Freshmen hold same old fears

By Maria Tortorello

Many freshman have mixed feelings about their first year at NIU. Many worry about being away from home for the first time, or fear they will not make it academically.

However, there is also the excitement of starting fresh and being able to establish an identity completely independent of their parents.

This year is no different for NIU’s freshmen, and although the changes seem overwhelming, the new students are finding ways to deal with the new lifestyle of a college student.

For several, freshman orientation was their first visit to NIU.

“The construction wasn’t a very good first impression,” said freshman Stacy Pytlewicz who has not decided on a major.

“But the orientation staff made the atmosphere more relaxed and they did anything for you,” she said.

“Big is the first thing that comes to mind about my first impression of NIU,” said undecided freshman Kristina Kleinaitis. “But the people were really friendly and that made it easier.”

After attending a few classes, new fears enter the minds of some freshmen.

“The classes are going to be hard,” said freshman communications major Rich Urbinati, who is taking six classes. “There will be more homework and more deadlines compared to high school.”

“I’m more concerned about my grades because it is such a big deal now. It has to matter,” Kleinaitis said.

Being away from home is another major change most freshman must cope with for the first time.

“I miss the convenience of the bathroom and a kitchen. The fact that my whole living space is confined to one room is difficult,” Pytlewicz said.

Even though there is a lot to get used to freshman year, the people newcomers meet make it easier.

“I thought I would have a hard time meeting people,” Urbinati said. “But it was real easy to meet people. The people on my floor are great.”

“I didn’t expect to become so close to people so quickly,” Kleinaitis said.

There are also many positive aspects about being away from home.

“The phone can ring at any time and no one cares,” Kleinaitis said. “There are no curfews, either.”

“It isn’t a very pressured environment,” Pytlewicz said. “It’s not all studying and I like that.”

In several ways, freshmen are finding college to be much different from high school.

“High school is family,” Pytlewicz said. “Everyone knew everyone and no one is looking over you to make sure you do everything. You’re starting over.”

“The construction wasn’t a very good first impression. But the orientation staff made the atmosphere more relaxed and they did anything for you.”

-Stacy Pytlewicz