UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | June 17, 2024

Freshman and sophomores experience events for the first time on-campus

While freshman get to experience events for the first time on-campus sophomores are also getting to experience events for the first time after a school year of not having any. Photo by Misha Mosiichuk

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During the ongoing pandemic, Dixie State University’s current sophomore class missed out on their freshman year physically.

Where most students would be attending orientation days, they were going through the motions online. DSU has the unique experience of having two first-year classes this year. As an institution, it seems we have glossed over the sophomore classes experience so far this year.

Maren Beck, a sophomore biology major from St. George, said: “I definitely missed out on the college experience. Last year I was looking forward to meeting new people and making friends. When all of your classmates are behind a screen that’s pretty difficult. I feel like I have to teach myself responsible behavior again after what feels like taking two gap years from school.”

Starting your first year of college in a pandemic is not the ideal situation for anyone, in most cases, every class got the full college experience. Moving into your dorm and attending school events is to be expected; it’s undeniable that the adjustment would be difficult. 

“Checking up on all students, making sure they’re okay; there’s always a worry of students emotionally distanced from family,” said Bryan Jacobs, senior academic adviser for College of Humanities and Social Science. “Every situation varies from student to student, but the overall experience is similar; the importance of students’ physical and mental well-being is always the concern of staff.”

Jacobs said students are always welcome in his office for advice and help whether it be academic or not.

“Utilizing resources would be in the best interest of the sophomore class to ensure they are equipped with the tools for a successful college career,” Jacobs said. 

After becoming aware of the situation, staff are more than willing to put in a little extra work to ensure the comfort of their students. Having a refresher with the sophomores on important tools such as canvas, and navigate the resources on campus can help.

Staff is aware that retaining information through an online orientation course does not offer the same retention as an online course. A lot of information is given within the first year which could be overwhelming for the majority. 

“I’m just now realizing that it is a specific population that needs help and have different experiences,” said Allie White, academic adviser for College of Humanities and Social Science. “Similar to Trailblazer connections I could create my own campaign and outreach to freshmen, invite them to meet with me and know that they are cared about.”

Sophomores are encouraged to use resources offered on campus and to reach out to their advisers and the career center for any help needed to acclimate to the new year.