First-year students excited about upcoming semester

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Photo courtesy of Instagram/@unewhaven

First-year students pose at SOAR, New Haven, July 11, 2022.

Saige Batza, Student Life Editor

As the university prepares for the upcoming fall semester, it also welcomes incoming first-year students with open arms. Residential and commuter students alike excitedly await the start of the semester with the anticipation of good things to come.

The University of New Haven official Instagram account, @unewhaven, has been promoting the incoming class of 2026 on social media throughout the summer. Many students have even been featured on their page and have received warm welcomes from the existing university community.

Alexa Kowbel, first-year forensic science major, says that the forensics program and location of the university initially encouraged her to apply. Kowbel says she is looking forward to living on campus and meeting new people this semester. “In my opinion, other students could help make this transition easier for me and others just by being there to help us when we need it, if we have any questions and to encourage us along the way!”

Victoria Vaughn, an incoming criminal justice major, says that she felt at home when she took her first steps on campus. “One thing I’m looking forward to is getting to meet people and create new bonds and memories. Just helping and being there for one another would make my transition so much easier.”

Tessa McDonald, forensic science major, said that she initially considered the University of New Haven a trial run in her sophomore year of high school, before making her final decision. “I took a tour of the university, met with admissions counselors and fell in love with the campus.” McDonald says that she is looking forward to “learning more about something I have a passion for and meeting new people.” McDonald, who will be a resident, said she wants to feel comfortable. “I am moving from another state so definitely having that welcoming feeling will help with the adjustment and the change.”

Allisson Pena-Tavarez, general biology major, says that the softball program on campus initially inspired her to apply to the university. “I’m looking forward to meeting new people and discovering myself in a new setting while being active on school events and activities.”

Fire science major Mason Glines says his experience at the accepted students events are what attracted him to campus life and the university as a whole. “I felt like I was at home and, coming from California, it was what made me pick UNH.” On how the campus community can support new students in this transition, Glines says, “I think other students can help incoming freshmen by making sure we know where to go for classes and just make sure we are getting adjusted to college life.”

The university’s Orientation and Transition Leaders (OTLs) have partnered with the Center for Student Engagement, Leadership and Orientation (CSELO) to host student-led events that further embrace the Class of 2025 to the university community.

Sophomore Aiyannah Lewis, a psychology major, is one of the new orientation leaders on campus this summer. One of the most well-known orientation events that welcomes new students every summer is known as SOAR, the New Student and Transfer Orientation program.

Lewis says that her favorite aspect of leading SOAR this summer was getting to closely interact with the incoming first year students. “The OTLs are some of the first people that they meet on campus, so it was nice to get to know everyone. Our OTL groups sort of became a little family and it was truly amazing to see the students enjoying themselves.”

When asked what advice she would give to an incoming freshman, Lewis said, “to put yourself out there both in and outside the classroom. Being involved in class and on campus in general will open many doors for you!”

More information about upcoming events happening this semester can be found on Charger Connection.