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Students react to start of new school year

From eager freshman moving into their new homes to upperclassmen returning for another semester of classes, the Bluffton campus has been booming with life. Laughter echoed throughout campus as students partook in the Paint U event on Neufeld Lawn. Competitive freshmen battled against their own classmates in the annual Bluffton Olympics, all vying to come out on top. Despite the Welcome Weekend events held to make new students feel at home, the first week of classes has full of nervous jitters, excitement and maybe a few tears.

Bailey Baker, a second-year student, is managing seven classes and a job this semester.

“My favorite part so far is realizing I can do it,” said Baker. “I didn’t think such a full schedule would be possible at first, but I know now with a little extra hard work, I can do it.”

Many freshman, including Alexander Maag and Amani Seaburn, have decided to commute to Bluffton every morning, making their first-year experience a little different than others.

“I’m not really a huge fan of commuting,” said Seaburn. “I come from Fostoria every morning, which is a 45-minute drive. But, if it’s foggy or slippery, it can take up to an hour.”

However, Maag has a different outlook on commuting.

“I don’t mind it,” said Maag. “I commute with someone else, so the drive isn’t that bad. I am also saving money by doing it. I have an on-campus job, so I love meeting people through my classes and through my job.”

Seaburn is among the students studying in Bluffton’s new nursing program. Although the study habits and routines are a little different for Seaburn, she enjoys her nursing classes.

“I really like my anatomy class,” said Seaburn. “It’s amazing to see how our organ systems work together and interconnect to make up our body!”

Jalen Garrett, a freshman basketball player from Dayton, Ohio, is struggling to adjust to Bluffton’s smaller campus and rural surroundings.

“I grew up in a city and lived in a suburb my whole life,” Garrett said. “Coming to Bluffton, which is rather small and rural, has been a huge adjustment.”

Garrett lives in Hirschy Annex and enjoys spending time with his friends and his roommate. He is an education major, so he looks forward to his Introduction to Teaching class.

Kiera Suffel, a junior communication major, shared how she juggles a full course schedule, multiple campus jobs and her off-campus job at Luke’s.

“I think I’m able to do it because I’ve done this before,” said Suffel. “I’ve learned how to balance school and work. It may mean having less of a social life, but it’s worth it in the end.”

Suffel enjoys her communication classes and her job in Admissions. One of her favorite classes is Organizational Communication with Marathana Prothro.

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Hannah Brown

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