College can mean fear, anxiety for new students

Going to college for the first time can be scary: fear of people, fear of a new environment, even fear of failure.

First year students Lai Pham and Mark Aaron say they fear people because they don’t know anyone.

Aaron, who intends to transfer to Iowa state University to major in criminology, said DMACC is much bigger compared to his high school.

“I come from a small school were everyone knows everyone,” he said.

Finding classes and getting around can sometimes be difficult for new students. Dzenisa Fellic’s goal is to graduate from DMACC and transfer to the University of Iowa. She said her fear is getting around.

“My fear is getting from class to class, because I’m afraid I won’t find it,” she said.

While Fellic is worried about finding her classes, Madison Case, who aspires to become an artist some day, fears failure: “I’m afraid I’m gonna fail my classes.”

Academic advisor Ahmed Agyeman’s advice to freshmen is to take the SDV1 class, otherwise known as “the college experience,” to gather information about the different services offered at DMACC. He also said it is important to know some of the places on campus in their first week: “Know the library, know the cafeteria because you have to eat, know the computer lab, know how to log into your DMACC account, the academic achievement center and advising office.”

Agyeman also advises freshmen to get involved and find dependable partners.

“Be involved after the first week or month. We have a lot of clubs and organizations. Find one or two people that you can ask questions. When you go to class, find a steady partner that you can rely on, say if you don’t make it to class one day or simply share notes with,” Agyeman added.

On the issue of balancing work and school, Agyeman’s advice is try and find a balance by working less and concentrating on school for the first semester at least.

“If you have a job, try to do less work and focus on school. Don’t try to work a lot of hours, at least the first semester. Try to have a good balance,” Agyeman said.

Returning student Aldo Plascencia’s tip to new students is to always seek help.

“There is a lot of help here, with tutoring, don’t be afraid to ask,” he said.

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