New students reflect on first semester

Travis Buckwalter, Contributing Writer

With almost a whole semester of college under their belt, new students reflected on their time at Eastern so far.

Some originally came to the university for a certain activity or sport, while others enjoyed other aspects of university life.

“When I visited my sister, I would see all the buildings and the campus, and I fell in love,” said Ashling Greene, a freshman kinesiology and sports studies major. “I always enjoyed the school. It felt like home.”

Now a member of Sigma Sigma Sigma, Greene said she never thought about rushing a sorority before coming to Eastern.

“I didn’t think about rushing until I got here,” Greene said. “Someone came up to me during the first weekend and told me about it, and the rest is history.”

Victoria Wharton, a freshman accounting major and a defender on the women’s soccer team, said she discovered Eastern through soccer.

“My coaches would send off videos to different schools, and then coaches would come to my tournaments and watch me play,” Wharton said. “Eastern just happened to be one of (those schools).”

Wharton chose Eastern mainly because of its athletics.

“I probably wouldn’t have gone to school in the U.S. if it weren’t for soccer,” Wharton, a Toronto native, said. “School isn’t very big in Canada.”

Wharton and Greene have had to get used to different schedules as new students.

“In season, we have to wake up for a 6:30 a.m. practice four days a week,” Wharton said. “We also play one or two games every weekend.”

On the women’s soccer team, most first-year players are required to get three hours of study halls per week, and get volunteer hours throughout the year.

As a member of Tri-Sigma, Greene has to complete study tables each week as well.

“We have to get five hours of study tables each week, as well attend chapter meetings every Sunday,” Greene said.

At these chapter meetings, every active member of the sorority gets together to talk about future plans.

“It’s more demanding than I thought, but I think it’ll be worth it,” Greene said. “These are friendships that last a lifetime.”

Greene said there is not much of a difference between Charleston and her hometown of Freeport.

“Freeport and Charleston are very similar, both in size and population,” Greene said.

Wharton saw some big differences between Toronto and Charleston, though.

“The biggest difference is the food. There are some foods here that I never had back home,” Wharton said. “My favorite might have to be the Chick-Fil-A. I know it’s bad for me, but it tastes too good.”

Students such as Daniella Steinhaus, a freshman early childhood education major, have been active in several registered student organizations.

“I’m currently involved in PAWs and Habitat for Humanity,” Steinhaus said. “Each group takes up around an hour a week.”

Steinhaus has been using the extra time in her schedule to get used to the college life.

“I have no idea what I’m doing,” Steinhaus said. “The biggest problem is probably getting up for my 8 a.m. though.”

Adjusting to college is not as tough for Steinhaus though, because her high school experience was not too different.

“Coming from Downers Grove South High School, my graduating class was around 900 students,” Steinhaus said. “It feels smaller being here actually.”

Travis Buckwalter can be reached at

581-2812 or [email protected]