As the new academic year approaches, current University students shared five things they wish they knew before arriving at the Hall.
The vast amount of resources available on campus
Allyssa Villanueva, a rising junior nursing major, said she wished she knew how easy it is to receive tutoring.
She noted the difficulty of adjusting to a new routine, as she transitioned from being a regular high school student athlete, whose obligations were only school and track, to a nursing student who juggled seven classes while commuting from home.
In the second semester of her freshman year, however, she said she learned that all the services here at Seton Hall are meant to help students succeed.
“Applying for tutoring was easy for me because you don’t even have to do it in person, you can do it online,” Villanueva said. “I was able to save myself from becoming too nervous to not even ask for a tutor.”
Selam Woldegermia, a rising physics major, also said advisers have general knowledge to give students insights on how college works, but it is the student’s responsibility to find out what specifically works for them.
“Dig out and find resources from the moment you are on campus because you are the one who knows what you want better than anyone else,” Woldegermia said. “Advisers are just there to make sure you are taking the right steps.”
Lack of diversity
Selam Woldegerima, a rising junior physics major, said she was surprised by Seton Hall’s lack of diversity in geographical origin and ethnicity.
“A lot of students that come to Seton Hall are from New Jersey or from very close by states, which limits the experience of learning about different cultures,” she explained. “The same goes to scarcity of ethnic diversity. What I read about Seton Hall’s diversity while researching about it is significantly higher from the reality of the diversity that is represented on campus.”
As an international student from Ethiopia, Woldegerima said her perspective might be a little different because a lot of things were a shock to her. She said she largely attributed this to cultural shock that she would have experienced regardless.
Commuting is no walk in the park
Villanueva said she wished someone had warned her about the difficulties of commuting.
In her senior year of high school, she recounted how teachers always gave advice about living at college, which included doing laundry, learning how to cook food and balancing time between work and play. She said they failed to bring up the lifestyle of a commuter, however.
“I wish someone warned me about the Garden State Parkway or the early morning traffic, so I could mentally prepare myself,” Villanueva said. “Making a 45-minute commute to school and back is not fun.”
Nursing students begin their college career taking classes on the main campus in South Orange. In the spring of their sophomore year, nursing students then attend classes at the Interprofessional Health Sciences Campus in Nutley, New Jersey. While the school does provide round trip transportation with a shuttle, the times and availability offered by the shuttle are limited.
Seton Hall can be a “home away from home”
Kebede attributed the African Student Association (ASA) as a good experience at Seton Hall.
Kebede, who came to the United States in August of 2017 as a freshman from Ethiopia, said she experienced a big cultural shock. She commented that the lifestyle was very different from back home, and readjusting to that system by herself was very hard.
“In that regard, ASA helped me connect with people who have had the same experience I did,” Kebede said. “Most of the e-board and general body members are from Africa, so we share the same type of lifestyle back home. ASA kind of became a home away from home.”
Villanueva said she found herself seeing Seton Hall in a similar light. She said she hadn’t known anyone coming into freshman year, and a lot of her friends were going to Rutgers.
She added though that soon the friends she made became family in an instant. Villanueva said that they would even invite her to sleep in their dorm whenever she needed to stay late on campus.
“Sometimes I call Seton Hall my ‘home away from home’ because it’s where I spent most of my time, and it’s where I found my second family, the Filipino League at Seton Hall (FLASH),” Villanueva said.
Kristel Domingo can be reached at email@example.com.