To stress or not to stress?

Can you remember one of the most stressful times of your life? What about the first week of school? Students roam unfamiliar halls in search of their new classes. During the first week of school, students are familiarizing themselves with campus life and their homework. Some students are not fully prepared to start school and have to wait in long lines to clear things up with admissions or financial aid.

Students are not the only ones on campus who had to prepare for this week; teachers and counselors did, too. Everyone on campus has their own version of the first week of school; each person has their own stressors and objectives.

Los Medanos College student Paul B. expressed that preparing for school as a student can be stressful financially, “What stresses me the most about the first week of school is coming up with the supplies.” Many classes require textbooks that can be purchased or rented from the school bookstore. Some common items that students can purchase before school are paper, writing utensils, calculators, binders, protractors, notebooks (for each class) and more.

Luckily, LMC has a program known as Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS) that helps students get school supplies and offers personal counseling if they meet the eligibility requirements.

Some students are more concerned about financial aid while others are concerned about the social aspects of school. Shelby Zobb, a freshman at LMC has experienced stress this week for a different reason. “I don’t really know anyone on campus and there are a lot of crowds,” said Zobb. Being new on campus may seem intimidating for students.

The first week of school may be stressful for students, but how does the staff feel about it? LMC’s theater professor Robert Broadfoot provides some insight into what educators have to deal with during the first week of school. “It is usually hard to get out of vacation mode, there are teachers I know that come back from vacation early to prepare for fall or spring classes,” Broadfoot explained.

Students aren’t the only ones nervous about starting class. “Yes, I’m nervous and I know that it is normal to want to suppress it. As a teacher I want to give the image that I am in command and in control, but sometimes I don’t feel that way. That is my experience; I’m not sure about other teachers.” It is understandable that standing in front of thirty or more students and not knowing what to expect can make a person nervous.

The students for the class change each semester, the instructor has to learn what works for each group of students. Teachers also need to set aside time before school starts to prepare the course syllabus.

As a theatre instructor, there are times in the semester to look forward to. “There are a few plays I’m looking forward to in the syllabus that are exciting to me. I have some material I’m excited to get to,” Broadfoot said. It is good to have something in the semester to look forward to; it makes all of the effort worth it to reach a goal. Even though this is the beginning of this semester, keeping your eye on the prize can help you stay motivated to achieve your goals.

The counselors at LMC are at their busiest around the first week of school. Counselor Marco Godinez has been working at LMC since 2001 and has experience assisting students with the stress associated with starting school. “In the years I have been here I noticed that the students who are the most stressed are the ones who are the most unprepared,” explained Godinez. “They feel stressed out because they can’t get into classes since they didn’t plan sooner. The students that come to us early in the middle of the semester do great. Students that prepare and take a college orientation are usually successful.”

Doing things last minute will not guarantee the same results as doing things in a timely manner, it will cause more stress, and as a result, a person may not have as many options for classes.

The counseling department, which can be reached at (925) 439-2181×3334, is here to help you work with your schedule and preach that time management is crucial to academic success. The counselors are fully prepared for the first few weeks of school and are focused on assisting those students in need of guidance.

There are many opportunities on campus to take advantage of. For students looking to meet new people, Godinez recommended to join a student club. According to Godinez, “We have a good blend of students here and many clubs to join that range from the Anime club to the Black Student Union club. If you feel like your group is not being represented, you can create a club with Student Life.”

Everyone experiences the first week of school in different ways. Taking advantage of student resources can help decrease stress. The counselors are here to help and they want the students to succeed. LMC is a school of opportunity; students should not let stress stop them from achieving their goals.