We Are… the First Year Experience!
Welcome to Marshall University! The Department of Housing and Residence Life places a tremendous focus on your first year on campus. You’ll have your first friends away from home, your first college classes, and maybe your first roommate.
The First Year Experience (FYE) is designed to help get you feel connected to new friends and faculty, confident in the choices you make here at Marshall, and curious to experience all that college has to offer.
Take a look at what we have to offer, get involved, ask questions, and go Herd!
Your First Summer
New Student Orientation
Your first step as a part of the Thundering Herd is to go to New Student Orientation. You’ll get a better feel for campus, register for classes, and meet faculty and staff who especially love working with first year students. We also have sessions for family members so that they can learn how to help you be successful.
Here at Marshall, we are committed to the academic and personal success of all students. Research shows that living on campus dramatically approves your odds of success. Marshall requires all first and second year students to live on campus.
Choosing where to live is both exciting and nerve-wracking! You have several options: The First Year Residence Halls, Buskirk Hall, and Twin Towers East Hall are our primary first year student residence halls. To learn more, check out our hall comparison guide.
Living Learning Communities (LLCs)
Marshall is blessed to have faculty and staff around campus involved in the residence halls. You can choose to live in a Living Learning Community related to your college or interest. We have LLCs for the Honors College, College of Health Professions, College of Education, College of Science, College of Business, and several interest-based LLCs. Just imagine, you could have live-in study buddies and easy access to your academic advisors! To learn more about the living learning communities we offer, click here.
Freshmen Interest Groups (FIGs)
Each year, a few dedicated faculty and staff devote time each week to hosting in-hall mentoring groups and activities to a select group of students. You have a great opportunity to connect with students with similar passions, and you might just find a faculty mentor who can write you a letter of recommendation down the road! Past FIGs have included the Presidency and the Press, Japanese Culture, Chorus, and Creative Writing.
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Preparing to Live On Campus
For most first-year students, this is your first time living away from home, living with a roommate, and all of the great and challenging things during your first year of college. Below are some common questions and hopefully, answers that help your transition to be smooth.
What do I pack for my room?
Your residence hall room serves as your bedroom, study space, living room, and everything in between, so you can easily start to pack more than you need! We’ve created a specific list to help you know what to pack (and what to make sure to leave at home).
What do I do if I have maintenance or computer issues?
If you are having maintenance issues, we have an easy-to-use online system for sharing your concerns. You’ll receive a confirmation email and additional information about when the problem will be fixed. Our maintenance staff tries their best to work quickly to get your room back to normal. You can also find the information on to report cable and internet issues on the same site.
Our suggestion is to make sure you report your concerns. If you don’t let someone know, then nobody knows you need help. You can always ask your RA if you need help figuring out how to report concerns.
What happens if my roommate and I don’t get along?
Living with someone can be both exciting and stressful. You may not have shared a room before coming to college, and now, you are sharing your entire campus home. If you aren’t getting along, here are some suggestions:
- Always start by communicating with one another, face-to-face.
- Set a good, non-stressful time for the situation.
- Take the conversation out of the room to a neutral spot.
- Stay calm and set ground rules: no yelling, name-calling, etc.
- Allow one another the space to talk and provide feedback.
- Create a game plan for how to make things work better.
- Set a date to follow-up on the changes you have made.
If you have tried and continue to struggle getting along with your roommate, your next step is talk with your Resident Advisor, who is there to assist you.
A few other tips:
- Remember, you don’t have to be best friends. Your goal is to live peacefully with one another.
- You and your roommate come from different families, places, backgrounds, etc. Everyone has a story.
- Be empathetic. Compromise.
- Clearly communicate with one another, even if you are getting along wonderfully.
Your First Six Weeks In the Hall
The first few days are so exciting! During Marshall WOW, you’ll meet new friends, attend Convocation, begin your UNI 100 class, and participate in countless fun, welcoming activities. The main goal is to help you feel connected to Marshall’s campus and to your fellow students, faculty, and administrators.
Of course, you’ll begin classes soon after moving in, and you’ll begin to experience collegiate academics. Check out our Academic Success page to see the ways the residence halls help you become academically successful.
The first six weeks are a crucial time for you to begin to feel comfortable as a college student. Our staff wants to be sure you learn the following within your six weeks campus:
- Study for class
- Connect with faculty
- Navigate the collegiate social scene
- Manage your time wisely
- Make healthy lifestyle choices
We have programs in your hall to help you learn these skills.
