As students slowly start arriving back to campus for the new academic year, there are a lot of different emotions first-year students may be feeling – excitement for the opportunity to get involved and build relationships with those on campus, nervousness for what the first day of classes may hold or even nostalgia as they leave behind a chapter of their lives. Five Bluffton University students shared with us why they’re excited to start this new journey at Bluffton.
“I came to Bluffton because the first time I visited, I fell in the love with the beautiful campus and how welcoming the people made it,” said first-year student Claire Myree, an English major from Cincinnati, Ohio.
Myree, an aspiring lawyer, states her experience living in the city made Bluffton’s community-focused atmosphere surprising but attractive.
“Bluffton is very different compared to my hometown,” Myree said. “I come from a bigger city and Bluffton is the exact opposite, but I love it here!”
Lilian MtCastle, an art and writing major from Ludlow Falls, Ohio, comes to Bluffton with a different perspective. As a “small town girl,” MtCastle said Bluffton is very similar to her hometown.
“The Bluffton communityis peaceful, the people are extremely caring, the campus is friendly and very scenic and the town is small and beautiful,” MtCastle exclaimed. “It reminds me so much of home.”
MtCastle stated that a main draw to the university was its four enduring values.
“I came to Bluffton so I would get to do what I love,” said MtCastle. “Bluffton’s values match perfectly with what I wanted.”
Homesickness is a common symptom for first-year students. Scarlett Purtee is no exception, but the excitement for her new life at college and her experiences so far counteract that feeling.
“I loved the freshmen-specific activities,” said Purtee, an exercise science major from Richwood, Ohio. “Paint-U was my favorite part of Welcome Weekend.”
Purtee claims Bluffton is much like her hometown, and paired with her impression of the welcoming students and staff, she is looking forward to seeing what comes next.
Sydney Cobb, a first-year student majoring in chemistry and pre-med, is from another small town – Archbold, Ohio. Cobb’s draw to Bluffton came from its Mennonite-based mission and core values.
“They really build a sense of community,” Cobbs stated. “It’s pretty and very calm; it isn’t much different from my hometown.”
Cobbs also pointed out the genuine interest others have in students, especially freshmen.
Leslie Beasley, a resident adviser from Columbus,Ohio, is one of those people.
“My favorite part about being an RA is being able to connect with the residents on my floor,” said Beasley. “It doesn’t matter if they are freshmen or upperclassmen – we can all still learn from each other.”
Beasley, a sophomore social work major, also mentioned her love for freshmen move-in weekend.
“I absolutely love all of the activities we get to do with the freshmen,” said Beasley. “I get to help the freshmen get excited and acclimated to the college life!”
The common theme stemming from these students’ impression of the first few days on campus is no surprise to Bluffton University veterans: people, relationships and community.