A first year experience like no other

Allison Quinn and Sarah Catherine Lucas

First Year College Village is designed to guide undecided students through their first year at NC State. From joining campus organizations to deciding a major, the program encourages students to explore, engage and excel.

“I wanted to live in First Year College Village because I didn’t know what I wanted to do,” said Allison Quinn, a First Year College Village resident. “First Year College is great if you have a tentative plan. You might change your mind and you’ll learn a lot about yourself. I already knew that I was an extravert, but now I am learning to use that to my potential.”

Even if students already have a tentative plan for their time at NC State, First Year College helps solidify those ideas while urging students to explore all their options and become engaged in different opportunities.

“When I came to NC State, I already knew that I most likely wanted to major in psychology, but I didn’t know for sure,” said Sarah Catherine Lucas, Quinn’s roommate. “First Year College is great if you are undecided or some version of undecided about your major. I love the program. You get out of it what you put into it. You really find out about yourself and your interests. Now I feel more confident. It really strengthened my passion for psychology.”

Located in Tucker and Owen Halls on Central Campus, First Year College Village places freshmen at the heart of NC State.

“When I originally found out I would be living in Tucker, I didn’t want to live with all freshmen,” Lucas said. “But our hall has really become our family. I love the hall-style of Tucker. Doors are always open and I meet new people all the time. “

Quinn also finds the hall-style living valuable to her success as a student. “First Year College gave me a real freshman experience. I love the friendships I made on my hall. I’ve met so many amazing people. Hall-style living is such a huge benefit.”

Not only are residents located near classes, dining and campus events, they are across the street from First Year College Commons, where they take the orientation course, Introduction to University Education and a few first year inquiry courses.

“The First Year College classes are great,” Lucas said. “The classes provide good advice on where to go and what interests to be involved in. It’s very encouraging and helpful.”

 First Year College also encourages students like Quinn and Lucas to become more involved in their NC State community. Quinn and Lucas quickly teamed up and became Hall Council President and Vice President.

“Hall Council was the first thing that caught my eye,” Quinn said. “It’s been a really fun and awesome experience. I like the fact that I have a say in building relationships.”

Lucas also wanted to become involved in anything she could, including Hall Council. “I wanted to get to know people on a professional level,” she said. “I loved seeing our work come together on Hall Council. We make a good team as Vice President and President. I like seeing our ideas in motion and seeing people come out and get involved in any way then can.”

Quinn and Lucas will also be Resident Mentors (RM) next year in the First Year College Village.

“I had such a great impact from the First Year College staff members that I wanted to keep working with them,” Lucas said. “I’ve had a great experience taking time to get to know the students. I wanted to give back to the community since I had such a great first year experience. I hope I can live up to the expectations of previous mentors. I want to have a really involved hall and get to know everyone well and encourage them to get involved. Being involved is especially important when finding your way at NC State the first year. “

Quinn’s RM also inspired her to become an RM next year. I love the Resident Mentor relationships,” Quinn said. “RM’s are more like a friend and provide more guidance as a building step between the Resident Advisors. They are less intimidating. My RM greatly influenced me. It’s a great leadership opportunity.”

 Lucas is also part of many other organizations on campus, including Center for Student Leadership Ethics and Public Service (CSLEPS) Leadership in Action and Student Leadership Community Outreach Committee, Hall Council Committee, Ladies in Red female a cappella group, Chi Omega sorority, University Scholars Program and an Orientation Leader this summer.

 As Quinn and Lucas prepare for their leadership roles in the First Year College Village next year, they also plan to carry on a special tradition on their hall.

“On move in day, two girls that lived in my room two years ago popped by to say that they had lived in our room two years ago,” Quinn began. “They were random roommates like Sarah Catherine and I, and became best friends and set up the room exactly like my roommate and I with two beds and a futon. Then a little while later, two more girls dropped by. They had lived in the room last year. They also were random roommates and became best friends and set up the room just like us. They took us out to lunch and we still keep in touch with them. Our room in Tucker is a lucky room.”

“I’m living in the room across from ours now next year,” Lucas added. “We are ready to keep up the tradition with the new girls.”