Students on the Internet: First-year students: “What did you learn from your START experience?”

Amy LeClair SOTI What did new students get out of the START experience?

Eden Todd, News Contributor

Amy LeClair

“The START experience was really helpful in figuring out my class schedule with an advisor and meeting other students during the small group session. One of my favorite sessions was the University Resource Fair in getting an idea of interested clubs, activities, and job opportunities. I learned about different and important skills needed for being at OSU, including community buildings, class credits, and living/dining on campus. The Dollars and Sense session had the most valuable new information because of advice to keep track of payments, total campus costs, and overall resources in dealing with money. Although I learned lots of new helpful information, it would have been cool to learn about some personal advice from current students based on their college experiences. To improve the START program, it would be helpful to have more time or support in figuring out what classes to take the first term since I was unsure, so I asked lots of questions.”

Bryce Lambert

“From the START experience, I found out about what events and activities there are, was able to make a plan about how to get properly settled moving in,  and where to go for college life including certain resources. After my session ended, I’m looking forward to OSU even more! 

I learned a little more about what the community at OSU is like, as well as how the schedule and credit system works. There was also a little more info tied to my major and what opportunities they provide, which I hadn’t heard about before.

I feel like there could’ve been more talk about how exactly scheduling itself works. I was able to figure it out just fine and the advisor meetings are very helpful and easy to understand, though I do feel like more details on at least the base courses that every college student has to take would be helpful for those who would like to know.

The program could use a little more time going over specific required college courses.”

Emma Legault

I received a bunch of information and became instantly connected with a bunch of other like-minded students through the Discord server. Since we’re all experiencing the same sort of problems, it’s truly inspiring seeing everyone coming together to help others out and solve those problems they’re having, talking about complex and sometimes silly topics, and just connecting with a totally new group of people (which I think is something we all need right about now, now that our new normal is becoming a little clearer). Being able to connect with people who have similar interests has allowed (and continues to allow) me to find little niche communities that I can relate to others in.

I realized and learned again the important lesson of advocating for yourself. You won’t accomplish your goals and dreams if you don’t take charge of them for yourself. In order to solve problems that arise—in my case trying to schedule all of the classes I wanted—I needed to send lots of emails to my major advisor. I could have just as easily sat back and done nothing, but actively choosing to grab my future with two hands is crucial in having a future I’m proud of.”

Anastasia DezaRae Swann

“As a freshman coming from a small town in Southern California, the prospect of moving my entire life to Oregon is exhilarating, but also scary. I don’t know anything about the area, nor the school culture or structure. START was able to appease a lot of my worries, and answer questions I didn’t realize I was pondering over. I was able to get a look at the diversity of my graduating class, and see what kinds of people I was going to be learning and living alongside. Overall, START was a great experience for me, and I was excited for each session that I attended.

I actually took notes while each session was going on. I struggle a lot with retaining information from presentations, but the START presenters were great at relaying a lot of information in such a condensed amount of time. They smoothly provided resources, concise explanations to said resources, and answers to questions asked by attendees who either unmuted or typed in chat. A lot of the topics they discussed were surprising, like the Counseling and Psychological Services provided by the university, and the ability to gain certifications through adventure classes. I was really impressed by the START sessions and the information they provided. They really reasserted that attending OSU was an amazing decision.

I wish I could’ve learned more about the culture at OSU. A lot of START was dedicated to services, tools, and more basic information, which is understandable for college orientation. For me, though, I wish there could’ve been a session dedicated to student life. Are there student traditions at OSU, and if so what are they? What makes the community unique? Do upperclassmen have tips, tricks, hacks, etc. for incoming students? I already feel an attachment to the school from simply seeing basketball game clips, but I really wish there was an official way to really get an understanding of the student body.”