Being New To An Untouched Campus
Abi Hilden, contributor
Starting university is always a significant step for incoming first-year students, tinged with excitement and anxiety in equal measure. But this is a particularly potent brew for this year’s new freshmen, who are entering a campus community that is bouncing back from a year of isolation and remote learning. Still, many seem to be making the most of their learning in a community that is in recovery, and optimism among the first-years seems to be high.
One such student is Jaina Koerner, first-year music education major, who hasn’t been letting the stress of school get her down. “I feel very busy, but not to the point where it’s too overwhelming,” she says. However she’s finding help from this feeling through her professors and their genuine desire for students to succeed.
“I had my first voice lesson the other day and throughout the hour, she would ask if I understood what she was saying or ask me to identify the problem myself. It might not seem like a big deal, but having a teacher that helps you work through a problem instead of just giving you an answer, is refreshing. I find that it’s the same way in most of my other classes too. I’m glad I’m in a place that helps you grow and is open to learning new ways to teach.”
At a school like Augsburg, the campus community is the heart and soul of attending school. Annabella Castillo, first-year Psychology major, has appreciated this aspect of Augsburg in her first few weeks on campus. “I was running late on one of my first days because I couldn’t find the building my class was in,” said Castillo. “Another student noticed me looking lost and panicked, and they approached me and helped me find my class. I think that moment is emblematic of the Augsburg experience.”
Students who live on campus can become really involved in the community, as it becomes their home away from home. Kayla Mielke, a first-year student majoring in Theater and living on campus, is basking in her environment. “I really enjoy the independence of living away from home,” Mielke shared. “I also like being able to meet people I most likely would have never met if I was not on campus. I am so grateful for that.”
The natural environment of Augsburg’s campus is another highlight of being on campus for the first time, from the Augsburg “A” made of flowers outside of the Quad to the community garden behind Hagfors. “My favorite part about campus is the nature,” says Mielke. “I love that when I walk outside to get to classes, I am surrounded by bright green grass and trees. I also love the flowers and all their bright colors.”
Overall, it seems that first-year students are finding campus life easy and inviting. With plenty of semesters to go and endless opportunities in front of them, it will be interesting to see where these first-years end up.