Lessons learned from a first-year student

By Rhayna Kramer

Special to the Denisonian

“Believe me, once you get to college, you’re not even going to have time to think about pleasure reading.” As a voracious reader, hearing those words from my parents occasionally jarred my sensibilities and challenged my sanity, but I never really considered the possibility that that mindset would ever besiege me. I would make time for my books, which, just before college started, I continued to check out at a steady pace.

It’s been almost three full weeks into the school year, and I’ve not even had the slightest inclination to touch those library books.

One thing we first-years have discovered very quickly is the fact that, from the very first day, a plethora of assignments has pummeled us into capitulating to the almighty realm of academia. When professors casually suggest—rather than force–you keep up with the reading and not procrastinate on assignments, we’ve found that procrastination is not an option.

Gone are the days of composing a paper the night before and expecting your finished project, usually a bubbling cauldron of fluff, drivel and meaningless adjectives, to suffice before a professor’s eyes. While, fortunately enough, I’ve not yet been assigned a paper in any of my classes, I know that, soon enough—for the first time in my life—I will seek assistance and utilize the Writing Center’s resources to make that smooth transition into college writing.

Whatever my friends and I are discussing, all roads lead back to Denison’s academics. Daily discourse consistently consists of gauging who has the most assigned reading in each class, followed by narratives of our frequent bouts of existential crises.

Directly proportional to such crises is our habitual eating patterns. The “Freshman Fifteen” is alive and well. For all of the variety of options at Curtis and Huffman, a number of us can confidently agree: Slayter is life; there’s free Whit’s at every turn; Denison recently hosted a food truck—all things for which we would slosh and muddle through puddle and precipitation.

Having said all of that, I have enjoyed my experience at Denison thus far between the interesting classes I’m taking this semester–particularly Early British Literature and American History to 1865—the friendships I’ve made, and the collective outpouring of care following Wendell’s death—and coming back from three morning classes and finding that my mother’s home-cooked leftovers are still as scrumptious as the day she made them.