With COVID mandates fluctuating throughout the year and the rise in vaccinations all over the country, universities are starting to open up again and Pacific University is no exception. With schools returning back to “normal”, in-person classes, orientation, and other campus events have opened for students, namely freshmen, to finally gain their college experience. 

Some students have been finding the transition to be easier than they expected, some hard, and to others, it hasn’t hit them yet. Wiktor Żmijewski, an international student from Poland who is double majoring in Film and Graphic Design spoke about his experience. 

“I used to live in the Bay Area,” Żmijewski said. “Last time I lived with a host family so that was easier for me, but this time I’m just here by myself and I’m living on my own. So that’s a new experience,” said Żmijewski.

Other students like Jasmin Lacar, a freshman from Waialua, Hawaii, who is majoring in Environmental Chemistry, appealed to Pacific University because of its community. 

“I feel like, coming from a really small town, it’s really important for me to go to a small school,” Lacar said, “So that way…if I need the help or anything, I’d be able to get that.”

With the new school year commencing, Pacific University has opened up many events to give students the opportunity to meet new people and envision their future at Pacific. This includes orientation, dormitory activities, and the club fair. 

“It’s kind of like you’re handed a social life on a silver platter, just like your activities you can do…it’s just an array of opportunities,” said Amira Boler, a freshman from Minnesota who is majoring in social work. “That’s awesome.”

As freshmen, students come from different backgrounds but connect as a community of students coming into a similar, unfamiliar environment. This year, freshmen can strive for greatness, connect with others face-to-face, and have pride in being a Boxer. — Ginae Borja-Johnson

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Ginae Borja-Johnson is a writer for the Index from O’ahu, Hawai’i. Currently, she is a sophomore pursuing a major in Film & Video Production with plans to double minor in Dance and Business Administration. She enjoys hanging out with friends, being spontaneous, and ranting about her favorite books and movies.

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