The first day of school can be full of all kinds of emotions, no matter what level you are going into. The first day as a freshman at the University of Iowa is no different!
Like many other freshmen, I was full of nerves and excitement as I woke up on Monday morning. I knew that I was ready and well-prepared to embark on this new journey, but that didn’t stop my stomach from spinning in circles.
Waking up Monday morning, I had all the first-day worries. What if I couldn’t find my classes? What if I didn’t make it on time? What if I was the first one there? What if I was the last one there? I was worried about the size of classes, not knowing other students or my professor, and navigating my way through such a large campus. Worry after worry popped into my head as I walked to my first class.
I started off my day with a Biostatistics lecture with roughly 140 other kids (and this would be my smallest lecture of the semester!). When I made the decision to come to Iowa, one of my top worries was that I would not adjust well to the larger class sizes and big lecture rooms. 15 minutes into my first class of freshman year, I knew that I had been worrying for nothing all along. I ended up LOVING the lecture-style class, even with over 100 kids. I found it to be the perfect environment to focus. Additionally, the bigger the lecture class, the more chances you have of getting to know new people.
Almost each lecture class offered at Iowa is coupled with a discussion section of about 20-30 students. This gives you the chance to get to know other students more in-depth and have direct contact with a TA (teaching assistant) to ask questions or clarification. So, if you’re worried about never being able to talk to the professor, ask questions, or engage with other students, don’t stress. There are many opportunities for these things during discussions, office hours, TA hours, Supplemental Instructions, etc.
After my first day, I can confidently tell you, “It’s not that bad.” The University of Iowa campus is set up perfectly for college students, ensuring that you can make it almost anywhere in the time you have. There are also multiple navigation aids such as google maps, signs posted around campus, and other faculty and students to help you find your way. Secondly, the professors and teaching aids understand that you are a college student with a potentially busy schedule. Arriving just a few minutes before class, or even right on time is no worry.
As I closed in on my first week as a college student, I felt so much better about my choice to come to a larger university, even as someone who came from a school of fewer than 1,000 students. The University of Iowa is definitely a school with large campus opportunities and a small campus feel! What more can you ask for?