The Weekly Ringer

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Freshman students reflects on skills gained in their first year of college

3 min read
By EMILY ROSSI Staff Writer The class of 2021 is finishing up its freshman year and has learned to grow and improve in many ways.

Norm Shafer | University Relations


Staff Writer

The class of 2021 is finishing up its freshman year and has learned to grow and improve in many ways.

School can be stressful your first year. There are many skills that students have to learn freshman year. We are thrown into a place that you’ve never been to before, surrounded by people we’ve never met, taking classes on subjects we’ve have never heard of before and so much more. Students have to find ways to succeed, and it is always important to share that knowledge with others.

That being said, this semester, members of the class of 2021 were asked, “what are three things that you have learned are essential for college life since coming to the University of Mary Washington this past fall?”

Freshman Kyelin Thrift learned important lessons about overcoming adversity, communicating with others and taking responsibility. Thrift said, “How to live with others that aren’t like yourself, how to work together in groups to either study together or do group projects together and how to be independent.”

These are three areas that many students struggle in. Having roommates is an important skill that will continue to challenge students next year, especially with so many of the Class of 2021 moving into Eagle Landing and an apartment setting. While some freshman are used to living with suite mates, it will be a new experience for many others. Luckily, Eagle Landing comes with many perks such as being close to the Hurley Convergence Center, which could make meeting for group work somewhat easier.

Managing your workload and your time is very difficult freshman year. Freshman Joe Milbank said, “Good time management, managing work and having ways to deal with stress.” Many people want to be out making friends and trying all of the cool and exciting new places around Fredericksburg when they should be studying and doing schoolwork. Procrastination is a struggle, but establishing study groups, setting aside time for studying and keeping an organized agenda can help.

Freshman Z Faroq said, “Fending for yourself when you need to, letting actions speak louder than words and having real friends support you throughout it all.” Students don’t have their parents with them to help make decisions or get things done, so learning to be self-sufficient is an important part of college. Finding a good friend group is arguably one of the most stressful parts of freshman year. Everyone needs a support system, and without family close, the main support system for students is their friend group. Luckily, many students in the class of 2021 have chosen to live with their friends next semester, so it will create an even stronger support system.

Some freshmen have learned to overcome academic challenges using resources on campus that are provided to help students succeed. Some of these resources include the Digital Knowledge Center, the ThinkLab, the Writing Center, the Speaking Center and the Interlibrary Loan program.

Freshman Cat Montoya said, “I went to the Writing Center last semester when I was just starting a project and they really helped me organize an outline. It was cool because I was able to just sit and work and ask questions when I needed to within my time session. It was cool because I was just beginning my project and the person next to me was having their project finalized. I haven’t gone back but I definitely would.” These places are created to help students succeed, but many students don’t realize the amount of help that these places can provide.

Freshman Z Faroq agreed, “I love the Writing Center; it looks really good if they tell the professor you went. They’ll do half the work for you.”

Everyone wants to succeed in college. People can learn from one another and give each other tips and tricks to be as successful as possible. It is important to come together as a community and help one another succeed, and to be the best that they can be at UMW, both academically and socially. If anyone has knowledge or ideas that help them, it is so helpful for everyone to share those ideas with each other, and to keep each other on the right track.