by J.T. Buchheit
When a new semester begins, students have to adapt to new classes, new professors, and new classmates. For some, this can be overwhelming; luckily, the winter break gives students time to prepare for the challenges ahead.
“I just try to clear my head and relax and try not to stress out before the start of the semester,” said student Trent Markus. “I try to get an early start on getting stuff done for the semester.”
The approaching semester can cause worries among students for various reasons, including the amount of classes or the difficulty of certain courses. Markus is taking classes in game design and is concerned about his potential workload.
“[I’m worried about] the sheer course load I have right now,” he said. “I’m at the maximum course load I can have, so I just have a lot of hours right now.”
Another reason students could be overwhelmed is due to the fact that many of them are new and may have trouble navigating the college. Luckily, there are both students and faculty members willing to help them find the classrooms they need.
“[Helping students] is part of our job,” said Liz Loomis, administrative assistant. “It’s what we’re here to do.”
The people directing students to classrooms often have demanding jobs, fielding massive amounts of questions
from students about where to go.
“In a 20-minute time period today, I had questions from 30 students,” said Loomis.
Professors make sure to help students as much as they can on their first day of classes. Spanish professor Christina Wolff works in the Language Resource Center and aims to help students with whatever they need regarding those classes.
“I tell them about the services that we offer. I tell them about other labs that we have here on campus, such as the Academic Achievement Center, the Writing Center and the Math Lab,” Wolff said. “I let them know about D2L, about how they can go to the Academic Achievement Center to help them set up everything, and then I let them know about Access Services.”
Professors can also have a difficult time adjusting to new classes, especially in the familiarity department.
“[The hardest part] is not knowing who the students are,” said Wolff. “I’ve been teaching for a lot of years, and I get really nervous the first day of class.”
In addition to learning all of the students’ names, many professors have to adapt to potentially teaching classes they have little to no experience instructing.
“Last semester was the first semester I’ve had to teach Elementary Spanish II for a while,” Wolff said. “When I teach new classes, I just start looking at what the chapters are going to be, and I kind of forecast ‘What am I going to need to do? What sites am I going to need to tell students about?’ I kind of plan out the semester in my head and go chapter by chapter and start looking for resources.”
Students and teachers both have difficulties when it comes to a new semester, but they all have people who are willing to help them and make the transition as seamless as possible.