With only a couple of weeks left in the semester and finals approaching, half of many students’ first year in college is wrapping up. The Hilltop Monitor asked first-years about their first semester.

Moving away to college is a life-changing event, especially as it relates to the living situation of students. After 18 years of having your own room, you move into college and suddenly have to share a room the size of a shoebox. Although it sounds like an unpleasant situation, students generally don’t seem to mind.

“It’s really not that bad. It’s something to adjust to but that adjustment doesn’t take long,” Gabe Brandolino, first year psychology major, said.

Sharing a room, although daunting, does not turn out to be that big of a deal. It even has its perks. The tight living space makes for an opportunity to meet new people.

“By sharing a room with someone you kind of get to know them and are pretty likely to develop a pretty good friendship with them. And not even just your roommate but living in a hall with a room right next door to a bunch of other people gives you that same opportunity to get to know people,” said Brandolino.

In addition to the roommate, dorm rooms are much different than most students’ homes. There a plenty of changes, including community bathrooms and burlap-covered walls.

“The burlap walls are pretty weird but other than that I don’t mind the design of dorm life,” said Sutton Porth, first year business administration major.

The academic environment is another big change that accompanies going to college. College proves to be much more difficult than high school. There are more papers to write and more studying to do. Additionally, students assume a greater responsibility for their own education. Many times, people can coast through high school, but college proves to be different.

“It takes time getting used to start. I’ve had to do a lot more writing assignments than I had to in high school. It’s something to get used to, but once you’ve done that, it’s not too bad,” said Brandolino.

Porth had similar thoughts.

“There’s a lot more to do outside of class. There are definitely a lot more late nights staying up late to do homework. All in all, it’s a lot to manage in the beginning but you end up finding ways to manage it all and all the work isn’t that big of a deal,” he said.

Another task that comes with moving into college is figuring out a general idea of what you want to do with your life. Changes in majors are frequent. Students often think they know what they want to major in but quickly change their mind after taking a class.

Although the work seems overwhelming at first, most manage to adjust and learn how to balance their work.

Social life tends to change greatly from high school to college. This is something that can be both exciting and intimidating. Students move in and are immediately thrown into a living situation where they are in contact with a very large number of new people.

“Coming from Colorado, I didn’t know anyone at first. There are tons of new people to meet and that’s pretty exciting. There’s really no need to worry about it because everyone else is trying to meet new friends too. Everyone is really open and welcoming to each other and I think it’s awesome,” said Andrew Davis, first year communication and ACT-In major.

Unlike high school, friends even live in the same building as one another.

“All my friends are really accessible. I mean most of them all live just down the hall from me. If I’m ever bored I can just walk right down the hall and hang out with some friends,” said Brandolino.

Jewell’s specific location is especially good for the social life of students. It is just a short drive from Kansas City, where there are plenty of places to shop, eat and hang out. Kansas City also has three professional sports teams: the Royals, the Chiefs and Sporting KC, providing even more opportunity for entertainment.

The close-knit community at Jewell enhances the first-year experience.

“It’s a small school so you get to know everybody really quickly, and I think that just makes you more comfortable with this new environment. It’s a very welcoming school,” said Davis.

College brings about a lot of change. The rooms are smaller, and the classes are harder. It takes some getting used to. After having some time to adjust, though, many students have adapted and are enjoying their time at Jewell. With one semester in the books, the Class of 2019 is on pace for a great four years.

Feature photo by Chandler Eaton.