Year One Done

American University News

Harrison Eichelberger, CAS-SPA/BA ’21There is nothing like finishing that first year of college. Taking in a new city, meeting new people, experiencing new things, and learning about yourself are as important as learning good study habits and engaging in the classroom. For rising sophomores, their first summer provides an opportunity to pause and look back at how far they have come.
Last semester, Economics and Political Science double major Harrison Eichelberger shared his first semester story. Now, with a full year under his belt, Eichelberger is headed back to his hometown of Elizabethtown, Pa. He plans to help his dad at work, along with taking summer courses.
“It’s kind of nice to have a break from D.C. and reflect on the change that happened in my life this past year,” Eichelberger said.
Transition
Even though Eichelberger’s transition to AU was smooth because he got to know campus during the National Student Leadership Conference the year prior, he admits that it was not a stroll in the park.
“I mean, college can be rough at times, getting used to a completely new environment,” Eichelberger said. “You sometimes feel a little bit behind and everyone else knows what’s going on but you.”
Like many first-year students, Eichelberger found being away from family a challenge. “I didn’t realize how much I would miss having my family around since I don’t see them as much anymore,” Eichelberger said.
Eichelberger says his parents have found the change a little easier. “They’re doing okay as empty-nesters,” Eichelberger said with a smile.
Growth
One of the most important parts of college is finding out what makes your happy and fulfilled. Eichelberger realized he enjoys his own company more than he originally believed. “It took me a while to adjust, and I realized how I am a little more introverted than I …

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