I Feel ” ” – How College Students Feel the First Week on Campus

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New college students, both first-years and transfers, experience a range of emotions during the first week on campus. Confronted with a new environment and new people, it can be difficult to determine what would be considered “normal” for the first week at Florida Tech. So, what can a new student expect?

1. Elation
It’s the first week of the first semester at Florida Tech! This is the beginning of a new chapter in life, so it’s normal to be excited and thrilled to be on campus and ready to start classes. Take a moment to write down how you feel; it could be a short note, a Facebook status, or a journal entry that helps you remember what it felt like when you just started.

2. Confusion
It’s normal to be confused during the first hour, the first day, and even the first week on campus. It’s a new environment with different schedules, procedures, and living situations. Remember that most other new students (and even some returning students) experience confusion during that first week. With schedules that change every five months, it may take more than seven days to settle into a routine and discover all of the resources available at Florida Tech. Talk to orientation leaders, resident assistants, and established students to get your questions answered and learn more about the campus.

3. Homesickness
While not every student moves a thousand miles to attend school at Florida Tech, many students experience homesickness in the first day or the first week. For others, it may not settle until the third or fourth week. It can help to talk with people in the residence hall, to touch base with old friends via social media, and to get out and attend events on campus to meet new friends. Sharing experiences can be a great way to find new friends and have great stories to tell old friends when winter break comes.

4. Frustration
It’s hot and humid in Florida, there are long lines at some offices, and despite everyone’s best efforts to make Orientation a wonderful experience, some questions go unanswered. It’s normal to feel frustrated during the first week due to unfamiliar surroundings and a new learning environment. The university classroom and expectations differ greatly from high school; learning the policies and procedures can be difficult. For some students, talking with upperclassmen about their experiences can be helpful. Students can also speak with their University Experience instructors who can answer questions about the campus and the expectations that faculty have regarding students.

5. Relief
Getting through the first week of the semester is a huge accomplishment, and students can feel relieved when Friday afternoon arrives. Students can take time to celebrate their success by attending some of the Welcome Week activities on campus, going to the nearby beach on the weekend, or taking advantage of the many local activities in Brevard County.

Students might experience one or all of these emotions, sometimes all at once. One of the best ways to manage the first week on campus is to speak with Orientation leaders and other students; by sharing common experiences, frustrations, and successes, students can benefit from their peers within the Florida Tech community.

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