Freshman Counselor Eases First Semester Worries

Michael White recalls being terrified but excited as he drove up to his Fairmont State University residence hall for the first time. “All of a sudden, a bunch of people were welcoming me and grabbing my things and taking them to my room. I don’t think I even had time to understand what was happening,” he says. These friendly faces were members of the University’s Freshman Counselor program. These student volunteers aim to help freshmen adjust to college life. From unloading their cars during move-in day, to helping locate classes, to sitting together at meals, the Freshman Counselors go out of their way to make the newest Falcons feel at home. The peer counselors help new students navigate through the obstacles that sometimes surface during their first semester. “Within the first 24 hours I was ready to go home,” he said. “I didn’t know anyone and felt really self-conscious. The only thing that kept me going was the upbeat and up-front Freshman Counselors. I was not allowed to tear myself down, because all of the Freshman Counselors were building me up. The Welcome Weekend initiative and more specifically, the Freshman Counselors very well may have saved my life.” Michael felt so strongly about the impact of Freshman Counselors that he became one himself and this fall helped plan Welcome Weekend. As he prepares for his final year on campus, White hopes to make a career of helping other people by studying Psychology. “I’ve had several majors, but I’ve realized that I love to help people and to just listen to them. I don’t know if I would have realized that without being a Freshman Counselor,” he says.