Back to school
Photos by Evan Krape August 29, 2023
UD students share excitement for new academic year
It’s common to feel nervous about the first day of classes. New routines, new courses and new professors all add to the uncertainty and anticipation of a new school year.
But despite the back-to-school jitters, first-year honors student Lieeba Ahad was excited as she joined thousands of other University of Delaware students as they began the 2023 fall semester on Tuesday, Aug. 29.
“It's scary starting something new,” said Ahad, an applied molecular biology and biotech major who commutes to UD from Bear, Delaware. “The first few weeks are really pivotal moments where you need to get everything in check but also learn everything — it’s just so many things happening at once. It’s a big change, but I’m looking forward to making new friends and building a routine where I can balance my social life and my GPA.”
Nolan Gallagher, a first-year student from Wilmington, Delaware, also said he thought the first few days of college were overwhelming, but he’s excited to make the most of his first semester at UD. Between his two classes on Tuesday, he sat on a bench on The Green while he annotated the syllabus for each of his classes and wrote tasks in his digital planner.
“So far, so good,” he said after his early-morning geology class. "It’s a bit overwhelming, but I’m well-prepared, so I have more to be excited about than nervous about. I’m confident it’s going to be a good semester.”
Elina Rodriguez, a first-year graduate student studying neuroscience, said she feels ready for the fall semester, even if she is a bit nervous about graduate level coursework. She learned from her experience as an undergraduate student at UD that organization is the key to success, so she spent the morning reading the syllabi for her classes, marking important dates on her calendar, checking emails and reviewing the bus schedule.
When offering advice to undergraduate students, she said, “Take time to care for yourself. And if you can do your work early, do it early.”
Jaden Ly, a senior chemical engineering major, is going to try to take that advice to heart, noting that he has a bad habit of procrastinating. But he’s excited for his senior-level coursework and getting one step closer to graduation and the real world.
“At this point, the engineering curriculum, it's a little more — I don’t know if fun is the right word — but more tailored to real engineering work,” he said. “After having taken an internship, I do feel more confident going into class now, so I’m looking forward to it, for sure.”
Justin Rowe, a senior medical diagnostics major, said the first few weeks of the semester are generally not as work heavy, so he likes to use that time to get ahead and set himself up for a successful semester.
“It’s the only downtime you have before the semester gets really serious,” he said, so he spent the morning organizing different folders on his computer, reading the syllabus for each class and creating Quizlets to get a head start on studying.
His goal for the semester is to earn a 4.0 grade point average. As he got some work done in Perkins Student Center before his next class of the day, he offered some advice for new students so they can achieve the same.
“Number one: Go to class,” he said. “And if you think you need help, don’t be afraid to seek it out.”