Traverse City Record-Eagle

Generation Why

January 3, 2011

It's easy to spot a college freshman

The first year is a tough one

Freshmen please be advised: We know who you are. We see you with your campus maps and overstuffed backpacks. We chuckle when you ask us what HS and SH mean. And we can all say that we've been there; we know just how you feel.

The first year of college is tough. Whether you've moved into the dorms or commute to college, the experience is the same. Students are nervous, lost and scared to death of walking into the wrong class. But never fear — the non-freshmen have some helpful tips and stories that will hopefully ease your embarrassment of forgetting just where Scholars Hall is located.

• For those commuting to and from college on a daily basis, second-year student Hannah Schwanke has some words of wisdom: "Get to school early to get a good parking spot. Even if you have an hour before class starts you can always study while you wait."

• Find your classroom early as it seems that is the most common mistake freshmen make — walking into the wrong class. "The first day of classes my freshman year my math class had been assigned to a new room. I didn't read the sign on the door so I ended up sitting in the wrong math class for an hour," recalls Mariah Baker, a third-year Northwestern Michigan College student and psychology major. "My advice: Always read signs."

"I was a nervous wreck my first day of classes," commented second-year NMC student Dana Jones. "It was basically the not knowing which room was which."

• Never fear, freshmen, the folks of NMC are always willing to help. Whether it be a teacher or a classmate, the campus is full of friendly people who make you feel at home.

For those who are worried about the teachers and professors at NMC, we have some advice for you too.

"The staff is awesome," said Tim Lakanen, a third-year NMC student majoring in accounting. "They really care."

"Don't sweat screwing up," adds second-year psychology major Torrie Drogt. "There's always someone there to help whether it's a teacher in their office or your fellow students. Don't be afraid to ask."

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