First-year students adjust to new school, campus life

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Photo by Joceline Helmbreck

Many first-year students seem to be acclimating well to this new campus life.

Not only did the COVID-19 pandemic shut down businesses and many large events, but it has completely flipped college life upside down. 

One of the most notable changes has been the switch from practically every class being in-person to being either completely online or having a hybrid schedule, in which students have a combination of online and in-person lectures. However, many first-year students seem to be acclimating well to this new campus life.

Kate Hughes, a first-year in the College of Business Administration, said she has been getting used to classes at Marquette and staying on top of her schoolwork. 

“Coming into college, I knew it was going to be a big adjustment, especially because I didn’t know many other students at Marquette,” Hughes said. “However, I was lucky to find great friends on my floor and in my building.”

Hughes said she thinks Marquette has done a great job making the transition as smooth as possible.

“Being able to go to classes, the library and the recreation center has made my college experience seem more normal,” Hughes said. “Just not being able to meet other freshman in different dorms has been difficult for me.”

Tyler Pietsch, another first-year student from the College of Business Administration, said adjusting to campus life has felt pretty seamless. 

“I was a little worried about meeting people at first, but everyone is in the same boat so it has been easy to meet other people and make new friends,” Pietsch said.

Pietsch also said that five out of his six classes are in person, which can seem rare to hear on campus these days. 

“We still have the chance to hang out with friends within the dorm and I’m still able to practice with the (club swimming) team,” he said. “We have a lot of restrictions, but none are overbearing … I’m happy that we are even on campus.”

Remi Maynard, another first-year student in the College of Business Administration, said she has also made some new friends this school year.

She said she expected this year to be very different due to COVID-19, but she has learned to accept the changes.

“Living here is very different from home, but I haven’t had any trouble yet, which is really nice,” Maynard said. “It’s not what I expected, but I’ve accepted it and have had to adjust to enjoy it as much as I can.”

In an environment where all odds are seemingly stacked against them, the first-year students at Marquette seem to be making the most of the current situation.

This story was written by Tommy Shaffer. He can be reached at d.shaffer@marquette.edu.