Freshmen settle into spring semester

Isabella Gentile, Features Editor

After a semester filled with immense change and new experiences, both personal and academic, RWU freshmen enjoyed about a month long winter break before returning last week for the Spring 2018 semester. Cars flooded into the South Campus parking lots as countless duffle bags and suitcases were unloaded in the pouring rain. Many freshmen are excited to start the new semester and settle in, feeling more comfortable with their surroundings.

Various freshmen came to the conclusion that moving back into school was just as stressful and hectic as the first time around.

“I had so many things to bring back even though we were only gone for a month,” said

Tommy DeMarco, a freshman majoring in marine biology. “

I haven’t even cleaned my whole dorm room from unpacking yet.” Different parts of college life may have gotten easier for freshmen, but the moving process is not necessarily one of them.

Classes are one aspect of college life that most students had to adjust to. Fall semester brought an increase in workload and difficulty from the typical work patterns of high school. Madison Desantis, a freshman majoring in business, said that she has “had more large-scale writing assignments in one week here than [she] did in a few months in her [high school] senior English class.” Going into the new semester, freshmen are more confident in their abilities to handle assignments in various difficult courses.

An increased level of difficulty is not the only component of classwork that first year students were forced to adapt to; learning the skill of time management was also essential. Students have hours worth of free time on their hands, and the idea of procrastinating is always looming. Going into second semester, many freshmen now recognize this obstacle and will be trying to get a better grip on making good use of their time.

Exploring the nearby areas has become a personal pastime for many freshmen. Now that these students have had a taste of neighboring places like Providence and Newport, they feel much more at ease in frequently visited establishments like restaurants and stores. Freshman Sonia DeMaio, a business major, said, “I had never been to the Providence Place Mall before coming to school here and now I know it like the back of my hand.”

The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) buses were a favorite mode of transportation among freshmen last semester. Whether riding to the bank here in Bristol or a nightclub in Providence, these adventures have led students to foster a sense of familiarity with the bus system. Freshman Emily Burnett, an undecided student, said that taking the RIPTA gave her a sense of independence and that she feels more comfortable taking it this semester.

Access to transportation options like the RIPTA ties into freshmen not being able to have cars during their first year here. Students who were used to driving to school everyday and having the easy convenience of taking the car to go to CVS or the grocery store now have to adjust to inevitably long trips to the drugstore by way of the shuttle. Knowing that transportation is more of a hassle now, freshmen are able to put more time aside and manage their trips better.

One critical piece of knowledge that freshmen are entering this semester with is that college finals are not meant to be taken lightly. Many learned that pushing studying aside or cramming last minute will not lead to gratification. Gigi Fiacco, a freshman majoring in biochemistry, said that she regrets “not putting enough time into studying for finals and will absolutely take exams more seriously this semester.”

Spring semester seems like it will be a promising one for freshmen, given the major increase in confidence that many students have experienced in all of these areas. Better time management skills, knowledge on the ins and outs of transportation, and adjusting to the workload are only some of the skills they have learned so far. The rest of the year will likely be filled with new experiences as well, but freshmen can get through with their newfound sense of reassurance.