Students and faculty are adjusting to a new academic year

Newman University

Students and faculty alike are adjusting to waking up early, staying up late, and juggling everything in between. The Fall 2016 semester began last Monday, Aug. 22, which was the first full week of class. Fall semester always signifies the beginning of a new school year and the arrival of new students. This year, Newman has quite a large freshmen class joining the university.

One of these freshman, theater major Brooke Riley, explains her thoughts starting college, adjusting to college life as opposed to high school, and what she’s looking forward to.

What are your thoughts about starting college? Are you excited or nervous?

Brooke: I’m more excited than nervous. I’m ready for a change in scenery, a change in schedule, and to study what I love.

How are you adjusting to college life? It’s quite different than high school, isn’t it?

Brooke: I’m adjusting well. Having a different schedule is nice. Strangely enough I’m getting more sleep than I did in high school. I like college much better than high school.

What are you looking forward to doing in college?

Brooke: Learning more about theater, auditioning for plays, and making new friends.

Students aren’t the only ones who are adjusting to getting back into the swing of the university. Marguerite Regan, Ph.D., associate professor of English, talked about her first week of teaching and how that went.

How did you prepare for coming back to teach this week?

Regan: It was a bumpy take-off, but I’m airborne now. USD 259 students were originally scheduled to start back to school on Aug. 10, but this year, due to budget problems, the start date was pushed back to Aug. 24. Some of us faculty with small children at home were hard pressed to be as thoroughly prepared for, or focused on, our courses as we would have liked. Typically, I have one to two weeks of time to prepare while the kids are in school.

So did anything go wrong when you actually got to school? Or were you able to zone back in once you got on campus?

Regan: I was distracted on the first day of class, and in my mind I had it that one of my classes started at 2:25 p.m. when in reality it started at 2 p.m. When I arrived, my group of freshman was oddly quiet and attentive, and they were all there. I launched into class promptly, and not one student mentioned how late I was. To add insult to injury, I kept them 15 minutes late, and again, nobody said a word. Mea culpa!

Sounds like a great group. So what has gone right on your first week? What’s a positive sign for this school year?

Regan: This gracious group of students. God bless this group! They have earned the right to call me the absent-minded professor. And my son started back to school today, so I’m doing the happy parent dance.

The first week of school is not always an easy adjustment for any age group, whether that be someone starting college for the first time or returning to college. Nevertheless, the first week was an exciting, positive one that promises a great semester.

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