Newly out of high school, college freshmen across the nation began a journey toward new relationships, higher knowledge and independence.
Geneseo's Class of 2011 had approximately 11 thousand applicants; with only 3,720 admitted, the lower acceptance rate is reflective of the College's push for higher academic standards. The class holds diverse opinions about the college lifestyle, including the campus atmosphere, dorm life, extracurricular activities, dining, expenses and future plans.
The beginning of any journey comes with fear and uncertainty, but according to some freshmen, Geneseo's friendly and accommodating environment has allowed them to settle in comfortably.
A few freshmen admitted that they had fears about going to college that subsided upon their arrival. Jessica Hammer was worried about living far away from her home but now feels at ease. "My new friends here made it a lot easier to live far away," she said.
Chris Zorn admitted, "I was afraid of not meeting people," but later said that dorm life allowed him to meet more people within his class and build up a new group of friends. Other freshmen seemed to share Zorn's excitement about being here. Janna Cisterino said she feels that, "There are many opportunities for growth here."
Living away from home is a new experience for freshmen, one that can be challenging. Geneseo's residence halls, however, have endeavored to provide a home away from home. "I feel like I have a large living space bigger than my room at home even with sharing it with another person," said Taylor Castelloni. According to Zorn, "There is definitely enough space in the rooms, even in a triple."
Some freshmen said that they didn't even feel homesick as the dorm rooms allowed them to settle in and feel comfortable almost immediately. Nevertheless, feelings of estrangement and discomfort can linger among freshmen: Lin misses the city. Cisterino misses her friends.
Intramural sports such as tennis, broomball, rugby, ultimate frisbee and soccer are popular extracurricular activities amongst newcomers. Other possibilities for involvement include the Model U.N., the GOLD program, Hall Council, Philosophy Club, International Relations Club and the equestrian team.
Although students' feedback on campus life was largely positive, some freshmen were not as satisfied with their dining experience. On a scale of one to 10 for the food at Geneseo, the average rating was a seven. Some compared Letchworth and Red Jacket; Zorn gave Letch a nine and RJ an eight. Most freshmen claimed that the food became redundant at RJ and Letchworth, and although MJ was favored, some felt that it should also be open on weekends to give the food selection more variety.
Some freshmen are so happy with their first week at Geneseo that it's helped them develop big plans for the future. Zach Aragosa hoped to find a "direction in life" while his peer Geoffrey Camanzo hoped to achieve "a better understanding of the business field and better social and people skills."
The Class of 2011 has brought with them fresh ideas and a fresh start, and at Geneseo, they hope they will continue to grow as individuals until their dreams become a reality.