By Brooke Eastman ‘25, Staff Writer
For the last year, or possibly longer for others, students have been completing classes fully remote or with a hybrid system. However, this fall, St. John Fisher College welcomed returning students, and the class of 2025, completely in person.
“It’s kind of a lot coming from doing online schooling and having like zero homework, barely going to classes, but I feel like anything it’s more fun because we’re learning about things we actually want to do,” first-year residential student Liz Kopacz said.
The class of 2025 consists of 602 first-year students, 524 being residents and 78 commuters. According to the Director of Freshman Admissions Stacy Ledermann, “This incoming class is the most diverse and the highest performing in terms of high school GPA.” She said that students of color represent 17.1% of the incoming class.
Freshman seminar leaders have had the opportunity to listen and witness what the transition from high school to college has been like during a pandemic year.
“I think the course workload of the semester has become a reality for students,” said Dr. Jen Pluretti, First-Year advisor and seminar leader.“It’s hard for students in clubs and organizations, and those who are athletes, to find a balance between classwork, other responsibilities, socializing, and self-care.”
“This is especially hard for students who are working, as I know many first-year students are doing. I know everyone will find their own balance, but it’s tough. Coming to college, moving away from the support system of family and friends is the biggest transition most first-year students have dealt with in their lives so far, so it’s hard.”
Despite the large size of the new class, first-year students are wasting no time making new connections after a year of quarantine and isolation. “Although Fisher is a smaller campus compared to many other campuses, the unfamiliar faces in crowds can still be overwhelming. It’s important to put yourself out there in order to make friends,” said first-year commuter student Hena Abdiani.
“During orientation week I simply walked up to a group of girls and asked to join their table. Some of those people became good friends of mine. Joining the variety of clubs offered here is a great way to make friends as well. Don’t be afraid to talk to people because everyone’s in the same boat.”
Students are also taking note of the changes this year is offering them.
“This year everything is definitely different because of COVID last year, everything was shut down,” Ashley Henriquez stated, “I feel like this year it’s easier to see people without their masks [in outdoor areas], it’s easier to talk to people. It feels like things are coming back to normal, and I think Fisher is doing a great job.”