October 5, 2009 | Diane Johnson | Leave a comment Many freshmen go to college with high expectations. They are excited about their new classes, the friends that they will make, and the parties that they will attend. After a short time, students realize that they had high expectations and are disappointed. After one semester or year many students end up dropping out and pursuing other interests. Initially, students are excited to move away from home but when they end up on a huge university, in classes with strangers, living with someone they don't know, and trying to balance school, work, extracurricular activities, and sports they can't handle it. There is so much pressure on students not only to succeed in school but to fit in. As a result of all the problems and the dwindling numbers of freshmen that actually earn a degree, universities are making some changes. The University of Missouri and many other large public universities and smaller private colleges are trying to cater to first-year students. They want to put students with similar interests into smaller groups. Nearly one third or 5,620 first year college students participate in freshmen interest groups like storm chasing, environmental activism and ultimate frisbee. Universities are now placing individuals these groups into the same dorms, classes, and peer adviser groups. These advisers meet with small numbers of students and provide them with tips about how to be successful in their academic career. Because freshmen are in smaller groups, and around each other in dorms and classes they are able to form stronger relationships with each other. This often translates into more graduations, because if students are comfortable at school then they are more likely to succeed. These smaller groups allow more students to get involved. Rather than students just sitting at the back of a classroom of 300 students, with smaller classes they have to be responsible, answer questions, do homework, and interact with their professors and other students.