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As my first semester at Arcadia after being abroad in Scotland got closer and closer, I was wrapped up in the many unknowns. I knew there was going to be a lot of differences in the structure of college life in the States compared to overseas.
For one, I went from living in an apartment with six people to sharing a dorm room with one person. My new roommate taught me how to navigate school and helped me get the hang of living on campus at Arcadia. It wasn’t long before I had adjusted to the University. Making new friends was easier than I expected.
I also had to transition to new teaching styles and class sizes. In Scotland, my classes were larger, with groups around the hundreds—in other words, less one-on-one learning attention. We also have more graded assignments at Arcadia, which makes it easier to retain information. Overall, I feel that I am now in a more productive learning environment, and I’ve found lessons easier to understand and more interesting. Not only is the learning environment better, but I interact a lot more with my fellow students and enjoy going to class even more.
I didn’t expect the transition to be as smooth. Arcadia’s environment is very inclusive for incoming students, and the University has so many activities and clubs that made it easy for me to adjust to a new way of life. Without being active, I might have gotten stuck in the FYSAE bubble that so many other students have talked about. I was nervous to come back to Arcadia, but I didn’t have to worry. The overflow of events in the first couple of weeks have kept me busy making lasting memories.
Scotland was a huge adventure, and took some getting used to. But coming from a very large school in Europe with unfamiliar teaching approaches to a smaller university with comfortable, familiar environments has been an adventure of its own. Viewing every experience as an adventure has helped me overcome the obstacles you can encounter in college. Although I’ve come back to something that feels completely new, I’m already blossoming in my new environment, which will surely help me in the years to come at Arcadia University.