Feeling right at home: freshman adjust to college classes


By Madison Santos

Most students have experienced at least 12 first days of school by the time they reach college. Some spend hours shopping for supplies and picking out the best outfits, all for just one day. Numerous students still get butterflies in their tummies by the time this day rolls along and, for freshmen in college, the nerves can be even more intense. However, this year’s freshmen seem to feel right at home at Northern Arizona University, despite a few surprises on their first day as college students.

“I got kind of lost looking for the Liberal Arts building, because I didn’t take the initiative to look for my classes before,” says Esteban Valenzuela, a freshman visual communication major.

After getting lost the first time, Valenzuela used technology to help find his next class.

“I used GPS on my phone, because I had no idea where it was,” he says.

Valenzuela explained he was a bit nervous about his classes, but he thinks it is going to be easier for him to learn in college.

“There were no interruptions what so ever in my first class,” he says.

Isabel Callaway, a freshman psychology major, had no problem finding her classes because, unlike Valenzuela, Callaway found where her classes were on campus a day before school started. Her first class was ENG 105, which she said mainly consisted of ice breakers.

“It was just kind of relaxing,” Callaway says, “It wasn’t stressful at all.”

She explained that she felt a little anxiety but, once the class started, her nerves settled.

“I didn’t know anyone in the class,” she says, “but that’s what I like; I just like new things.”

First day jitters affect not only the students, but the campus as well. Samantha Schlieger, a freshman nursing major, said her trek to class was not easy, due to the chaotic grounds.

“It was really crowded,” Schlieger explained. “Everyone was walking in the bike lanes, so the bikers kept swerving everywhere.”

Although Schlieger had a rough commute, it did not make her late for biology class. “I was nervous,” she says, “and I got to class like an hour early.”

After the class finished, Schlieger decided she was going to attend all the SI classes possible in order to get an “A” in the class.

“I’m sure it will be hard at first to adjust to college classes, but after a while I think I’ll get it down,” she says.

One student who contributed to the swerving bikes on campus was Alex Keslter, a fresman business major.

“I rode my bike to south campus,” Kestler says. “When I got out of class, I saw that some girl put her bike lock through my break cable, so I had to walk back.”

Kestler didn’t allow this bump in the road to ruin his day.

“I don’t know why, but I wasn’t nervous for today,” he says. “It went well.”

The positive feedback about the first day of college did not run short.  Omar Zougi and Dylan Dubek, both freshman business majors, said they like college classes better than in high school.

“People were just coming and going, [and] doing their own thing,” Zougi says. ”It wasn’t really cliquey, I guess you could say.”

Dubek explained he liked his English teacher, but he knows it is not going to be an easy class.

“It went really well, though,” he says, “and I’m excited to see what goes on in the future.”

Students who are not as ecstatic about their classes have the option to drop them before the deadline on Sept. 6. Students can do this simply by logging on their Louie account and selecting the classes that they want to drop.  According to the staff at the Gateway Student Success Center, if students drop past the deadline, they will receive a “W” (withdraw) in the class and they are still responsible for paying the class fee.  As of now, Dubek said he has no intentions of dropping from any courses.

“College is a challenge,” he says, ”but it’s a challenge you gotta finish.”


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