The first week of school is stressful for everyone. Before the year begins, thinking about navigating new courses, seeing new faces and simply getting back into the swing of things is a commonly pushed-back task students avoid during summertime. For first-year students, the maze that is Minnesota State’s campus has finally snuck up on them, and finding the right path is something they are learning day by day.
Although students travel far and wide to get here, there are many students who do not go too far from the place they call home. Freshman Kevin Avenge packed up and moved to MSU from Rochester and is pursuing a degree in dental hygiene.
“It’s better than high school,” Avenge said. “It’s kind of all in our own hands instead of in high school, it’s in someone else’s hands.”
In high schools, teachers are more likely to crack down on students who are not participating or have falling grades than university professors are. This is something Avenge gathered from his first few days here.
“The professors are like, ‘We’re here to help, but if you don’t ask, that’s on you,’” Avenge said.
Another significant difference from the transition to college is the sea of unrecognizable faces. Avenge attends a Sociology class with about 160 students, all of whom are strangers to him.
“I’ve never been around this many people I didn’t know,” Avenge said.
Avenge is thankful for the free time he has on his hands, where he often spends with new friends. He has found a competitive side by participating in volleyball games in the sand pits, and he also attended Galactic Bingo Saturday night. Although Avenge did not win with any of his three Bingo cards, he remains optimistic about his college experience.
Another student who has been getting fierce on the volleyball courts is freshman Mason Klabunde, who is studying international relations. Originally from Hutchinson, Klabunde made his way to the McElroy residence hall and found a home away from home within his dorm floor.
“We might have the tightest floor in our dorm,” Klabunde said.
Although he struggles with operating D2L Brightspace, the learning management system at MSU, he keeps a positive mindset about college.
“I’ve really enjoyed getting out there, more so than I thought,” Klabunde said. “It’s been pretty fun, and I’m not as homesick as I thought I would be.”
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Header Photo: Freshmen at MSU moved into the dorms and off-campus housing Thursday, August 18. There were several events following to welcome students onto campus. (Lily Anderson/MSU Reporter)