Settling in: Looking back at the start of freshman year

Unfamiliar faces, small bedrooms, a different school, a new home. For the freshmen at Villanova, this month was everything but the routine they were used to in high school.

College life in its entirety is completely different from any other schooling. Having to go to classes , managing time for meals, studying and hanging out, college is like nothing they have ever experienced.

The year began with the traditional days of orientation. An opening address and Mass were a perfect start to a new year.

“The Mass really brought us together as a community,” said freshman Katie Kennedy. Both tears and smiles could be seen everywhere that first day. Hundreds of families prayed together in the grotto asking God to be with their children for the next four years at the University.

Orientation continued for three more days, keeping the new students quite busy. Lectures were given, skits were performed and plenty of games were played and songs sung. The first stage of making friends was definitely taking place.

Bonds were made in the orientation groups that will perhaps last a lifetime. “My favorite part of orientation was my O.C., Jess,” shared freshman Mike Barboza.

The closing ceremony was absolutely beautiful and not only was it an end to orientation, but also an amazing beginning for their first week as Villanovans.

The next morning things were a little different. It was time to put all of the homesickness aside and get into the books. Freshmen who were still getting used to the campus were finding out all about college classes and just how hard it is to get up on time. “Waking up for that 8:30 a.m. class was the toughest adjustment for me,” said freshman Heather Clarke.

Other students agreed that making friends in class was a huge change too.

Coming from high school where they had so many friends in each class, to a university where there were different faces all day was quite difficult.

Besides adjusting to classes and establishing new relationships, it was time for the students to get involved. Tables full of representatives from various clubs the University’s filled the Pavilion one evening during the first week.

Students walked around and signed up for the clubs in which they were interested. It was a great way to bring the extracurricular and volunteer aspects of Villanova right to the freshmen’s fingertips.

“Everyone is really helpful making sure we are aware of what is going on and the members of the clubs are always enthusiastic about what they are doing,” said freshman Kaitlin Stadelman. “So far I have applied to get into four different clubs. The opportunities are so great.”

After the first few days of classes, when the homework began to pile up, things seemed to settle. The noisy dorms full of new independence started to quiet down.

Doors began to shut and desk lamps switched on. College truly had arrived and these students were ready to jump right in.