The fall 2014 semester marked the beginning of a new life for many college students, who spread their wings and took off from the safe confines of their hometowns for the first time.

As the spring 2015 semester begins at Keene State College and students across campus are preparing to get back into the groove of things, first-year students took the time to reflect on their first semester away from home. Rob Rein, a first-year KSC student, recalled move-in day as a strange, but definitely welcoming, experience.

Contributed Photo / Allie Hodet

Contributed Photo / Allie Hodet

“I remember when my parents dropped me off, it took me a day or two to actually realize that they were gone,” Rein remembered.

“It was actually pretty cool, how much freedom I had right from the start,” he continued.

Rein said that the hardest part about moving away from home was learning how to organize and manage himself, which he was able to figure out within the first month on campus.

“The hard part for me wasn’t really moving away,” Emily Mathieu, who is also a first-year noted, “The hard part was adjusting to dorm life.”

In that respect, Mathieu and Rein can agree. “Learning how to take time for yourself and not spend it all with your friends late at night definitely took some getting used to,” Mathieu said.

Rein added, “It’s kind of hard to organize yourself at first.” “I kind of thought the classes would be a little intimidating, but I found that they’re not that hard,” Josh Noury, another KSC first-year, said of his expectations of college life.

“I knew that when I got here I wanted to be doing something,” Noury continued, “I didn’t want to sit in my dorm room all day. I wanted to be going out with friends and doing things.”

Mathieu, Rein and Noury all live about two-and-a-half hours from campus in different directions, but all were able to adjust to college life just fine. For Noury, it was meeting new friends that helped with the transition.

Noury explained, “I’m the only one from my high school graduating class who came [to KSC], so I really didn’t know anyone when I moved onto campus.”

“I have a twin brother at home and this is the first time I was really away from him,” Noury added, “It was a really big transition that took some getting used to, but I met some really good people here.”

For all three first-year students, being home for winter break took just as much getting used to as moving to Keene did back in August. Mathieu said, “A lot of my family’s dynamics have changed, but it was really good and it was nice to see everyone.”

“It was definitely weird being home again after so long,” Rein agreed. Noury admitted, “I was kind of bored over break.”

Rein noted that coming back to campus after a month and a half back home was vaguely reminiscent of moving in, but he settled in much quicker. “Back in August, everything on campus was very new, and very weird,” Rein said.

“It was definitely hard to get used to, but once everything starts getting into its new groove, it’s nice. It’s smooth,” he added.

Jill Giambruno can be contacted at

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