Then and Now: Class of 2014 First- Year Reflections

By Aubrey Hastings
Student Life Editor

There is a saying that you can never step in the same river twice. For even if the river is the same steady flowing stream, you are inevitably different every time that you return to it. You have stretched and grown. Life brings its laughter and tears, triumphs and heartaches, and before you know it you are not the same as you were even the day before. What left you terrified yesterday may in fact light a fiery determination today.

No other year is this more true than your first year away at college. In this short time in life, you learn so much about yourself and the world around you. Your first move-in day in August always brings about the butterflies, with both tears and smiles. Then, before we even know it, winter break comes around, and we are given a chance to return home to our previously normal routines. Returning for spring semester, you realize that you have set new goals and ambitions and what seemed so foreign and terrifying is no longer so strange.

Some Washington College freshman from the class of 2014 shared their thoughts reflecting on returning for their second semester of college in Chestertown.

Jacqueline Torkelson said that most of her anxieties disappeared when she returned for spring semester. “I had such an amazing first semester that I was extremely excited to come back for a second semester. I also knew I didn’t have to worry about things like if I get along with my roommate, if I will have trouble meeting friends or if I will be able to keep up with the amount of school work since I now had some experience with everything. This semester I definitely want to attend more sporting events and get more involved on campus. My time at Washington College has been wonderful and I couldn’t ask for a better experience,” she said.

Another freshman(who wished to remain anonymous) experienced a more sombering experience due to financial strain. “After a long winter break, I was excited to come back to WC and experience the second semester of my freshman year. My hopes and dreams were crushed, however, when I found out that due to an increase in tuition, this would be my last few months at Washington College. Upwards of $47,000 a year is too much money for my single parent household to afford. I had hoped to use Washington College as a catalyst for an outstanding academic career, and a bolster for an engaging future. I will now be forced to find that experience elsewhere, most likely at a state school. I am disappointed, but the reality of the situation is grim. Though I am an excellent student and do not engage in activities that are degenerative to my studies, I am being forced to give up my dreams because of my financial status. It seems unfair that this is my fate, when so many of my peers care nothing for their studies and would prefer to party their life away in blissful ignorance, but such is life. I am hopeful that the remainder of my college experience is positive despite this minor setback, and I am thankful for the time that I have spent at Washington College.”

Tessa Leland Port found her first semester to be a time of immense growth. “Coming back to WC for the spring semester, the anxiety that clouded September is gone. For me, winter break was the most amazing time of reflection on my first semester of independence and it was a time I will always treasure as I grew closer to God and found strength in my faith. Coming back I am excited to grow academically but also spiritually. I am an adoring fan of CCF, all the Bible studies led by students on campus and I am honored to be the secretary of the Service Council. I love participating in the activities these clubs offer. This semester I hope to be a smiling face and a friend to many on campus,” she said.

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