Starting college is full of excitement, anticipation, nerves and change. For freshmen and transfer students, the beginning of the year is a time of adjustment and acclimation. .While the adjustment period is a different beast for each individual, it can also be a different beast for those starting in the spring semester as opposed to the fall.
Each spring semester, California Baptist University gains incoming freshmen. This spring experience can differ in many ways from the experience of a fall start. There are both pros and cons to starting in spring versus fall.
While classes are new each semester, social groups and bonds may already be established. This can be a challenge for incoming freshmen.
It can also pose an issue for freshmen who are assumed to be in their second semester. As other students and faculty may not realize that a student is in his or her first semester, they may not be as forward with engaging those students and giving them the aid that all new freshmen need. This places more pressure on the spring freshmen and transfer students to actively engage in social activities and
seek academic aid.
Randy Vitrano began his freshman year in the spring semester of 2015.
“It was a little bit harder just because I didn’t really know what to do and when I should do it so that wasn’t the best
experience,” Vitrano said. “I wish I had someone to help a little.”
Despite these challenges, Vitrano said that joining the CBU community was one of the best experiences of his life.
Freshmen are not the only students that face challenges when it comes to joining a university in the spring semester. Spring also brings in many transfer students whose challenges might lie in the fact that they are also new to CBU but not the college life in general.
Meghna Verma, junior health science major, joined the CBU community this semester after transferring from Crafton Hills College.
Verma’s decision to transfer to CBU was prompted by her desire to be closer to home.
“I decided to commit to CBU because it was close to home,” Verma said,
“I have always been with my family through thick and thin and would not want the university I attend to change that.”
Verma said her experience this semester has been good but she feels as though she might have missed out on some of the experiences of the fall semester.
“One thing I have noticed is that I missed out on many of the incoming activities for the new school year,”
Bryce Burditt, assistant director of Undergraduate Admissions, noted that starting in the spring could possibly be difficult for students simply because it is not as common to
begin in the spring semester.
Although for some students beginning in the spring semester makes more sense logistically or personally.
“I would recommend students start whenever makes sense for them,” Burditt said, “It just depends on the student.”
Burditt also said that although spring start is not the traditional route, that does not mean that those students will not be successful.
“Freshmen that start in the spring should take initiative to get to know people,” Burditt said. “Their education and their experience at CBU is
going to be in their hands, so they should decide what they want to get out of the experience.
It’s going to require some work;
“(It) may be a little bit uncomfortable at times, but if they put in the effort to become part of the community here, it will be worth it.”