College feels like home to nontraditional freshman

For Stephanie Viekman, a nontraditional freshman, she knew Fairmont State University was the perfect fit for her. After attending orientation, it felt like home.

“I’d been around and I really liked the campus. After orientation, I just knew it was the right place,” she said. “We got to hear the president speak and every single professor I met just wanted to help me, they told me they wanted to get me where I needed to be.”

Viekman noted that wasn’t the experience she had at other schools in the past, but Fairmont State was personal. While being a small school, she still feels as though she gets the entire college experience.

“All of my professors are really cool and I know how to get to all of my classes,” she said. “I think there are a lot of opportunities here at Fairmont State and a lot of people to point you in the directions for those opportunities.”

She started as a national security and intelligence major but after a few weeks decided she wanted to take a different path majoring in psychology with minors in folklore studies and outdoor recreation leadership. Her experience in dealing with professors for all of those classes has been great.

“The professors are extremely qualified, they know what they’re doing and they want to help you. No professor I’ve has struck me as the person who wouldn’t help you pursue your dreams and I haven’t experienced that in a lot of adults in my life so I think that’s really cool, I just think that’s special,” she said.

Not being a traditional freshman, Viekman said since she’s never attended college before, she still has those same questions and concerns as someone straight out of high school.

“I feel like you can always find the help that you need here,” she said. “I feel good, like this is the right place. I feel like Fairmont State can prepare me for life outside of West Virginia or inside. Being at Fairmont State is being around a lot of people who are similar to me.”

Viekman also mentioned that the culture of the university is very inclusive and welcoming.

“I think a lot of that is because of the president. I feel like she really emphasizes that we’re her for a reason and we should enjoy it,” she said.

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