solid group of peers gives first-year students people to fall back on in tough times.

In addition, the majority of the time they are going through the same struggles as you. “Dealing with the same hardships as your friends creates a tighter bond,” Lynas added.

Not only does having friends help first-year students but so do faculty and staff members. “Talking to success advisors and academic advisors have helped me tremendously,” said Blake Bryan, from Lebanon, Ind. Academic advisors assist first-year students on courses they should and should not be taking, while success advisors help first-year students who come into college undecided. They create a building-block for first year students by helping them take a step in the right direction to their future careers.

Another resource first-year students found helpful is the campus library. “I am able to work without distractions which helps me get my work done fast,” said Bryant Smith, a student from Lafayette, Ind. The library offers a quiet escape from all the commotion that can come with a roommate.

Individual tricks that have helped first year students are writing tasks out. “This helps me to not forget what I need to so I can stay on top of my assignments,” Smith said.

Lynas also mentioned that he writes down daily tasks in his Manchester University planner to stay on top of assignments and other things.

However, college is not all sunshine and glory for first-year students. Many students are facing struggles. “Peer pressure,” said Bryan when asked about challenges he faces. Not only at Manchester but all universities students face peer pressure. It does not matter what age you are; everyone experiences pressure at some point.

Time management is another issue. “One challenge I have had is being able to organize everything,” Smith said. “With basketball, esports, and school I have a lot of work I need to do and even though I know the work, it’s hard to find the time to get everything done.” Student athletes at every education level face difficulty with time management trying to manage sports, school and social time.