November 6, 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 38  

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The Gazette looks at how first-year students are dealin'

By Dan Perry
Gazette Staff

For most students, mid-terms are a thing of the past, or at least are soon to be. So, in the brief space between passing and celebrating, The Gazette caught up with a few first-year students to find out how they have handled the transition to university and their first of many mid-term crises.

Ren McBeth, a first-year social science student, took the transition in stride. "I think I'm doing okay. I just got some mid-terms back and did pretty good. I find there's a lot of reading to do and it's tough to balance - there's just not enough hours in the day," she said.

"[University is] kind of what I expected. It's interesting, so I don't mind doing [the work] - most of it," McBeth added.

First-year social science student Barry Weston said the new academic standards surprised him a bit. "It is a lot harder than I was expecting. I wasn't expecting anything really different until I got all my first assignments and midterms came along. Business 020 is a pain in the ass," he said.

"Well, yeah, it's a lot. Tons of reading that I never do," Weston laughed when asked if the reading too much.

"It's a lot more than I expected; it's a lot tougher than in high school," said Shayn Diamond, in first-year social science. "I'm not doing very well. They say [your marks] drop about 10 per cent - I dropped about 25."

Jessica Kukoly, in her first-year of French at Brescia University College, has settled in on campus: "I think everywhere [main campus and affiliates], they make it so easy to get involved; it's really open."

Kathleen Kevany, director of the Centre for New Students, said the service is experiencing only an average demand for its services. "Some had thought it would be a bigger year for student services, but I think it hasn't been because we were well prepared [for the double cohort's additional students]," she said, citing, for example, the hiring of more staff as helpful.

"There's been no issues that are unusual," Kevany added.

University Students' Council VP-student affairs Matt Huether said the social end of first-year has also been well-received by new students. "Overall, they really enjoyed O-Week," he said.

Huether noted students are getting involved in record numbers, mentioning the recent crowds of over 100 students, even in smaller residences, for the Western Idol competition.

It would appear students are also interested in contributing to their campus, too; Huether cited the response to USC initiatives was exceptional. "When [the USC] put[s] out a call for committees or commissioners, the response from first-years is very high," he said.



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