College can be a big transition from high school. The workload changes for many students. It is some people’s first taste of freedom from their parent’s supervision. Your peers constantly surround you now; school life and home life have blended together into college life. Some people deal really well with change, and they transition into college life very easily. However, a majority of people encounter some difficulties along the way. In order to help students have a more successful college transition, McDaniel has created a wonderful First Year program. First year students come a week early to school so that they can get acclimated to campus and meet their class. They also get introduced to their First Year Seminar class and their peer mentor.
A First Year Seminar (FYS) is the class that all first year students have to take. There are tons of different themes for the classes, like “The Greatest Novel Ever”, “World Music Survey”, “Gender, Literature, and Culture”, etc. You rank the classes based on your interest in them, and you are placed accordingly. The teacher of the course is your academic advisor. They help you figure out your schedule and approve you for registration. The class also has a flex hour in which different skills are taught such as how to get into contact with Residence Life if you have issues or how to do research in the library. The class itself provides first year students with your first group of friends and a ton of support including a peer mentor. A peer mentor is an upperclassman that is assigned to the First Year Seminar. Their job is to help you transition well. They are there to answer questions and to help connect you with the resources you need on campus.
My FYS was exactly what I needed to help me transition into college life. I can write research papers in a flash. I know how to set appointments with librarians, and where/how to study so that I get the best results. My First Year Seminar really pushed me to become a better student. As a Peer Mentor this year, I have been lucky enough to see how much the First Year program has improved. It really helps with the transition into college life, and it makes McDaniel feel a little more like home.