Freshmen biology majors Caroline Murray and Meghan Murray stand in the dorm room they have shared for the past five months. Kellen Jenkins/ The Bulletin
The spring semester is well under way and the fresh beginnings of fall are nothing but a distant memory now. Some students are preparing to graduate, but for freshmen, it is a time of settling into what is now the more familiar experience of going to college.
There are many things running through the minds of freshmen at this time. They wonder if this is the school for them, what they are going to do after graduation and some are praying that they will make it through the semester. Whatever the case may be, it is a certainty that much has changed since they first came to ESU.
Yet again, we take a look at the lives of four freshmen, Meghan Murray, Caroline Murray, Will Smith and Lei Zhang, as they trudge forward toward the end of their freshman year.
Caroline and Meghan Murray, twin sisters from Olpe, are still working hard to pursue biology degrees. Caroline seems confident in this semester, but Meghan is nervous because she is taking difficult classes.
“It will be harder than last semester,” Meghan said. “I’ve got (chemistry), biology and zoology. It’s awesome, but I just have to study, study, study.”
For winter break, they spent time with family and friends they hadn’t seen in a while and visited Grandby Ranch at Sol Vista Basin, Colo., where they went snowboarding. It was Caroline’s first time.
“It was fun,” Caroline said. “By the second day, I was fine. The first day, I was trying to figure it out, but then it was fun. It was a blast… we actually drove back on the 24th, Christmas Eve. I didn’t want to do that, but we celebrated Christmas the next day.”
The sisters are still a part of Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority and plan to move into the house next year. This semester, they have also taken up the responsibility of being ESU Ambassadors.
“I think the more involved you are, the more fun you have,” Meghan said. “It can be stressful sometimes, but overall it’s fun because you can meet a lot of new people.”
The sisters also said that they are excited for spring break, when they may go to Florida, and for summer, when they will travel to Arizona with their best friend and Meghan will get her Certified Nurse’s Assistant license.
Although Will Smith, criminology major from Wylie, Texas, had a good time last semester, it was more difficult than he expected.
“It was a lot tougher school-wise and with time management,” Smith said. “I’ve enjoyed living in the dorms. I can’t wait to have my own apartment though, more privacy. But I get along with pretty much everyone in the dorms.”
Smith has continued to practice middle-distance with the cross country team, even throughout the cold of winter. He practices every day, except for the weekends, and has been going to morning practices on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 6 a.m. For winter break, he went back home to Texas.
“My break was really good,” Smith said. “I hung out with family a lot, hung out with some friends I haven’t seen in a while, of course hung out with my girlfriend and I worked a little bit, trying to get a little money before I came back,” Smith said.
Smith’s classes are divided fairly equally between general education courses and major courses. Some classes he is taking are Psychology, Intimate relationships, Community Corrections and Anthropology.
“I feel great about this semester,” Smith said. “I’ve got good classes and I feel like I can do a lot better this semester, grade-wise and practicing, you know… I enjoy all of my classes, it’s a lot better than last semester. They seem pretty interesting. I would say Community Corrections is probably my favorite one overall,” Smith said.
Although Smith may be from Texas, Lei Zhang, accounting major, has him beat when it comes to distance away from home. Zhang is a Chinese student who is planning to go to school here for four years before graduation.
“At summer, I will go back to China for three months, then come back to ESU,” Zhang said. “Just like the American students, I will stay until we graduate, then I will go back to China.”
Zhang explained that she wishes to live in China because there is more job availability there. For winter break, Zhang stayed at a friend’s apartment and she visited Chicago for Thanksgiving.
“Someone told me that Chicago was the second biggest city in America, so I wanted to go there,” Zhang said. “When I went there, it rained and was very cold, so the first and second day weren’t that good, but the last day was good. It was very big and the buildings were tall, it’s just like Shanghai in China – it’s very lovely.”
Last semester, she only took three Intensive English Program courses and Composition I, and she is feeling anxious about this semester because she is taking a larger variety of classes – 17 hours total. On top of that, Zhang still feels the difficulties of living so far from home.
“I think it’s very hard because it’s a different life,” Zhang said. “The biggest difficulty is language and customs…I think the biggest difficulty is that I’m homesick. I miss my pare