First Year Experience Kicks Off with Banquet
First Year Experience (FYE) is a semester-long program designed to help incoming freshmen adjust to university life. The program kicks off the weekend before classes begin and includes the FYE Gateway Banquet, team building activities, and weekly classes with assignments that provide opportunities for students to become acquainted with the campus and the surrounding area.
At the program’s launch event, the FYE Gateway Banquet, Communication & Journalism instructor Liz Anderson interviewed a few of the students in the program.
Crystal Gonzalez found her way to WAU through her high school cheerleading coach at Pomona High School in Pomona, Calif. Her coach was an alumnus of the WAU Acro Airs. So Crystal decided to heed his advice and travel to Maryland to become an Acro flyer. At the time of the Gateway Dinner, Gonzalez, who had never visited Maryland before, had only been in the state for six days. “I really want to do good, and make my parents proud because I’m the first one to go to university and actually be in a dorm,” the nursing hopeful says. Gonzalez is also the first in her family to travel far away.
“I’m not nervous at all,” says Meagan Hess, a graduate of Spencerville Adventist Academy. “I grew up around here and my dad used to play at the field over here, so I’ve been here since I was, like, two.” Hess also feels comfortable because there are other Spencerville graduates starting out with her. They are used to the WAU community because they frequented the school for music and school events, but even though it’s familiar territory, she still wants to meet lots of people. Hess plans to become a doctor, so her main goal is “to ace all my classes because med school is really hard to get into.” Hess is also a member of the women’s softball team.
Edwin Sherman was born in Liberia, but found his way to WAU through the Internet after becoming Seventh-day Adventist. Sherman spent last fall semester at Oklahoma’s Seminole State College where he lived with his aunt. One day, a lady from a nearby Adventist church walked up to him and started to chat. “She told me to come to the church,” Sherman says. He didn’t want to go at first, but “I guess the Lord led me,” he says. When he went, he was met with such love that it drew him closer. Sherman delved into his bible and became a baptized Seventh-day Adventist. The theology major is looking forward to the year. “I can’t wait to get started,” he says.
Ellen Missah says she’s always wanted to attend an Adventist University, and WAU is the closest to her home. “I heard they have a very good nursing program here, and I’ve always wanted to be in the medical field,” she adds. While Missah isn’t really nervous about academics, she is a tad nervous about “the challenge of officially living alone in the dorm, going to classes, being on my own,” she says. But she believes hard work will pull her through this first year. Missah says it will be a lot like high school except there’s more reading and studying to do. “If you really do your best… anything is possible.”