What I Wish I Knew as a Freshman

Makayla Schindler, Staff Reporter

Life is crazy and always full of endings and new beginnings. Sometimes everything can get overwhelming and frustrating, and there may be cases in which we don’t know what to do. As a senior, I began to look back and think about all the things that I wish I would’ve known as a freshman. Then, I made it into a discussion with some of my friends at Fairmont State, where we all mentioned something that we wish we would’ve known coming into college. A few of these things include: 

  • How to change a major/minor (a senior recommended) 
  • Benefits of answering questions in class (a junior recommended) 
  • Texting the Library (a junior recommended) 
  • Falcon Center Entrances (a sophomore recommended) 
  • More Class Hours (a senior recommended)  

Changing a major or minor is something a lot of people think about at least once in their college career. It is a bit confusing to figure out and most people don’t know where to get this information. If interested in changing your major, minor, adding a concentration/minor, or removing a major, minor, or concentration, here is what you’re going to do. You’re going to go to the Turley Center and report to the self-servicing machine where you will click on the Student Services tab. A paper with a number will be printed out and your number will be called shortly. When the number is called, report to the person and tell them what you want to do, and they will hand you a Major/Minor/Concentration update form. You will fill out this form, it will also need an advisor’s signature or the Department Chair of whichever major you’re wanting to change to. Then return this form to the Turley Center and you’re good to go! 

When it comes to sitting in class, nobody wants to participate. Most people would be fine just listening to the professor talk until class is over. But what I have learned over the years is that participating and answering/asking questions will get you far. Some of the benefits to answering and asking questions in class are: 

  • Encourages students to engage with their work and each other 
  • Helps students think out loud 
  • Facilitates learning through active discussion 
  • Empowers students to feel confident about their ideas 
  • Improves speaking and listening skills 

Another benefit would also be making a connection with the professor. If a professor sees that you want to learn, they will continue to help you, especially if you need to come to them one-on-one. 

Now, I am not going to lie. I did not even know people could text the library until a friend brought it up the other day. But this small tip would’ve helped countless of times in the past. If you have any questions for or about the library, you can text them at (304) 908-4289 or call them at (304) 367-4121 or (304) 367-4733. This makes it much easier on a student so that nobody has to go all the way to the library to get a question answered, when you can just send a quick text or call! 

There are countless of ways to get into the Falcon Center, some in which could be real time savers if you know they are there! The first entrance a lot of people don’t know about is the door located on the second floor by the Nest and Student Government Association Office. It is facing Morrow Hall, and when you walk inside, Chick-Fil-A will be on the right! Another entrance I learned of through the years is going through Colebank Hall. Once you enter the building, go straight to the elevators and the top floor will bring you out into the offices by the Weightlifting/Gym section. Go straight through and you’re on the second-floor main area. 

One of the last things I thought about was taking more class hours when I first started out. I understand that most people base their hours off what they can handle, but personally I wish I would’ve started out as a full-time student. Of course, we don’t want anyone biting off more than they can chew, but some can handle it! I think that 16 credit hours a semester is a good way to get some to where they need to be in timely manner. The way I see it is if I can get my classes done faster, that is a step closer to me graduating sooner. It is okay to be a part-time student, students must do what is best for them and everything surrounding them in their lives. But I am recommending, if you can do it, I would do it!