Freshman Danielle Carlson: Adjusting to college life

Freshman year is a tough adjustment period for any person entering college.

Everyone can remember a difficult situation that they might have dealt with for the first time in their first year of school. It can be a very confusing experience, but freshman Danielle Carlson seems to be handling it quite well.

Carlson is from Ridgway Pennsylvania, and is studying music education with a concentration in percussion. She chose Mercyhurst because of the scholarships she received and because of outside advice from her friends.

“I auditioned and was accepted at Mercyhurst, Edinboro, Penn State University and West Virginia University. Scholarship money was definitely a main decision factor for me,” Carlson said.

When she arrived on campus, Carlson said she felt “very welcome” at Mercyhurst because of the “RAs and other welcome week helpers that really strive to make a freshman feel part of the community.”

Feeling at home and comfortable is a good way to prevent homesickness, which can be quite an issue for college freshmen.

According to college, one in two college freshmen will experience homesickness, a fact that most upperclassmen know well.

When asked about her feelings about being away from home, she said, “I like being away from home. I’m used to traveling because of different musical competitions throughout high school so homesickness really hasn’t been an issue so far.”

Carlson, like many others, is also enjoying the bigger city feeling of Erie.

“Ridgway is much more of a rural area. The closest attraction is fifteen minutes away, and that’s Walmart.”

With the first week of classes under her belt, Carlson is enjoying the academics provided at Mercyhurst.

“I really like the small class sizes. One-on-one attention is a great thing. I also like the trimester system.”

Another perk of Mercyhurst, according to Carlson, is the music department.

“Most of the faculty is there for you, and their door is almost always open. They will try their hardest to make whatever you want to happen, happen,” she said.

Carlson’s future plans involve eventually obtaining her doctorate in music education. With the help of the college community and the excellent academics at Mercyhurst, Carlson is definitely on her way to reaching this goal.