Established 1826 — Oldest College Newspaper West of the Alleghenies

Part 2: The end of the beginning and finding a home away from home

By Elise Vasko, For The Miami Student

The following is the second in a four-part series following a group of students through their first year of college. The first was published Oct. 2nd. Read Part 1 here.

When to do laundry, how to navigate from Pearson to Peabody and what food to order at Pulley's - for Oak Hills High School graduates and Miami first-years Joe Anderson, Rylan Hixson, Becca Miller and Samantha Bosse, these are all just part of the learning curve.

While all four graduated from the same high school, and are now at the same college, each has taken his or her own path at Miami. Now near the end of their first semester, the four first-years reflected on their time at Miami so far.

"I'm definitely more driven now and I'm definitely a lot more responsible than I was in high school," said Anderson. "You have to really be responsible for your actions and hold yourself accountable, otherwise you really fall behind."

Anderson said he feels even more adjusted to being at college now than he did two months ago. He said his friends, along with his course schedule, have helped ease the transition.

"I think the friend group I got into as well as the classes I got were a good starting off point to know what college is going to be about and what classes are going to be like, and it's positive just to have that knowledge moving forward."

In contrast, Hixson said he is still working to adjust academically.

"The way you learn is completely different than in high school," Hixson said. "You have to adapt your learning style, and you have to work harder. Finding a balance between social life and schoolwork is hard to do."

Miller has also found the academic component to be a challenge, but said she has found the social aspect to be easier than she anticipated.

"It's been a little stressful class-wise, but I've adjusted quite wonderfully socially and I think that's partially because everyone in marching band is so accommodating," said Miller.

For Miller, marching band helped her feel more comfortable at Miami, and is how she met many of her new friends.

Enjoy what you're reading?
Signup for our newsletter

"You see one of [the band members] walking down the street and they'll wave to you. You see so many people you know from band all the time, wherever you go."

Similarly, as a member of Miami's dance team, Bosse said she has made many friends through her extracurricular.

Being on the dance team, Bosse said her parents often drive up to watch her perform at football games, and at times this can make the transition from living at home to living at college more difficult.

"I feel like I'm adjusting pretty well, but I'm so close to home that I probably see my parents too often," said Bosse. "They come up for the games, so I'm still very tied to home."

However, Bosse said, she appreciates the newfound freedom she is experiencing while away at school.

"I like that I can be wherever I want whenever I want. I don't have to be anywhere. Even class is pretty much optional," Bosse said. "It's all on me, which I like, because I'm good at being where I need to be. I make my own decisions here: good, bad, or indifferent, I make my own choices."

Looking back on his first semester, Hixson said the overall experience was all of what he expected, and then some.

"I expected to love it and I did, I expected to make friends and I did, but apart from that I didn't know what to expect, and that's what made it so special," said Hixson. "What makes it even more special is that I know that these seven semesters that I have left here are all going to be different, unique and special, and I'm excited to not know, and then to discover."