Thanks for joining me this past year at Eighteen and Life for reflections on the first-year college experience and building a career on the wisdom of 18-year olds. Today, this blog is one year old. Although my work in student affairs is certainly not exclusive to first-year students, they are the students with whom I spend the majority of my time. The transition to any college or university can be a challenge. Each day, I get to help ease that transition in my little corner of the higher education world. We’ve come a long way.
The word freshman first appeared in the English language in 1550, when it was used to describe a newcomer or a novice in any field of endeavor. Only in the 1590’s did the word come to have specific reference to first-year students in an English university. The term was carried over to America in the next century. The first American freshmen, of course, were at Harvard. Harvard also inaugurated the first system of freshman counselors to ease the young man’s transition from home to college. ~John Orr Dwyer in The Freshman Year Experience