First Six Weeks Programming: Surviving Collegiate Academics
The Student Resource Center presents workshops right in your residence hall. The dates for Fall 2013 are:
- Study Skills
- Towers East: Tuesday, September 3rd, 7 pm
- First Year Residence Halls: Wednesday, September 4th, 7 pm
- Time Management
- Towers East: Tuesday, September 10th, 7 pm
- First Year Residence Halls: Wednesday, September 11th, 7 pm
- Getting to Know Marshall Faculty
- Towers East: Tuesday, September 17th, 7 pm
- First Year Residence Halls: Wednesday, September 18th, 7 pm
First Six Weeks Programming: Navigating the Party Scene
Party Hardy is annual tradition, hosted in the First Year Residence Halls. You’ll wear beer goggles and drive golf carts with Marshall police officers, drink mocktails served by your RAs, and learn about other partying risk factors, all in a fun, non-lecture environment. Hundreds of students attend each fall. Don’t miss it! The fall 2013 date is Thursday, September 5th.
First Six Weeks Programming: Staying Healthy
Staying healthy means taking care of yourself physically, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally. Marshall has several health and wellness resources for you, and we want to make sure you find them early in your collegiate career. The following are key events offered both in the residence halls and around campus to ensure you find the health resources you need.
RecFest is an annual event in which local vendors, churches, and volunteer organizations gather to share information and connect you with the Huntington community. RecFest is typically held the first Saturday after you arrive on campus.
The Roommate Game is a new tradition. The event is a combination of the newlywed game and the Amazing Race. You’ll be tested on how well you know roommate, and we’ll put you through an obstacle course to test your relationship. Stay tuned for the Fall 2013 date!
College classes are different than high school classes… a lot different. The chart below shows some of the common comparisons between the two:
|Class Size||No more than 35 students||Potentially over 100 students in large lecture style classes|
|Study Time||Maybe up to 10 hours a week outside of school||2-3 study hours outside of class for each hour in class|
|Test Guidance||Teacher tells you what to study||You have to read and understand the material|
|Homework||Teachers check your homework||Professors may or may not check your work, but will expect you to perform on tests|
|Reminders||Teachers remind you of upcoming due dates and tests||Professors are helpful and often provide some reminders, but you are expected to have read your syllabus|
|Talking with Teachers||Your teachers are available throughout much of the day for at least quick questions||Professors expect and want you to attend office hours|
|Class Attendance||Teachers take attendance||Some professors take attendance, but most expect you to make the choice to attend|
|Testing||Testing is frequent and covers a chapter or small amounts of information||Testing occurs rarely throughout the semester and covers several chapters and weeks of classwork|
|Grading||Grading includes homework, quizzes, tests, and several assignments.||Your grade might be solely based on a few exams.|
First Year Survival Tips
First Year Survival Tips coming soon!
Who To Ask For Help
One of the biggest and best challenges about college is that you have several resources available to you. You just have to pick the one that is best for you! Here at Marshall, we have caring, committed faculty and staff whose doors are open to help you find your way and be successful. Here are a few of the first places you may want to go for help:
- Your RA (Resident Advisor): Your residence hall has 3-14 RAs specifically trained to help you adapt to college life. An RA is an upper-class peer who is available to answer your questions, help you connect with other campus resources, provide educational and social programs, and the list goes on.
- Your RD (Residence Director): Each community has a resident director, a graduate student, who supervises the RAs and provides an additional layer of support to residents.
- The Student Resource Center: The SRC, as we like to call it, is your one stop shop for answering questions about anything: advising, financial aid, career services… you name it, and they can either answer it or help you get an answer in minutes. The SRC is on the second floor of the Memorial Student Center.
- Your Academic Advisor: Every Marshall student has an academic advisor in their college. Your advisor helps you know what classes you need and guides you to graduation.
- Faculty-in-Residence (FIR): Each year, a few faculty who are truly great at connecting with students live right in the residence halls with them. The FIRs host programs, office hours in the residence halls, and regularly join students in the dining halls for meals. Click here to learn more about our current Faculty-in-Residence.
- Your Professors: Your professors want you to succeed. Be sure to visit their office hours for help in your classes and to make connections. Students who visit office hours are more likely to succeed in class, gain internships and research experiences, and have a pool of people to help with the graduate school or career exploration process.