Whether a student is in high school or college, the first day of school can be equally terrifying and exciting. Nerves are ranked high for incoming students at Washtenaw Community College this year, and returning students have some advice.
INTERVIEWS AND PHOTOS BY COURTNEY DITTO, CONTRIBUTOR
New students: What brought you to WCC and what are you looking forward to?
Russell Snider, 19, Ann Arbor, Psychology
“I’m just looking to get some of the lower credits out of the way before transferring. WCC offers a good transfer program. I’m most nervous about getting lost. On the bus ride here, I freaked out and thought that I missed my stop, turns out there was just a detour.”
“I didn’t know at first what I wanted to study or where to go and a lot of people said that this was a great place to start. I’m looking forward to graduating, but knowing my way around is the only thing I’m nervous about.”
Returning students: What do you wish someone had told you upon starting at WCC and what survival tip would you give new students?
Hannan Abouzahr, 21, Dexter, Liberal Arts Transfer
“Time management. Prioritize your time, because at some point, you will get overwhelmed. Form a schedule at the beginning of the semester and commit to it. Also, attend your first class. So many times I’ve seen the first day of class be nearly empty the first day and then full the second day and it drives teachers crazy. Being there the first week is probably most important. It shows initiative.”
Ayowole Oladeji, 40, Ann Arbor, General Studies
“The best advice I got from my brother upon starting at WCC was to always be true to who I am and that I should never take things for granted. Unlike other colleges, they teach and work with you in the right manner; they always try to help. The advice I’d give is to not put pressure on yourself and try to enjoy the experience; the experience of your new life, the college life, and work very hard.”
Regan Ainley, 21, Saline, General Studies
“Introducing myself to teachers is what I wish I knew to do, and also getting to know my classmates. Building a rapport with your teachers will often make them more inclined to help you down the road than if they didn’t know you, so definitely don’t be too nervous to talk to them and your classmates. The best advice is to take a deep breath and decompress every now and then. Things have a tendency to get crazy and get overwhelming, so just remember to keep calm and carry on.”
“Not to think of it as a ticket to just come to classes. Build relationships because you never know who’s going to help benefit you later. Plan everything. Plan everything you do, stick to that plan, and be organized. Time management. Time management is the biggest thing.”
“All of the different helps here are amazing. The student center, tutoring, financial aid, there are so many resources to help you along the way. When I started here, I just went to classes, not knowing about the resources at hand. This school is top of the line. The teachers are amazing. They actually care about you and want you to succeed. Another community college I attended was the opposite. The teachers would never email you back and didn’t have any interest in their student’s success, but these teachers work with you and go out of their way to help you. Stay focused and don’t get discouraged. If you feel that you’re slipping, talk to your teachers and go to tutoring, they’re there to help and get you back on track.”