Freshmen learn lessons from first semester

College, as many freshmen find out, brings new challenges, especially stressing about finals during the last week of the semester. For some, like Nestor Gamez, a biomedical sciences major, it has been a rude awakening.

The Oracle chose four freshmen at random in August and followed them throughout the semester. Nearing the end of the term, three freshmen related their experiences and lessons learned from entering college. One could not be reached.

Gamez said college has been a big difference from high school.

The beginning was a rude awakening, but as it went on, I got the flow of things, he said. I didnt know how to study and I wasnt used to the tests the way professors make them.

McKinzie Step, an English major, said she had a good experience in her first semester, but her workload was something she wasnt prepared for.

Its ridiculous, she said. I have a bunch of writing intensive classes, and the big papers make it hard for me. I never had to work that way in high school.

John Wilson, a political science major, said he learned he had to handle his schoolwork differently than he did in high school.

The material is more complex, he said. There is definitely more responsibility on the student.

Approaching finals week, the freshmen said they are learning how to deal with more studying and stress.

Gamez said he is trying not to overwhelm himself.

Its definitely pretty hectic, Gamez said. You just have to learn how to manage your time well.

Step said her secret to release the tension of final exams is going to the gym every day. She said she is getting
all the grades she wanted.

I just didnt realize how much work it was going to take, Step said. I spend a lot of nights in the Library.

While Step said she fell asleep while studying at the Library on at least six different occasions, Wilson said he
managed to avoid much of the stress his classmates are going through by planning ahead.

Its all how you prepare yourself, he said. You have to plan for it before the stress comes.

Gamez said figuring out a study schedule was what caused him the most stress this semester.

Id probably study a little bit harder and not underestimate the material so much, he said.