Attending classes, finding the best study spots, facing homesickness, learning study skills, and making new friends. These are just some of things that the six first-generation college students in the Davis Maine Scholarship program did during their first semester at college. They headed to the beach and the library, attended fun activities, challenged their expectations of themselves, and learned a lot along the way. But it was not easy, some struggled with living away from home for the first time. Others had to break bad study habits and learn how to meet their professors’ expectations. Our Davis Maine Scholars faced hardships and celebrated successes.
At the end of their first semester, we asked each student to reflect on their time at college. They shared both their wins and struggles and both they are displayed in a few different ways to try to encapsulate their first semester.
First Semester Courage Poem
-Lines written by ’22 Davis Maine Scholars
(arranged by Christina Griffith)
You could find me on Freddy Beach
At the gym
In the library
Out with my friends to get a coffee
In the Commons, especially watching the sunset
At times, I felt alone
It was very hard for me to be away from home
I missed all my loved ones very dearly
I had to take it one day at a time
I persevered through
I tried my best and revised assignments that I didn’t do well on
My professors were nothing but kind and very helpful
I got close with my First Year Experience class professors
I don’t need to have the highest grade to be proud of the work I accomplished
To go to office hours
How to live more on my own
I am much more extraverted than I give myself credit for
I am way more introverted than I thought
I am often too hard on myself
My study habits needed a change
It’s okay to ask for help
My family is extremely important to me
The value of patience
Some things go well and others don’t
Coming to college, I underestimated how well I would be able to adapt
I am proud of how my classes went
I am still learning
Home will always be here in Maine
What the Scholars Learned
Mya Abbott, Wheaton College
This semester I learned about some of the good and bad learning habits I have developed and how to ensure success by adapting and fixing the issues I was experiencing. I did very well in my first class that counted as a credit towards the major I am hoping to pursue.
Lisett Anderson, University of New England
I learned from my first semester of college that I am much more extroverted than I give myself credit for. I have created amazing friends and have gone to more events than I ever thought I would. I have also found myself much more organized. Coming to college, I underestimated how well I would be able to adapt and live on my own.
Rachel Colby, University of New England
I have learned that I don’t need to have the highest grade in a class to be proud of the work I have accomplished and spend countless hours on. One positive academic highlight of this semester was my perseverance through chemistry. After I received the score of my first chemistry exam, I realized that my study habits needed a change. By the end of the semester, I ended up redeeming myself and turning around my chemistry grade. The countless hours of studying, notetaking, and reviewing exams paid off, along with teaching myself many new strategies that will help me in future courses.
Ana Rosa Valencia Jungo, Wheaton College
This semester, I learned that my family is extremely important to me, but I had my roommate who I’ve known forever, and this helped. A highlight of my semester was how close I got with my First Year Experience Class professors, and how well they all thought I did in my final performance in the class.
Emilee Hutchins, University of New England
From my first semester of college, I have learned about time management and how to live more on my own. During some harder courses I attended office hours and used my professors as resources. I found that my professors really enjoyed it when I came and asked them for extra help.
Mali Smith, University of New England
For my first semester, I learned the value of patience and time management. I learned it’s okay to ask for help. I learned to be more independent. Readjusting to a whole new environment is hard. I had to take it one day at a time. Even remembering everything is hard. That’s what my Post-It notes are for!