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Freshmen friends Michaela, Megan, Adriana, and Megan in front of Northrop Auditorium.

Freshmen friends and future engineers Michaela Perske, Megan Lotl, Adriana Fitzgerald, and Megan Corey on their first day of classes.

Fresh at the U

The first day of classes is a mix of smiles and frowns for freshmen

By Pauline Oo

Published on September 9, 2004

Sunshine, blue skies, and a slight breeze... what more could a freshman want on the first day of classes? According to some, no homework, less walking, and more time for lunch. This fall, the University welcomes an estimated 5,375 new students. Ever the curious, we decided to corner a few freshmen on the Twin Cities campus in Minneapolis Tuesday to ask: "What were the best and worst things about your first day at the University of Minnesota?"

Sally Holzapfel, 19; Minneapolis, MN; architecture The best thing was meeting new people... [during lunch] I took the chance and sat down with someone who was by herself. We ended up having class together the next hour. The worst thing was not knowing what to expect.

Megan Lotl, 18; Hannibal, MO; biomedical engineering I had big classes, but I always felt like they were small because the people next to me always introduced themselves and were willing to help me. I liked that--it was the best thing about today. The worst thing was all that walking. I'm not used to having one class way over here and another one way over there. And they're also 15 minutes apart. I think I'll have to run on some days.

Mike Karbo, 19; Eden Prairie, MN; undecided The worst thing is my schedule, because I have classes from the morning until 9:30 at night. The best thing is getting the Internet going--I can e-mail or talk to friends online to fill time between a bunch of hour-long breaks.

Hale Sloan, 18; Sharon Spring, KS; biomedical engineering The best thing about today, and the worst part of today, is that it's the beginning of the rest of it. I'm moving on, into a new part of life.

Michaela Perske, 18; Sartell, MN; engineering The best thing about today was getting to meet the people in my classes and finding some people who I can work with in study groups. Also, the food was pretty good for lunch--there was fresh fruit, a salad bar, and I really liked the ice cream cones. The worst thing is that I have a lot of reading, and I'm not used to that yet.

Adriana Fitzgerald, 18; Duluth, MN; engineering The best thing about today was that I'm finally happy about my decision to come here and do what I'm doing--my parents wanted me to go into music, and I thought I was going to stay in Duluth. The worst thing about today was that I really didn't have time to eat lunch.

Erik Thomsen, 18; Eden Prairie, MN; undecided Probably, the worst thing was the food. The best thing? Getting my Internet working, finally, in the dorm room.

Megan Corey, 18; Sioux City, IA; chemical engineering My instructor spoke English, but his accent was so heavy. I couldn't understand what he was saying. So, that would be the worst thing about today. The best thing would have to be just being on this beautiful campus. John Zaleskas, 19; Eden Prairie, MN; engineering I'd say the worst thing was commuting here from the St. Paul campus. The best thing was the flexibility in my schedule and the professors. They're a lot more knowledgeable compared to teachers I'm used to dealing with in high school, and I found that very rewarding--even though it was only the first day of class.

Lauren Van Proosdy, 18; Madison, WI; undecided The best thing about today was the experience of the first day of college--seeing all the people on campus and seeing what my classes were going to be like. The worst part was all the walking.

Ashley Kollberg, 18; Madison, WI; Spanish and a science subject The weather was the best part about today. The worst thing was getting homework on the first day.