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My Freshmen Year

By chillen07 Feb 13, 2012 858 Words
My freshmen year

My freshmen year gives an objective look into the ideal freshmen year of college experienced by anthropologist Rebekah Nathan. From this
experience Nathan wrote about her first year as a college student. Nathan’s story attempts to show the social and academic expectancy of a student entering college. Nathan gave her personal accounts of freshmen life by
communicating her experience in the dorm, study habits, general
student interactions, and demographic. When comparing student life at Albion to that depicted in Nathan’s account, I could make generalizations but as Nathan also found, no student or campus is alike. To start, Albion College is a small college with a small student
body while the school Nathan attended was very large, so one would guess
there will be differences in what an Albion student would experience
and what Nathan experienced. Nathan had the disadvantage of being an
older women in a world of young adults that were at the least thirty years her junior. Nathan found it difficult at first to be accepted by other freshmen. Many thought she was a parent or just someone who did not belong. Although I didn’t experience this my freshmen year at Albion College, Nathan’s account of college dorms seemed to be similar to that of most freshmen in colleges today. The halls in freshmen dorms tend to be decorated in the personality of the occupants. One thing I noticed was outward decorations of a person’s room often reflects the occupant’s study habits, an area explored by Nathan. Nathan found generally students with busy class schedules do what is important first and the lesser important work tends to wait until they “find the time”. I would say this action is common among the majority students. As the workload increases for the student, things are pushed to the side for reasons such as personal relationships, exhaustion, or other more pending assignments.  I’d like to point out that Nathan, as a professor, had her pick of classes which most freshmen do not and made a schedule that worked best for her own interest. In most cases, college freshmen choose classes from what is leftover and most often have to squeeze unwanted classes into a challenging class schedule. Void of a troubling class schedule, Nathan used her time for
observing what other students did with their free time. Student
interaction with new peers is one of the major aspects of a freshmen
year in any college. Student relations on college campuses are a tradition of all new students entering a first year of an educational institution. Many accounts of Nathan’s interactions with students I would deem subjective and skewed. I feel Nathan’s 
interactions with students are skewed because most college freshmen, fresh out of the house, probably would not want to open up to someone much older than themselves. Nathan’s interactions with international students, she found a slight alienation of that demographic of students. The complaints were that American students often show little interest in the international students and they are often left to explore the new country on their own. During Nathan’s initial experience in the freshmen dorm she noticed that friendships are made within the first week of classes, then it is hard to penetrate a new group of friends. Therefore with a possible, language barriers, difference of customs, or just awkwardness of different upbringings, may be the cause for this alienation. I would say there is a higher percentage of international
individuals that experience this at Albion College because of the
demographic of students here. Albion College students, for
the most part, are upper middle class white kids. Bigger schools tend to have a wider demographic of race and class, which often makes a melting pot of mingling people. Making friends is the ability to find common
interests with others. Therefore, someone from another country may find it
hard to make a connection with someone a different nationality due to
customary differences. Nathan’s depiction of the typical college student gives the picture that students often are “goof offs” and use college as a social club instead of a place that is meant to promote intellectual growth. Where this may be the norm at larger institutions, I would have to disagree with making this generalization for all schools. Albion College students take their education more serious than those from other state colleges. Many students at Albion are focused to continue on to a higher-ranking graduate school or job and
realize that taking school with a serious attitude is the way to do
that. Nathan’s account of freshman life is realistic because it is her own
experience but it is not typical in some aspects for an Albion student. 
Nathan’s initial interactions with students were hard pressed to find
but slowly subsided. Nathan experienced dorm behaviors typical to all freshmen dorms and the structure of student relationships. The similarities between Nathan’s book My Freshmen Year and Albion College are apparent and typical to every college campus but her subjective experience isn’t typical to a student at Albion.

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