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A tale of two first-years

First-years Johnna Headley and Brittany Salisbury share insight on commuting and on-campus living at TWU.

Johnna Headley, Reporter

At the beginning of the semester, a majority of first-year students at TWU were filing into their assigned dorm rooms in Stark, Guinn or Jones Hall. However, I was pulling into a parking lot with maroon curbs.

I am a first-year student at TWU – except I’m not. During my junior and senior years in high school, I accumulated 31 dual credit hours, making me a sophomore in college.

To give you some background information,  I guess I am what you would call a “legacy”  here at TWU. My mother, and  three of my aunts hold  Bachelor’s and/or Master’s degree with Texas Woman’s University’s name scrolled along the top.

The combination of this background information, the affordability and the Communication Sciences and Disorders B.S. program with a Speech-Language Pathology track is what ultimately led me to TWU.

Living 30 miles from campus, my experiences and outlooks as a first-year commuter student, in my opinion, differs from some of those living on campus that expected more of a party scene.

As a commuter student, I try to stay on campus as much as possible in order to stay involved. My awesome job as a reporter at The Lasso definitely allows me to do that, and I have met so many wonderful people.

As a requirement for all first-year students, I am taking University 1231. During the past few weeks, we have had class discussions about what college means to each of us individually.

I sat in class and listened to a majority of the on-campus students make comments like “TWU is so lame,” “This is definitely not a party school,” and “I am transferring to a better school next semester.” This, confirmed my assumptions that most first-years look forward to the party life at college – which is understandable – but are unsatisfied with living on campus and attending TWU – which is not understandable.

TWU is obviously not a party school, and I am definitely fine with that. To me, college has never meant having a wild party life, and it certainly never crossed my mind when choosing a university. This is why I think TWU, commuting and I make a good match.

TWU has several prominent and competitive programs like Nursing, Physical and Occupational therapy – and it is no different with the Speech therapy program. To me, the college experience is about doing everything academically possible to ensure a spot in those competitive programs.

I’ll admit, at the same time it is discouraging to opt out of the on-campus living option. It was honestly very hard for me to watch my friends move to far off towns, meet their roommates on social media, plan their dorm decorations and have that extra freedom while I was still at home.

My mom silently picked up on my feelings about this issue and has definitely given me space – the cat, not so much!

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First-years Johnna Headley and Brittany Salisbury of The Lasso staff.

Brittany Salisbury, Ad Manager

I feel like it was yesterday I was applying for college, seeking my future. Now I am here at Texas Woman’s University, and I wouldn’t change it.

I was ecstatic yet nervous about move-in day and who my roommate would be. I didn’t know if I was ready to leave home and truly be on my own, learning responsibilities. I didn’t know if I could manage my time, a social life and good grades. But the moment I stepped foot on campus the first day of class, I knew I was ready.

Coming from a small high school to a university was a scary thought, and I had all these expectations about college. On move-in day, I was scared that I was about to live with someone for a year who I’d never met. I didn’t know if she would like that I talk a lot or that I liked the room cold at night. I didn’t know her personality. I was worried for no reason. She is a blessing really; she is a true friend I thought I would never have. We help each other when we need to. We make sure neither one of us loses our minds throughout the semester.

I also faced the fear of leaving home, which could be a perk. Was I ready to leave home and live on my own? Normally, if I needed or wanted something, family was literally right next door. Now they are over an hour away. I do go home every weekend so I don’t worry as much.

The biggest struggle was learning how to manage class, homework, study time and a social life. I spend most of my time doing homework or catching up on sleep  because college is exhausting. I also had to learn new study tips to help me, which I never had to do in high school. The best part of my first-year is becoming a part of The Lasso staff. I was hesitant at first because I did not feel I could live up to the job. Now I am a part of this crazy wacky family,  and I love everything I have learned from it.

I am not going to say I have it all down, but I am comfortable. Whether or not the college life lived up to my expectations, my first semester here at TWU has been amazing. I am learning who I am as a person and what it takes to get where I want to be. I know that, in the end, everything I go through will be worth it.

One Comment

  1. Shelby Bradshaw Shelby Bradshaw November 18, 2015

    Love my best friend Johnna and miss you so much! So glad that TWU is treating you well!

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