Eastern Michigan University

My Freshman Year Verses My Parents

by Emily Kiefer, Published April 15, 2015Kiefer

As a recipient of the EMU Legacy Scholarship, I have often thought about how my first year of college has differed from that of my parents. Twenty nine years ago, my parents met on the campus of EMU during their very first day of classes as freshmen. It was the start of a journey for my parents and the beginning of a promising life together. My father, now a High School Counselor, and my mother, a Special Education teacher, have emphasized to me the importance of getting a great education from a reputable university. This is why I am now a freshman, at the same university where my parents met, trying to figure out my own future life decisions.

When reminiscing about the past, my parents often share with me the many changes that have occurred since 1986 when they first enrolled at EMU. My parents first crossed paths at the student social center or McKenny Union, known today as McKenny Hall. This was the student hub at the time, where you could get lunch, buy your books, or just hang out with a friend. My parents even took a bowling class in the basement of McKenny Hall, where there was once a bowling alley. Today, I am lucky to have the benefits of our new Student Center Building at my disposal, with so many dining choices, a relaxing atmosphere, and a variety of places to socialize or study. It has been, and will continue to be, a daily stop for me while I complete my studies at EMU.

My parents also remind me how technology has changed over the past 30 years. When my parents first started at EMU, computers and word processing programs were just starting to become a household item. In fact, every paper that they wrote during their first year of college was typed on a typewriter, using white-out to correct errors. They often had to type papers over and over again because of the excessive use of correction fluid. Not to mention, they had to spend an endless amount of hours at the library (which is now the Porter College of Education building) to look through books for their resources because "surfing the internet" for information was unheard of at the time. Today, I am a part of a different world at EMU, filled with technology at every door. Not only can I access the internet from home, or my phone, but EMU has computer sites throughout campus where I can gain knowledge instantly. I even have the ability to hand in assignments to my professors via email, a non-existent phenomenon for my parents in 1986.

Although there have been many renovations to EMU's campus and technological advances over the past thirty years, one thing remains consistent at EMU; students are sure to get a quality education, along with endless opportunities to live their life to the fullest.