Written by Johnathon Goodenow. Media by Joseph Jeralds.
Many freshmen have difficulty adjusting to a college lifestyle. If current upperclassmen look back at their freshmen year, they will likely remember other juniors and seniors guiding them their first year. It can be daunting for newcomers to make all new friends and learn to manage time in a new setting, not to mention approaching upperclassmen can be extremely intimidating. So, upperclassmen, be sure to reach out to the freshmen.
Burritt Hall’s mentoring program is a great example of how upperclassmen can get to know freshmen. When asked about the program, Burritt Hall RC, Morgan Rich commented:
“The Burritt Mentor program exists to aid freshman in adjusting to college life. Mentors become the go-to person for questions about campus, help with study habits and someone to hang out with on a regular basis. Mentors are required to spend an hour a week with their mentee, but the hour can be spent in any way the pair chooses. What is really great about this program is mentors and mentees can personalize and choose how they want their partnership to function based on what they desire to get out of it.”
According to a USA Today article, one of the best ways for upperclassmen to invest in freshmen is by being involved in campus organizations. At Greenville College, students are often encouraged to get involved in organizations through events like All College Hike. Activities allow upperclassmen and freshmen to interact without having to awkwardly seek each other out. For example, being a part of a sports team is a good way for students to connect with each other. Take advantage of these opportunities and get to know the people around you. Getting involved with other students on campus is how lifelong friendships develop.
In addition, Greenville College’s chapel services, bible studies, and churches in town also provide many outlets for students to connect. There are even opportunities for upperclassmen to strike up a conversation with freshmen in their general education classes. For example, there may be some freshmen who thrive off of meeting new people but struggle with finding time to study. This is an opportunity for upperclassmen to form study groups outside of class.
Whatever the circumstance, be sure to spend some time getting to know the new faces on campus. You never know what lifelong friendships could come from them!