The College of Allied Health Sciences welcomed its first-year students to campus just after convocation Friday, Aug. 24, with a picnic lunch and a group photo in the late August heat.
Eating lunch by University Commons on the medical campus, first-year student Amanda Coffey said she was having mixed emotions about the upcoming school year.
"I’m both nervous and excited,” she said. "I’m nervous for my classes, but I’m excited to meet new people.”
A former gymnast, Coffey said her experiences as a physical therapy patient made her want to study pre-physical therapy and dietetics for her undergraduate degree.
Undergraduate Program Director Carney Sotto, PhD, said the "First Year College Day” was held to alleviate some of that first-year anxiety by bringing new students to campus and immediately introducing them to the people and professors they’ll get to know through the year.
"While convocation welcomes the students to the university, this is nice way to welcome the students into the college, to help them develop a sense of place here and a sense of community,” says Sotto. "After lunch, they’ll be meeting directly with the faculty who will be teaching them during their first semester—these are the people who will be working with them and helping them to be academically successful.”
In an introductory session in Kresge Auditorium, first-year students also heard from Dean Elizabeth King, PhD, as well as college department heads and advisors, who all offered up their own advice on surviving the freshman year.
Nancy Creaghead, PhD, professor and department head of communication sciences and disorders, said her advice derived from her own freshman experience: "Believe that you can do anything, but take the steps to ensure that you can,” she said. "Don’t be afraid to admit that you’re anxious or to ask for help.”
Assistant Director of Student Affairs Mel Woods had another tip—one which she said also derived from her experience at college: "Go to class.”