Students share first day thoughts, feelings

Kiara Craig, Campus Reporter

The first day of school has always been a big thing for students of all ages. Some get excited by it, other are nervous, there are even those who get agitated by it. Despite all this, school is a necessary part of life that whether people like it or not, because it will teach skills that will be helpful later on.

In college, things tend to be taken a little more seriously than in high school, and the COVID-19 pandemic only complicates things.

Some people, like Ashley Jezik, a graduate student working on her masters in college student affairs, are happy that people are wearing masks, and even happier that there are places where people can get breaks from them.

“It was nice seeing people on campus with masks and then people outside didn’t have to wear masks,” said Jezik.

Despite the mask mandate and the pandemic raging on, most students still did their best to find a way to have fun and make friends on the first day of classes.

However, they may still have issues with the first day or worries about how the school year will go.

Sofia Ballesteros, a freshman majoring in Forensic Psychology, said her first day was a success.

“I thought it went really well, I met a lot of really cool people and the professors are really understanding and seem to be really focused on making us succeed,” Ballesteros.

Ballesteros said she was still worried about not having as much of a support system as she might have been used to.

“I’m worried about my organization skills, I’m not really worried about anything else, probably just how well I’m going to be organized in this whole new environment,” Ballesteros said.

Sam Wei, a freshman majoring in computer science, said that he was worried about getting his assignments in on time.

Other students have managed to jump-start their college social life on the first day by going to EIU’s Rec Center and socializing while working out.

One such student is Sandeep Gantam, a freshman majoring in technology.

Gantam said he was super excited when he learned about the Rec Center here on campus.

“I like to socialize with people,” Gantam said. “I like to chill out with people and meet some new people out here, like we get some international students.”

Gantam said that one of the things he likes about Eastern is that despite where you come from, what you’re majoring in, or even your sexuality, Eastern will have its doors open.

The first day can be scary for a lot of new students, but in-person classes, more open dining halls and places like the library or rec center offer opportunities to make new friends.