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Piercy coaches residents on college adjustment

When surveying freshmen at Perkins Hall, adjusting to college life was noted as a concern among many. And what better person to talk to first-year students about this adjustment than Judy Piercy, associate director of Residential Housing?

The resulting presentation, “Conversations with Judy Piercy – Adjusting to College Life,” took place this past September at Perkins Hall. The program was organized by Shively-Perkins Residential Coordinator Enrique Hermosilla and resident assistants Marisa Richmond and Connor Kiesel.

“The program was aimed at meeting the goals of identity development and purpose in student development, and doing so through the involvement of a faculty member,” Richmond said.  

During the sessions, students anonymously wrote about any anxieties or issues they faced during their first weeks at Ohio University. Piercy then placed similar concerns together and laid them out on the floor for everyone to see.

“Seeing similar concerns shared by others too helps one to know they are not alone,” Piercy said.

Frequently mentioned topics from this exercise formed the basis of the group’s conversation. Popular topics included how to approach a professor, time management, and maintaining connections to home.

Though she graduated more than 30 years ago, Piercy said many of the issues are the same issues she faced as a freshman.
“Talk to professors and try to communicate with them face-to-face rather than solely through e-mail. Talking to them for a few moments after class could make a real impact,” she said.  

The program concluded with Piercy recounting one of her biggest personal disappointments. She admitted that she often struggled with the balance between academics and social life in college, and eventually graduated with a GPA below her abilities.

“It is something I regret to this day because my parents sacrificed for me, and I did not meet their expectations, or my own,” Piercy said.

The message was particularly powerful, coming from a person who has such an impact on the OHIO community, according to freshman resident Tyler Ward.

“It’s comforting to know that others are going through, or have gone through, similar challenges as me,” he said.