One thing that most of the readers of the Dolphin Network blog have in common is that we all had a first semester at JU. No matter what age you started or finished, everyone had to deal with a first class, a first interaction and a first impression of life at Jacksonville University.
In order to bring us all back to those firsts, we asked first year student Marissa Garcia to share some of her thoughts about her initial semester at JU. She gave a lot of honest insight, and we think you may find that while time moves on, there are some things that still stay the same.
What did you think college would be like before you got here?
Before I got here, I thought college was going to be…interesting. I was afraid I would get distracted with living in a coed dorm; I was terrified I would fail a college math class (I’m a dance major!); and I was genuinely nervous for everything to come at the start of Fall 2010. But thankfully, I went to the Freshmen Leadership Retreat in the summer which put my mind at ease when I saw I was not the only incoming freshmen silently having a heart attack. It seemed like the only questions in my mind after the retreat were, "Is the food good?" and "What am I suppose to do without my toaster?" Now, it seems like all I think about is Chicken Finger Wednesdays at Nellies, and how much I love it here at Jacksonville University.
Did you know anyone else at JU?
I actually knew four people before I went to the Freshmen Leadership Retreat in the summer (and thank goodness for that). The Orientation Staff had a huge impact on me which really motivated me to get involved and to be out going. To this day, I hang out with a majority of the freshmen I was with during the retreat, which is great because we’re all involved in such different activities, i.e. I’m a dance major, then there’s the ROTC girls and boys, the new members of Greek Life, Sports Teams, Theater majors, and so much more.
How difficult did you find the classes?
Honestly, it’s not so much the difficulty of the classes that’ll get you, it’s more of the focus aspect that one has to watch out for. Being in college and on your own already sounds terrifying, but then you’re even expected to keep track of all of your rehearsals, work schedules, meetings, sorority events, etc. I’m not complaining and even though I am still getting adjusted, it is great!
What clubs/activities/sports have you joined?
Since I’ve been at JU, I’ve gotten involved with Greek Life (Alpha Epsilon Phi), The Student Ambassador Program, The Sailing Club, and work in Campus Activities, which has definitely helped me get to know many people who I could go to for absolutely anything (Dr. Kristie Gover, Kelly Dunnmon, and Kaitlin Chambers are only a few of the many).
What have you learned about yourself?
Personally, I’ve grown so much since being at JU. This place gives everyone such amazing opportunities to get involved, and the more one gets involved, the more you can experience and learn. Since I’ve been here, my outlook on college has altered and matured dramatically, and I’m only a freshman! I’ve learned that I’m strong enough of an individual to get my work done, to stay focused, be myself (and even do my own laundry). :)
What memories do you have about your first semester on campus? Share them with Dunk'n on his Facebook page.