New environments, new friends and a new life. That is what college offers students. It isn’t always easy to move from one part of life to another, essentially leaving everything you’ve known behind to begin anew.In order to help students adjust, universities and even high schools are implementing freshman camps to help new students get a feel for their new home.
“On the first day of a new school year, incoming high school freshmen can feel like fish in a big pond,” Jocelyn Delgado wrote in her recent Dallas Morning News article.
What Delgado didn’t say was that in four years, those same freshmen would experience that feeling again upon entering the world of college, only then, they wouldn’t be going home to their family every night for comfort.
Freshman camps, in TCU’s case, Frog Camp, is a well-planned weekend where incoming freshman and transfer students come together for tours, orientation and fun.
Along with making new friends, freshman camps can make a big campus smaller and feel more manageable for students.
Melissa Gatti, a junior early childhood education major, said she remembers Frog Camp like it was yesterday.
“I think it is a great experience. It also made me feel included in a big school where, really, it can be overwhelming,” Gatti said.
No doubt most freshmen are going to be overwhelmed. Their lives are being altered in more ways than one.
TCU and many universities around the country use camps as a great way to teach school spirit, show students around the campus and even do small things like giving them hints on college survival.
“On Monday, the first day of school, struggling freshmen can keep a lookout for counselors who will be wearing special Fish Camp shirts so they can be easily spotted,” Delgado said.
Sororities do the same type of thing for their new members. The day after a woman pledges her sorority, everyone wears the same shirt so the new members can find their “sisters” in each of their classes.
It is comfort and security that we are seeking. To walk into a classroom during your first week of college and see a group of girls wearing the same shirt you have on is a relief.
It doesn’t matter if you are in high school or college, the feeling is the same. Knowing that you have a person or group to sit with in new classes is definitely something to write home about.
Shifting from one part of life to another is never as simple as people say it is. It’s difficult to find yourself and even more so to define yourself. It takes nothing more than time to adjust, but it can get easier.
Taking the time to speak to a classmate next to us, or sitting next to a student who always sits alone is the simplest way to make someone just a bit more comfortable.
Comfort is something sought by everyone, but the ease of finding it is questionable. We need to make that extra effort, be leaders and affect the lives of those around us because we never know when we will need them to reach out to us.
Marissa Warms is a senior advertising/public relations major from Irving. Her column appears Fridays.