‘Berg counselors revive the first-year transition group

The Counseling Center formed this group to help new students adjust.

0
184
Photo by Shaiyan Feisel '26. Ian Wagner and Molly Harper are warm and welcoming faces who are here to help new students adjust to Muhlenberg.

The first-year adjustment group was arranged by Muhlenberg counselors Ian Wagner and Molly Harper ‘11 earlier this year. Harper stated that, “The objective of this group is to provide a safe and judgment free space for first-year students where people can get to know each other when transitioning to Muhlenberg.” Wagner expressed that Counseling Services, “Had programs like this in the past, but we are doing this one differently. The old group was more structured, but Molly and I wanted this to have no set agenda—like a walk-in policy. We didn’t want this to be something where it was too formal. This is a casual environment where any first-year student is welcome.” These meetings are non-confidential and occur every Wednesday from 2-3:30 p.m., but students can walk in at any time. Meetings are held at the Counseling Services office on the second floor of the Life Sports Center. 

“The objective of this group is to provide a safe and judgment free space for first-year students where people can get to know each other when transitioning to Muhlenberg.”

Wagner started working as a counselor at Muhlenberg College last October. He understands what it’s like to be new to campus. He shared that he is, “A big advocate [for] letting people know that they aren’t alone. Especially as [sic] a gay man, having space is something important. I wanted a space where people can go to the counseling office without any stigma surrounding it.” 

Harper is a Muhlenberg alumna and, “Remember[s] how difficult it was to come here and make new friends. I could imagine my younger self feeling like it would be easier transitioning to college if I had something like this.” 

Topics talked about during the meetings will range from living with other people for the first time, academic stress and the LGBTQIA+ community, to video games and favorite foods. Harper and Wagner start each meeting by introducing themselves, but after that there isn’t any set structure and students are free to talk about whatever they wish. 

After talking to some first-year students on campus, many were unaware that they had access to a resource like this. Marley McGehee ‘26, says they, “Had no idea that there was a first-year transition group.” An anonymous first-year student recommends going to the group if you can, as, “Muhlenberg feels like a very homey place, but it also feels like you are being shot through a cannon.” 

Other Muhlenberg students echoed the usefulness of this group. Nicole Alberto Agramonte ‘26 says, “Counseling Services is a really helpful resource at Muhlenberg College. I think it’s important for students to connect while transitioning to a new environment. I think [not having] this resource would make the transition a lot harder for first-year students to adjust to college.” 

Any full-time undergraduate student at Muhlenberg College can access Counseling Services. To schedule a 1-on-1 session, students can simply go on their OneLogin portal, then click the “PyraMed” icon. They then need to click “forms” and a link for a “consultation form” should pop up. Students can also walk into the counseling office from Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. and ask about scheduling an appointment. Students can also call at (484)-664-3178 and for emergencies outside of these hours, there is a 24/7 hotline (same number listed above) for students to connect with a mental health counselor. There is also an Instagram account (@muhlenbergwellness) that has information from Counseling Services, including information about the counselors and their specialties. 

“Counseling Services is a really helpful resource at Muhlenberg College. I think it’s important for students to connect while transitioning to a new environment. I think [not having] this resource would make the transition a lot harder for first-year students to adjust to college.”

The first-year transition group is currently the only group that is offered directly from Counseling Services, but Wagner said that future groups will run pending student interest. Harper emphasized that any full-time undergraduate Muhlenberg student can email a counselor and utilize all of the free and helpful resources that are available at Counseling Services. 

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here