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First Year Fears: Getting Perspective on the Frightening Sides of College


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Written by: Communicator StaffSeptember 12, 2013

At Freshman Fest, The Communicator decided to interview freshman on what their biggest fears were upon entering college.

Fears about school were numerous—which isn’t surprising, considering that high schools emphasize how important college can be to a student.

“Office hours are the biggest wasted resource on this campus,” claimed Dr. Troy Bassett. He goes on to explain that establishing a relationship with a professor is the key to success. Professors are there for a reason during office hours—so students will come visit them if they have any problems understanding the material presented in class and to offer guidance in that particular field. Additionally, professors can become excellent references for future employers and write letters of recommendation for graduate school.

With exams, “There shouldn’t be any surprises… This is stuff we’ve talked about in class. This is the stuff we’ve been reading. This is the stuff we’ve been doing on the assignments… If it’s radically different from that, then that’s the problem with the class, not the student,” Bassett said.

Bassett advises students to take control of their own education. Professors are not going to contact you to make sure you write a paper or study for an exam.

The pressures that can likely arise from fears about performance in the classroom can occasionally lead to problems that affect the mental and physical well-being of the student, such as lack of sleep, feelings of drowning under a coarse load or not meeting the expectations that rest upon a students academic performance.

The IPFW/Parkview Student Assistance Program, can be a place to turn in these situations. According to their website, this program “provides confidential, short-term personal counseling services to all students currently enrolled at IPFW, free of charge.”

In Walb 113, counselors are there for those who need someone to talk to. Typically, a student will have a difficult time adjusting to college life and may encounter some personal issues, such as depression, anxiety, stress, and violence. The website also provides a self-help section, with lists of symptoms for common problems college students will face.

The website also states that “there is a connection between being active and good emotional health.”

The Freshman Fifteen, if you don’t know, is the idea that college students will gain fifteen pounds during their first year at school, which can be a legitimate fear for some students.

One way to circumvent such drastic weight gain is to eat right and exercise—although it is not always that simple.

Fresh fruits and vegetables are often more expensive than the junk food college students thrive on, like ramen or macaroni and cheese, and tend to spoil faster than processed foods.

One way to get around this could be to make a potluck dinner/study night with friends. That wayeveryone can chip in with the cost and create an all-around healthy meal.

The Athletics Center, Hillard Gates Sports Center and Clubhouse at student housing all provide places to exercise. Students who live on campus also have the opportunity to walk or ride their bikes for exercise that is functional and doesn’t require them to take extra time out of a busy day.

Story by: Zach Crook