Freshman catch breath, finally get to start on 15 lbs.

by Kristen Erickson

This year’s first-year students can shovel dirt, laugh at comedians and eat Tropical Sno with the best of them.

These activities are just a small portion of the whirlwind schedule that incoming students faced upon arriving at Simpson just three weeks ago.

While the busy program left some feeling overwhelmed, first-year students have now had an opportunity to catch their breath and reflect on their experiences.

“The activities helped me get to know a lot of faces,” said freshman Makaela King. “Now when I’m on-campus I see familiar faces everywhere.”

Others involved agree that the busy program helped first-year students transition easily into their new environment.

“There was a lot of stuff, but such a program is necessary to get acquainted with Simpson and to meet people here,” said Lindsay Smith, one of several upperclassmen working as Liberal Arts Seminar assistants.

The LAS program for which Smith works played a large role in first-year students’ first weekend on campus.

Since each freshman is enrolled in one of several offered LAS courses, these groups worked to provide sub-divisions for the particularly large freshman class.

“We had stuff going on all the time,” said King, who said that she met with her LAS group probably three times a day for the first few days.

Some of the activities done with the LAS group include meeting the president for ice cream, learning the ins and outs of Simpson College through a series of workshops and the Monday morning community service project.

“We hung curtains, moved dirt and picked up trash,” said Smith of her group’s service project, performed at Churches United, a last resort homeless shelter in Des Moines.

King said that she particularly enjoyed the community service project that her LAS class performed, where they worked together to build a brick path.

King added that while she liked the schedule during the day, she didn’t care for meeting with her LAS at 8:00 p.m.

“I think we should have had our nights for ourselves,” she said.

Now that the initial overload is through, freshmen like King have their nights — and a lot of time during the day — to use however they wish.

“I’m excited that the semester has started, but I don’t like the homework,” said King, who has been enjoying her new free time, although she said there still isn’t much of it.

Upperclassman like Smith can attest to using one’s newfound freedoms wisely and not getting caught up in the excitement of the new delights of college life.

“It’s good to meet people and have relationships with them, but don’t get so caught up that you forget about school,” said Smith.