Drake First Year Seminar

It’s the classic college horror story: the terrible roommate. You know, the one you can’t possibly get along with or understand. The one you could never have anything in common with. From Felicity (what up, Keri Russell?!) to The Roommate (a slightly more topical reference), I’ve heard my share of awful roommate stories, both fictional and factual. And really, entering into my time at Drake, getting an awful roommate was probably my biggest fear.

The good news is that I had had nothing to worry about. From the moment my first year roommate snooped through my movie collection and discovered we had the same taste, we were incredibly close and amazing friends. To be honest, this is the case more often than not at Drake. Sure, there are stories of roommates who just don’t connect, but I’d wager that our roommate success rate is a lot higher than most schools for one simple reason: The Drake First Year Seminar.

The gist is that every first year student takes a class based on an area of interest with a collection of other first years. These are the same students you live with in your residence hall and adjust to the college experience with. Thus, you have an automatic bond with your fellow FYS students, and have something inherently in common with the people you live with. This concept is one of the more unique aspects of the Drake experiences, and maybe the one I’m most grateful for.

While I can now look back on my FYS days with calm fondness, entering into my first year I was crazy nervous because so much was riding on my FYS decision. The class I picked would determine the kind of people I lived with, my first friends at Drake. I agonized over which class to take and what other people would take it with me. There were so many cool classes, so many possibilities, that I got overwhelmed. I loved the idea of a LOST course, but what if everyone in there was of ambiguous morals John Locke-style? I’ve been interested in punk music since I was a kid, but what if my classmates in the punk FYS were scary nihilists who’d never watch the Oscars with me because it’s all pointless? Anyway, in the end, I ended up with an amazing collection of people in my coming of age film study class. We bonded over our mutual love of all things pop culture and they continue to be some of my best friends to this day.

But you know what? I don’t think the FYS class decision was as make-or-break as I thought it was. No matter which class I chose, I would’ve had a good experience because we were all taking part in the shared Drake experience together. I made friends from the Chinese Economics FYS and others from the running FYS, and I’m sure I would’ve done fine in either of their classes too. Okay, well maybe not the running one. The point is that the first year experience at Drake is designed to be fun and supportive. So there’s really nothing to worry about, and a whole lot to look forward to.

Check out this year’s list of FYS courses, including my two personal class picks: Jane Austen and Game of Thrones.

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