Returning students may be adjusting to new professors, a more demanding course load or being back on campus, but the incoming first-year students are dealing with adjustments to college life in general — some of which are going much more smoothly than others.
One of the more difficult adjustments can be to their academic life.
First-year Erin Nanovic, an intended business and political science major, describes her course load as one with the “hardest, most intense classes” she has ever taken, but feels more confident after the first week of classes.
“It is really intimidating when professors tell us that the semester isn’t going to be easy, it’s going to be really hard,” Nanovic said. “You have to study harder than you did in high school.”
Nanovic said she was surprised she was assigned homework on the first day of classes.
“I’m not used to that,” Nanovic said. “In high school, we didn’t usually get homework for the entire first week.”
But she said after the first week of classes, she feels more prepared.
“Now, that I’m used to it, it’s easier to sit down and get it [homework] done.”
The all-women aspect of life at Saint Mary’s can be an adjustment for some, but for others it does not play a large role.
“I don’t think it’s a big issue,” said Roselyn Spann, an intended Biology major. “I don’t even notice it.”
Spann, a first year from Los Angeles, was pleasantly surprised when she arrived on campus for the first time. It is the first time she had been in Indiana or to Saint Mary’s.
“The campus is amazing,” Spann said. “It’s beautiful. It’s a good place to walk barefoot and everything’s clean.”
The campus had a similar impact on other first years.
“After I took the tour [as a prospective student], I was mad at myself for liking it so much,” Hillary Shesterkin said. “After coming here, I can’t wait to go home and tell everyone how much I love it here.”
Though they each have their own unique first impression of Saint Mary’s and are adjusting at different rates, the first years agreed on one thing: they are all excited for their first Notre Dame football game in the student section.