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Column: Through thrills and trials, the college freshman experience changes our perspectives

First Day of School

Students go to and from classes on the first day of school on Aug. 17.

Adulthood. What is it, and how hard can it be?

College freshmen across the country are discovering the answers to these questions this semester.

Every OSU student and professor has, at one time, been a college freshman. With the thrill of new freedoms and the fear of new responsibilities, the freshman experience might be one of the most life-enriching adventures we will have the chance to live.

Through their first three weeks in Stillwater, freshmen have encountered the positive and negative aspects of starting college. First-year student Sofia Valdez from Perkins expressed the most liberating aspect of moving away from home.

"I like the freedom,” Valdez said. “Not having to answer to (my parents). I love the ability to do what I want when I want to do it, choosing my schedule."

New freedom can feel amazing and make freshmen feel as if they're indestructible. However, the ironic quirk of freedom is that it is never free. With freedom comes great power, and as we know, great power comes with great responsibility.

At one time or another in a person's freshman experience, they realize they have become like Icarus, and they've flown too close to the sun. Trials are always waiting to be abruptly discovered. Valdez also admitted she initially did not handle her new responsibilities wisely.

"I made the mistake of downloading TikTok," Valdez said. "I definitely was late for my first class that day."

On a more serious note, first-year students are now understanding the price they pay for education, both literally and figuratively. Freshman Trevor Usry from Enid expressed his shock when he became fully aware of the literal price of his education.

"Money," Usry said. "Realizing how much everything really is. Paying for it yourself is not as great as you would really think."

It is important to remember that everyone at one time or another has lived through acclimating to change just as the OSU freshmen are doing now. Everyone here on campus understands and remembers what it was like to be new to college life.

If you're not a first-year student and this article has given you a fun moment to reminisce and review memories, remember to be patient and helpful to those who are living through this experience now. And if you're a freshman, never forget you are not alone.

news.ed@ocolly.com