First Year Student Perspectives

First Year Student Perspectives

Posted in on January 31, 2020

As all who have made the leap from high school to post-secondary education know, university is an exciting chapter in an individual’s educational career. The transition from high school to university brings with it many new and unexplored opportunities, such as moving away from home and developing relationships with individuals from diverse backgrounds and cultures.

That being said, everyone’s university experience is different. In fact, each year at university tends to vary from the last as students make more friendships, take different courses, and become increasingly independent. For this reason, I decided to catch up with a few first year students to see how they fared during their first full semester of university.

three first-year students

Left to right: Sophia Rennick, Duncan Schotanus, and Katelyn Estey

Has university been what you expected?

Sophia Rennick, Bachelor of Arts: Honestly, university has been a bigger change than what I expected. I spent a lot of my first semester trying to meet new people and get a solid support system before working on my school responsibilities. Now that I know what my professors are looking for, I feel much more prepared this semester!

Duncan Schotanus, Bachelor of Science: I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect about Crandall and my classes, but I did expect people to be happy to be here and from what I have seen everyone is very thankful to be here.

Katelyn Estey, Christian Foundations Certificate: University has been a good experience so far. It has been better than what I have expected in a lot of ways!

Have you noticed any changes in yourself since starting university?

Sophia: I feel more independent because I hardly go home even though I only live about an hour away. I also just genuinely feel good about being here, having my own choices, and learning to develop self-discipline.

Duncan: I have become a lot more thoughtful and attentive, both inside and outside of class.

Katelyn: I’ve noticed a few changes.  I’ve had to become more self-reliant and learn to wake myself up, find my classes, and talk to people on my own. I’ve also seen changes in my learning style as I was homeschooled in high school and have had to learn how to adapt to the university style of learning.

What’s your favorite part about Crandall?

Sophia: The atmosphere of Crandall is so warm and inviting. Finding new friends and a strong support system was easy for me because of the people and the atmosphere.

Duncan: The people here. The staff and the students are what make Crandall truly unique. The atmosphere is also one of a kind. Crandall is very energetic and alive. You feel invited and welcome here.

Katelyn: My favorite part about Crandall is the people that I have met and friends that I have made here!

What’s the best advice you’ve received about adjusting to university?

Sophia: “Read the course syllabi and stick to those dates.” If it wasn’t for that advice, I’m not sure how I would have gotten through first semester.

Duncan: “Study ahead of time,” and “it’s okay if you mess up.” Use mistakes as a way to improve and better yourself.

Katelyn: The best advice that I have received about adjusting to university was from my older brother, Nathan, who came to Crandall a few years ago. He told me to participate in all of the fun events that Crandall provides so that I could get to know people and make friends.

The First Year Experience

Congratulations to all the first year students for making it this far into your respective programs. Finish the remainder of the semester strong! Remember that, while the transition to university can at times be challenging, it brings with it many avenues to growth. Lastly, keep in mind that everyone’s path in university is unique, and each new year brings with it a whole new experience with its own set of joys and challenges.


Check out these admissions events for winter 2020

Campus Visit Day – February 9-10, 2020

Crandall Preview Day – February 24, 2020


Crandall University is Atlantic Canada’s leading Liberal Arts University rooted in the Christian Faith, with undergraduate programs in Arts, Business Administration, Science, and Education, and graduate programs in Education and Organizational Management. To learn more, visit crandallu.ca or call 1‑888-968-6228.