Making the Best of Your FYE

Yes, you might have an annoying person in your class that was not ready for college and complains about being assigned a three page paper. Yes, your peer facilitator might seem like they ate too much sugar that day, and every day. Yes it might seem too easy of a class. Yes, it might seem too hard of a class. The First Year Experience or “FYE” is a class, or classes, that put freshman together to help the transition into college and make friends. But College of Charleston’s First Year Experience will shape your whole college experience.

 You will become very close to your professor(s). They will listen to not only your concerns for this class but  will check in with you about your college life as a whole. The professor(s) you have for your FYE are the  perfect people to become close to for advice, recommendation letters and connections in their fields. I went  on to have both of my FYE professors for classes again, and I went out of my way to do so because they had  made such an impact on me.

 At first I definitely did not like my peer facilitator. She did an ice breaker every class,  which meant you had to  stand up every class and tell everyone something ridiculous about yourself like what your spirit animal is  and what song you would ride into a crowded room to, while of course riding in on your pre decided spirit  animal, the topics we covered seemed to be a waste of time and she seemed too  excited to be teaching this  seemingly worthless class. But after a few classes I fell in love with her. She made an effort to know every one of us and genuinely wanted to know how we were doing. She opened up about her  struggles when she was entering college and made sure we knew our struggles we  just as justified even if they were smaller than hers or anyone  else's. The topics she covered seemed to be common knowledge but I did end up learning a lot, about campus  and about how I should live my freshman year and beyond. At our last class I was sad to leave her, but we all got our social media and still stay in touch.

 An important thing to think about when you’re looking through the many options of FYE’s is to choose one you’re interested in and thinking of potentially majoring in. Odds are  in doing that you will be surrounded by like minded people; and maybe a few who were stuck with their 3rd or 4th choice and just wanted to get their FYE out of the way. For  me, and many other people if you find one that you want to major in, the people in your FYE will be in a lot of your classes in the next four years and it’s always good to see a  familiar face on the first day of a new semester, and to have a study buddy you already know!

 Last and I think most important is friends! The friends I made in my First Year Experience are the ones I have held onto and went on to live with. Having multiple hours of  classes a week, in my case 7 hours a week, with the same people really helps form strong friendships. Our class had a group message where we complained about upcoming assignments, laughed at funny things that happened in class, and set times to study together outside of the classroom. Some of my FYE classmates have since transferred to other schools but we still talk. While you meet people at parties, club meetings, dorms and through mutual friends, I think my strongest friendships I made in  college were the one’s I met in my First Year Experience.


All images provided by Gabrielle Czymbor