Getting acquainted: adjusting to college life


It’s the beginning of a new school year for Newman University. New faces are appearing on campus and new friendships are being formed as this year’s freshmen move into Carrocci Hall, hustle into classrooms and begin the college grind.

Zowie Riedel and Michelle Tong are roommates in Carrocci Hall and are both learning to adjust to their new way of living. Riedel said she felt like she was left at summer camp for the first couple weeks, waiting for her forgetful parents to pick her up — they still haven’t remembered.

Zowie Riedel with her father in her new dorm.
Zowie Riedel with her father in her new dorm.

Learning how to live with a complete stranger can be quite a life adjustment.

“Living in a new place with new people involves a lot of learning. It’s been about learning how all of this is going to fit into my life now,” Tong said.

Luckily for Riedel and Tong, they communicated through texting before move-in day, which helped them each form an idea of what the other was like and what to expect.

Having something in common with your roommate can definitely help with the new living situation. For Riedel and Tong, it’s religion and their majors. They attend Mass together on Sundays, and both are majoring in the medical field, which helps with studying.

“It’s easy to talk to each other about classes or certain topics that we are struggling with,” Riedel explained.

Adjusting from high school life to college life is a change all new students need to make, whether it’s getting adjusted to the classes and their schedule or being away from family for a long period of time. The process can be fun and terrifying at the same time.

Riedel said her biggest challenge in maturing into college life is having to adjust to harder classes that require more effort and planning.

Michelle Tong poses with Evan Saga at Northeast Magnet High School, both received the Cardinal Newman Scholarship

Tong said living in the residence halls, becoming more independent from her family and not seeing them on a daily basis is something she struggles with.

“Luckily, I’m only a short drive away but I’m trying to work on using this time to focus on myself and my new life at Newman,” Tong said.

Among the stress and struggle, there is an abundance of excitement to moving to a new place, meeting new people and journeying to a new milestone in life.

“I’m looking forward to just getting through it all to show that I could do it and didn’t ever give up,” Riedel said.



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