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Students get back to books as classes begin

By Rachael Myer
Arizona Daily Wildcat
August 31, 1998
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Maneuvering in and out of every University of Arizona nook and cranny, students besieged campus last week to start a fresh semester.

Although chemistry senior Linda Ashby said she has been around long enough to know the drill, even she was surprised by the throngs of scurrying students. "(It was) just about the same as every time I've started, but I would say there are a lot more people here this year," Ashby said.

Atmospheric science sophomore Laurie Koch said she also noticed unusually large crowds, pointing out that too many freshmen for UA residence halls to hold. About 5,000 freshmen - 500 more than last year - started at the UA this year.

Some students, however, predicted that as mid-semester attendance starts to wane, so will the crowds.

Journalism freshman Irene Hsiao said she went to all her classes but "that is just the first week enthusiasm."

Ashby agreed, saying students will inevitably miss some classes this semester. "Things happen and you don't end up going (to class)," Ashby said. "It is really easy to sleep in."

Koch went to all 14 hours of class last week - the earliest starting at 9 a.m. She said her philosophy is not to skip classes, because she can't afford to get behind.

She encouraged newcomers to stay interested in school by meeting people and getting involved in classes.

She also said not to be afraid to "wander the dorm."

Despite the burden of deadlines, study groups and tests, most students noted that such responsibilities seemed more tolerable at the University of Arizona.

Hsiao said fellow students have made her feel at home at the UA. "Everyone seems really friendly and open," she said. "Once I got to classes and I moved into the dorm, everything was fine."

Even though Koch wanted more time before returning to campus, the adjustment was easier this year.

"It came up so fast. I really wasn't prepared for the first week of school." she said. "But I've met more people, I've found a nice group of friends and I've gotten involved with the school."

First-year medical student Sean Pocock said his classes have been very "intense" so far. "You are in school all day and you study all night," Pocock said. "It is nice being so focused."

Ashby had no adjustment this year. "Because I stayed here in Tucson (during the summer), I really didn't get into a vacation mode," she said.

Koch said she is looking forward to Labor Day weekend, football games and visiting with the friends she did not see during the summer.

This weekend Hsiao said she spent time with new friends. "I am looking forward to going to parties," she said.

Rachael Myer can be reached via e-mail at Rachael.Myer@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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