BYU freshman adapting to college life

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    By Ben Neilson

    After two weeks of dorm life, BYU freshmen are adapting well to on-campus living.

    David John Hall resident assistant Shelley Stoddard, 21, a senior majoring in psychology, observed that freshmen have adjusted faster this year than in the past.

    “Most kids are glad to be here, glad to be away from home,” Stoddard said. “Homesickness doesn”t come until the middle of the semester.”

    Making friends quickly contributes to an easier transition during the first two weeks of school. Brittany Bluth, 18, a freshman from Carrollton, Mo., majoring in English, appreciates dorm life for this reason.

    “It”s a great way to get to know a lot of fantastic people and have a lot of fun,” she said.

    Having about 40 girls living in a small area can create some tension, but this doesn”t worry her. “I don”t anticipate there being any problems. We”re all patient with one another,” Bluth said.

    Chad Spears, 18, a freshman from Stuttgart, Germany majoring in athletic training said, “You don”t get as much personal space — there”s always someone around.”

    But, Spears says he does not mind the close quarters. “You kind-of just make friends with whomever. I”m just having a good time,” he said.

    Aaron Janmohamed, 18, from Naperville, Ill., and James Fletcher, 18 from Vienna, Va., both business management majors, had found an unusual way to adapt to on-campus life. “We adjust to dorm life by serenading the girls,” Janmohamed said.

    In the two weeks they have lived in Helaman Halls, they have gone serenading three or four times. “We love making girls feel special because it makes us feel better about ourselves,” Fletcher said.

    Not all freshmen have met new people as easily as Janmohamed and Fletcher. “Most of it is they don”t have enough self-confidence to go out of their comfort zone and make a group of friends,” said resident assistant Rachelle Martin, 20, a junior from Modesto, Calif., majoring in nursing.

    Aspects of campus life other than making new friends are reason for adjustment. Eating at the Cannon and Morris Centers and picking up after themselves cause adjustments for many freshmen.

    “Sleeping is a lot different — I don”t sleep very much anymore,” said

    Carrie Gunwell, 18, a freshman from Orem, majoring in accounting. Increased studying and socializing are the two main causes, she said.

    No matter what the reason for difficulty adapting, Martin says, “Go out of your comfort zone — everyone else is going through the same thing. Don”t be scared.”

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