How TFA Will Guide You Through Your Freshman Year

If you’ve ever received a piece of mail from us at Furman in ANY capacity, you’ve probably noticed a few key things about our school. Sure, you’ve probably gotten a postcard with pictures of the bell tower and rose garden, maybe one or two emails with the header showing off downtown Greenville, but one thing I am completely confident on is that you’ve heard the phrase “The Furman Advantage”. 

This innovative model is a guiding force in every undergraduate student’s journey at Furman. Each of the four years of the Furman Advantage model has an intentional purpose; one that is designed to help you thrive. Further, each year’s plan is specific to what you may be experiencing during that season of your time at Furman- for example, engaged learning opportunities aren’t an active part of TFA until your sophomore year, because that is the timeline of when you start to look for these opportunities. Or, senior year is when the idea of career/post-grad exploration and preparation really kicks in because that’s when the job search really begins!

If you’re reading this blog post, there’s a pretty good chance you may be a prospective student in the midst of the college process. Although I would love to explain each and every year of The Furman Advantage and its benefits to you, I think it would be a little less overwhelming to break it down and just discuss how The Furman Advantage will guide you through your first year of college.  

A snapshot of what year 1 looks like ! As you can see, the model is a steady progression from your first day at Furman to the moment you graduate

The theme of year one is “Discover and Explore”. This sounds broad, but the fun thing is, it’s supposed to! Your freshman year is a time to figure out what you might want to major in by testing the waters of all different aspects of the academic side of campus life. For example, I came into Furman dead set on being a music major. Regardless of this plan, I still was enrolled in a biology class, ethics class, and french class my freshman year! If I didn’t have these class opportunities, I may not have ended up where I am today. In short, without this “discover and explore” model, my freshman year could’ve been a WHOLE lot different.

Another unique aspect of TFA’s first year model is the connection with your advisor. Luckily, we have plenty of resources to help unpack exactly what this means. Libby wrote this excellent blog to help understand just what first year advising looks like, definitely check it out: https://furmanadmission.blog/2021/03/26/a-guide-to-first-year-advising/ !! This advisor student relationship has been one one of the most meaningful aspects of The Furman Advantage to me.

Freshman year feels like forever ago- forever thankful Furman and TFA brought me my people!

Lastly, the first year of TFA introduces a pathways program that some freshmen are randomly enrolled in. This is a “two-year advising pilot program that students enter their first year in order to ease their transition to college and explore their individualized pathway.” Further, the program “builds a strong foundation of academic, social and coping skills to strengthen student resilience.” Although I was not selected to enroll in the pathways program, I’ve only heard positive feedback from my friends that were chosen!

Although this is only a brief insight to how your freshman year at Furman will look through The Furman Advantage, I hope its clear just how impactful and beneficial this model is! If you ever want to hear more about it, you know where to find me.

I hope y’all have a great week full of all the things that make you happy!

Alex

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