Freshmen reflect on first taste of college life

Courtesy Marissa Koehnlein | Marissa Koehnlein is a freshman health sciences major at Duquesne.

Nicholas Zotos | staff writer

Dec. 2, 2021

With the semester coming to a close, freshmen across Duquesne’s campus have successfully braved their first full semester of college. The frustrations and dreams of the first semester of college are winding down, and now many have fully embraced what it means to be a Duquesne student. 

After an unconventional senior year of high school, freshmen nationwide have had to adjust to college life through the pandemic. 

“All of my professors at Duquesne have been super supportive during the pandemic,” said Jake Mazurkiewicz, a data science major. “I feel as if not much has changed because of the guidance I have received. Also, I enjoy how Duquesne encourages us to be mindful of other peoples health while we are enrolled in class.” 

 “It makes adjusting a lot easier,” he said. 

Freshman Sydney Mundok, a health sciences major, said there are so many things she enjoys about Duquesne — including its “small campus vibe” and the ability to walk down A-Walk and see her friends. However, one of the things she dislikes is how quiet the campus gets on weekends. 

“I dislike how so many people go home,” she said.  

Adjusting to college — something that can be tricky for first-year students, even without the pandemic — was something the university did well, said Jennifer Herron, a psychology major.   

“Duquesne was very open and allowed me to adjust well during the pandemic,” she said. “I was also really surprised by how welcoming everyone was within my major and how quickly I made new friends.”

Herron also said she liked that her professors were willing to help. The theme of professors and staff being helpful was one that echoed across all schools and disciplines.

“I think the biology department at Duquesne is amazing. I love how supportive the professors are, especially in helping during labs. I also like how as freshmen we are able to conduct research through the Bayer School,” said Maria Werner, a biology major. 

But, first-year students did take note of some pet-peeves they have with Duquesne: mainly the elevator speed.

“While I do enjoy the fact that they have a club lacrosse team and a comprehensive food service that fits my needs, there are so many things that can be changed about Duquesne,” said health sciences major Marissa Koehnlein. “The elevators in Towers should be faster. During weekdays I feel everyone is late to class because of them. Also the library should open up earlier on the weekend.”