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New dogs in the house

After being at UMBC for just over two months, the class of 2020 is beginning to feel at home in Baltimore. Moving to college is often one of the biggest and most daunting changes seventeen and eighteen-year-olds have yet undertaken.

While some students dive right into university life, others find it more difficult to acclimate to a new environment away from home. Fortunately, UMBC’s freshman class is adjusting well to life as Retrievers.

In a survey conducted on the class of 2020 Facebook page, 12.5 percent of the 152 responding freshmen responded that they were a five on the one to five scale of satisfaction offered, meaning that they are extremely satisfied with their experience at UMBC thus far, while an additional 67.76 percent responded with a four.

Many freshmen have been pleased with the people they’ve met on campus, the diversity and the many community activities offered by organizations such as the Student Events Board. From ping pong tournaments in the dorms to events like Big Crazy Fun Night, Breakfast and Bingo and soccer games, students in the class of 2020 have been busy having fun and getting involved in campus life.

The freshman class has expressed appreciation for opportunities such as Involvement Fest that promoted participation in the school’s community, and are now trying to find the right balance between their social lives and their academics.

Freshman global studies major Maheen Haq said, “I was scared I wouldn’t find (passion) here,” but she has been thrilled to find that her academics and social justice work, once separate areas of her life, are now completely intertwined. She indicated that this makes her “feel impassioned,” has made her “into a more intellectual person,” and has ignited her love to be around other “conscious and deep social thinkers.”

The freshmen 2020 class has generally echoed this sentiment, excited to be more in control of their academics for the first time with other people who genuinely care about learning.

Although many students have been delighted with what they have found at UMBC, they still harbor some complaints. While some students lament the gratuitous number of stairs and a disappointing dearth of milkshakes at Chick-fil-A, others were more seriously displeased with the lack of student life on campus on the weekends.

Despite this being many freshmen’s first experience living away from home, many find themselves returning to their hometowns after classes on Friday simply because of a paucity of activities and people on campus. Other freshmen have found it difficult to adjust to the workload of college classes and complain of unreliable and finicky internet access throughout the campus.

The transition into college can be scary for many, but the class of 2020 has taken it in stride. Despite frustration over a shortage of things to do on the weekends, freshmen have generally expressed pleasure with the sense of community they have found on campus.

Freshman theatre major Nicholas Melicosta said “This is the first time I’ve felt actually accepted in a while,” continuing on to say that he has had an amazing time at UMBC so far.

With four full years still ahead for the class of 2020, this nonetheless seems to be a promising start for a new litter of bright young Retrievers.