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Trials and Tribulations of Freshman Year

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Olivia Pasquale
Villanova freshman adjust to the college lifestyle as they endure their first few weeks here.

On August 18th, roughly 1,700 new students arrived on Villanova’s campus. Trunks were filled to the brim with an endless amount of under-bed storage, more clothing than one person could ever wear and all the necessary supplies to survive in a communal bathroom. Now, almost a full month later, most first-year students have fallen into a rhythm of classes, club meetings and various social events, but anyone who has ever moved to a brand-new place knows that the adjustment to college is neither quick nor easy.

“Being patient and coming to the realization that you don’t have to do everything all in your first semester makes your life so much more enjoyable,” freshman Ava Sorrentino said.

In addition to deciding how to spend their days on campus outside of academic commitments, many first-year students experience what feels like a rite of passage in the form of early morning and late-night classes several times a week. The misconception that “I did it in high school, so it can’t be that bad” is a trap that many fall into and very few come out of still believing to be true.

“It is hard having such a long day going from 8:30a.m.-9:30p.m. with very few breaks, but all my professors are very accommodating in finding ways to make that kind of schedule more manageable,” freshman Meg Wolf said.

It seems as though it was only yesterday that the newest students on campus were learning to differentiate between the two dining halls fondly referred to as “Pit” and “Spit.” Now, a month into their Villanova careers, strong preferences and opinions on dining halls are quickly forming.

“Growing up, I never had to worry about where I was getting my food because it was always just at my house, but now I have to plan ahead and seek out all of my meals,” freshman Genna Cottingham said about the transition to living on a meal plan. “Holy Grounds is honestly my go-to.”

Outside of bonding over meal-time adventures, one of the most unifying experiences of adjusting to dorm life is the (always friendly) battle over the laundry. Nobody will ever quite understand the choice to pair three washing machines with only two dryers in most of the laundry rooms in the dorms on South Campus. However, it is abundantly clear that finding a convenient time to do laundry that also corresponds with available machines at an hour that doesn’t risk waking the entire floor can be just as difficult as climbing the four flights of stairs to the top of Tolentine at 8a.m. Only a select few can do it, and those that are successful gain instant celebrity status.

Between managing next-to-impossible schedules and the assignments that accompany each class, creating a carefully calculated laundry schedule, rushing to join every club imaginable and figuring out exactly what qualifies as one meal swipe, conquering one month of college life is no small feat. There truly is nothing quite like the niche experiences of the transition to freshman year, and if the students of the class of 2027 can survive and thrive through these challenges, then there is nothing that they cannot handle.

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About the Contributor
Olivia Pasquale, Photography Editor
Olivia Pasquale is The Villanovan's Photography Editor in 2022, a position she held in 2021 as well. A senior majoring in Biology and minoring in Spanish, Olivia leads the Photography section, ensuring that every major event at Villanova is photographed. Olivia has taken photos courtside in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and New Orleans, at events such as graduations, and of several important Villanova figures. Although she never struggles with the direction or detail for each individual photo, Olivia often struggles with the direction to travel to reach her destination on the highway.
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