Freshman integration: how are we settling in?

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It’s hard to believe that the second week of classes have drawn to a close. In 14 days, a lot has transpired. Aside from the buzz of an impending tropical storm, the Florida Tech community is as busy as ever.

Amidst the usual excitement of the campus, many new faces are circulating: the Freshmen.

In order to catch up with the fresh blood of campus, The Crimson asked these new faces the following questions about freshman integration:

  • Is college what you expected it to be?
  • What surprised you about Florida Tech?
  • What has been your most memorable moment so far?
  • What is your favorite place on campus?
  • What do you wish you had been told before coming here?

Ahmed Mohammed Sobha Chowdhury, one of the freshmen at Florida Tech, was the first to answer.

“Something I should have been told is that classes are going to get really hard and I need to keep up with the work. I came from a British syllabus where my whole grade was a final exam. Adjusting to that was hard.”

Chowdhury’s most exciting moment so far has been his trip to Universal, but his advice to other students is to know your limits and not overwhelm themselves.

Chowdhury is from the United Arab Emirates, so heat usually isn’t a big deal to him. “I’m used to heat, but the humidity plus the heat, that surprised me.”

“The international festival was good,” Dinkua Rathnasiri, another freshman, said about Florida Tech. “University Experience was good. The classroom environment is more relaxed. It’s a new experience and it’s exciting being here,”

Alan Daou, freshman, had another thought.“I wish I had known that being a top student in high school was not going to mean that you will be a top student in college. I also wish I’d known that even though there is not a lot of time spent in lectures you have a lot of work to do at home.”

When asked about his favorite place on campus, Daou answered with a question, “I guess my bed is not part of it right?” Daou went on to mention a different place on campus, “I’d say the study room in Evans hall. I spend a lot of time over there.”

Daou closed with the following remark, “Start doing the homework early. Don’t wait until the last minute.”

To get the perspective of students who made it past being a freshman, The Crimson spoke to a few upperclassmen. The upperclassmen were asked what they would tell their freshmen selves.

Caio Silveira, a sophomore studying aerospace engineering, would tell his freshman self the following, “I would say meet people. But not normal people. People with power. People who can actually get things done,” Silveria said. “Basically, make connections. I wish I had that same vision, and I wish I had thought the same way when I was younger. And something else, don’t do your lab report the day before.”

Larissa Kiyoku, a junior from Brasilia, Brazil, responded in a different way. “My freshman self…Um, don’t hang out with Brazilians. I could have improved my english so much more if I hadn’t spent so much time with them,” Kiyoku answered with a smile.

Jessica Keleher, a junior studying marine biology, said “Get out of your room.”

“Not that I have any regrets about freshman year,” she said, “it’s just that there were many events that I didn’t know about, wasn’t aware of, or didn’t go to. I just slept through it. I don’t want them to have the regret of having slept through those experiences.”