From mouths of freshmen: shedding doubt, nerves

What are you going to be when you grow up? Are you going to college? What’s your major? What are you going to do when you graduate?

Whoa. Slow down. I just got here. That is, if you’re a freshman. Or, perhaps, you’re a freshman who can answer all of these questions. And then some.

For the next four issues, I will be asking UDM students their thoughts and feelings about their year (one issue per class year). Maybe you can relate. Maybe you’re a senior and want to reflect with some melodrama and melancholia. Either way, let’s see what they had to say.


Part 1: Freshmen

I prowled the campus asking random students if they were freshmen.

In hindsight, I probably should have simply asked for their year, for I experienced a student jokingly claim to be a freshman, another who seemed repulsed by the idea and finally a freshman who was rushing to practice with a sealed container of sushi.

Finally, I came across Jon Michael Grabowski, 18. His father is Dr. Gregory Grabowski in the biology department.

First off, how did he feel about entering college?

Despite his father teaching here, he was nervous initially. It was a new atmosphere, and he was on his own (only two from his high school attend UDM).

Over the past seven months, however, he has become extremely comfortable. Much of this change has to do with his working at the student center.

“They’re like a second family,” he said.

He also enjoys his newly found freedom, having lunch whenever he wants, for one minor example.

Grabowski came from a high school with many students, so having professors actually get to know you is another bonus compared to his high school experience.

Courtney Pefley, 18, had her own doubts about attending college.

Some were related to leaving home (Michigan) to go to college. She wanted to stay close and, at first, thought she was a “loser” for doing so.

She was also intimidated by UDM itself, believing it to be an elitist school.

Quickly, she realized this wasn’t so.

Shedding this doubt is reflected in her grades, since she currently has a 4.0.

Like Grabowski, she appreciates that her professors care about her success, with or without personal meetings. Also, acquiring a job on campus has been a great way to adjust and is her main reason for staying at UDM.

One last additional perk of being on a smaller, family-style campus?

“No long walks,” she said. Especially on cold days.