So, you’ve made it through your first year and now you’ve got this whole “college thing” down, right? Well, it can certainly feel that way. But your Second Year is the time to challenge yourself. It’s the time to start focusing on new opportunities to learn and grow as a student and as an individual. Read on for our guide to making the most out of this year at Westfield State University.
Welcome to Westfield State University! You made it; you’re officially a college student. Now what? Your first year at school can be exciting, overwhelming, confusing, amazing and challenging. There’s a lot to take in between all of the classes, students, and faculty. Lucky for you, we’re breaking down the Westfield Student Experience and giving you a guide to each year. Check out our tips for college freshmen and what to expect during your First Year, below.
The Fall 2016 semester brought the beginning of the Westfield State Honors Mentoring Program. Despite formally starting in the fall, the program’s impact on students began over the summer. Olivia Barbeau, a first-year student in the Honors Program, said, “the Mentoring Program has helped me to adapt better to the Westfield community since I was able to text my mentor all summer. I liked that I got to know a familiar face on campus before I even got here.”
For me, one of the most important factors to consider when choosing a college was the study abroad options. Once I explored the endless possibilities for studying abroad offered at Westfield, I knew it was the right place for me. Freshmen year, I jumped right in and joined the short-term course to Nicaragua and, cheesy as it may sound, it changed my life. Spending our days digging and moving cinder blocks, it seemed that the more I sweat and worked, the deeper I fell in love with Nicaragua. In the afternoons, we introduced some of the children at Nueva Esperanza school to educational games on tablets. As a Special Education major, this part of the day was always my favorite and I loved every second of my time spent in the classroom. Two weeks in Nicaragua was not enough time and in my heart, I knew I would return.
Asking a bunch of high school seniors what they want to do for the rest of their lives can be pretty tricky. On the one hand, they are about to start a brand new chapter in their education that will hopefully set them on the right path for years to come. On the other hand, they're still trying to figure things out. How could they know what degree they will want to hold in four years or what job they will want to spend the next forty years doing? Opinions, needs, and likes are constantly changing, and so is the world. What is a highly sought after job today might not be that in-demand tomorrow. That’s where the benefits of a liberal arts degree come in.
Between a busy social life and an even busier academic schedule, it can seem like there isn’t enough time in the day to get it all done, especially during your freshmen year. Here are some of our tips for college freshmen for staying on top of your to-do list and still getting in a little “me time.”
Let me be the first to tell you that my decision to come play baseball at Westfield State was one of the best decisions I have made. As a senior in high school, I always dreamed ofbeing an athlete in college and playing baseball at a prestigious institution with the hopes of getting looked at to play after college. Oh how small-minded I was at the time! When things fell through at other schools I was looking at, I decided to go to Westfield State in the fall of 2013 to further my education and baseball career. What I did not know at that time was the amount of character I would develop and the long-lasting relationships I would build throughout my tenure here.
Athletics at Westfield State go beyond what you’d find in your typical high school P.E. class. Quidditch, anyone?
At Westfield, sports teams are separated into three different categories: varsity, club and intramural. Together, all three form the Westfield State Athletic Department, which is overseen by Richard (Dick) Lenfest. Let's explore how to improve your college experience through sports.
Imagine a ballroom packed with undergraduate students flanked by their research posters. The room hums as students discuss topics ranging from cellular biology to electoral politics to creative writing. At the Massachusetts Statewide Undergraduate Research Conference (MURC), held each April at UMass, Amherst, Westfield State students joined more than 1000 of their peers from across the commonwealth for a day-long exchange of research and creative work. Of the 48 Westfield State students who participated, many are members of the Honors Program; quite a few were first-year students.