Incoming Freshmen Reveal Techy, Quirky, Service-Oriented Sides in Student Survey
Teddy bears and cell phones traveled with incoming freshmen to the University of Redlands campus with 40 percent of them packing one or more stuffed animals, but 99 percent toting cell phones. The incoming class, which will be required to earn credits for community service to graduate, responded to the survey that the majority plan to focus their volunteer efforts on education and mentoring issues and to volunteer locally.
Call Me, Text Me, Find Me on Facebook
Redlands freshmen are full members of the tech generation. They are Facebook enthusiasts, but not Twitter tweeters. Ninety-six percent of Redlands freshmen maintain a Facebook page, but only 13 percent communicate on Twitter. Nearly every freshman, 98 percent, brought a laptop, but only 20 percent bother to wear a watch. Seventy percent said they track their news via the internet and cell phone, and 73 percent prefer that their important information be sent by both text and email messages.
Don’t Leave Home Without Me
While the overwhelming majority indicated they could not live without their cell phone or laptop, pictures of family and friends and their coffee makers, others cited some less predictable items such as a javelin, The Shopping Guide for a Better World, a bass guitar, and a Rubik’s Cube.
When asked what was the weirdest thing they brought to campus, freshmen provided a quirky list that included such items as a small hour glass, Krazy Glue, Mr. Potato Head, a voodoo doll from New Orleans, waist beads from Ghana, Dr. Seuss pencils, and Monty Python’s Spamalot Evil Bunny slippers. Three students admitted they brought their baby blankets and another admitted bringing all his past homework from high school.
Walking the Walk
By a significant margin, the incoming freshmen demonstrated this is a class that knows how to think and work on its feet. Freshmen indicated that 70 percent of them plan to walk as their main form of transportation. The students also responded to the survey question about which areas of community service most interested them by ranking education opportunities as their top choice followed by mentoring, environmental causes, focusing on animals and political action. Forty-six percent of freshmen indicated they would prefer to volunteer locally, while 28 percent indicated they prefer international community service opportunities.
Other data from the survey included 53 percent of parents and caregivers cried when they said good-bye, and 46 percent of students arrived with six or more suitcases or boxes.
The 747 incoming freshmen received a 13-question electronic survey shortly after arriving at the University of Redlands campus for check-in. The survey had a 38 percent response rate.