Even college students are susceptible to First Day of School jitters

By Joan Koehne

As a mom of two kids, sending them off on the first day of school was always special, but the elementary school years were especially magical. Our kids’ backpacks and lunch boxes would be packed and ready on the eve of the first day, and the kids would choose what new outfit to wear. In the morning, I’d make a hot breakfast and snap photos of them before they marched off to new school year.

I’m sure this scenario plays out in households everywhere, because the excitement of the first day of school is universal.

For students at NWTC, Thursday, Aug. 31, marks the start of the fall term. That means it’s the first day of school for thousands of students, including moms, dads, grandmas and grandpas who haven’t been in the classroom in a long time.

I wonder if their kids and grandkids are the ones snapping photos. They should be! It’s a milestone that should be celebrated. By enrolling in college courses, they’re investing in themselves and making an effort to get ahead in the world. Elementary school students board a school bus

My first day as a marketing student at NWTC was really low key. I was working full time, and my employer didn’t know I had enrolled in classes. After work I ate a quick supper at home in Abrams, and then I drove to Green Bay for my night class, Principles of Marketing. 

The moments leading up to my first day as an NWTC marketing student weren’t anything like the send-offs we gave our kids on their first day, except for one significant element. The first day of school marked a turning point in our lives.                    (Photo of my two kids on their first day of school in 2003)

I think it takes courage to return to college as an adult. When I stepped into my first NWTC marketing class I didn’t know a soul. I didn’t know where to sit, what to say to the other students in the class, or what to take out of my book bag. Just finding the right parking lot, building, and classroom seemed like a victory, and now I was in the classroom ready for who knew what!

It was comforting to see other returning adult students in the class, and our instructor Lisa O’Halloran made us all feel like we belonged.

So for all those students feeling the familiar First Day of School jitters, here’s my advice. Relax. Simply by registering for classes you have shown that you’re motivated and ready for a challenge. If you love the field that you’re going into, the learning will come naturally.

So here’s to the first day of school! Shake off those jitters, and make it a great one.
Helpful hint: If you’re wondering what to bring on the first day, here’s what I found worked for me. I used a 3-subject notebook that doubled as a folder because it had pockets inside for papers. I liked the 3-subject notebook because I had just 1 notebook to keep track of and carry around. I brought a couple of pens and pencils, a granola bar, and my cell phone. I packed everything into a book bag with a long shoulder strap, which made it easy to carry and kept my hands free to carry my water bottle and my purse. For some classes I found it helpful to bring a laptop. After a few weeks, you’ll get a feel for what to bring to class. Lockers are available if you don’t want to lug everything around with you.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Joan Koehne, of Abrams, is a 2017 graduate of NWTC. A former newspaper editor, she co-owns Writer to the Rescue, the content writing division of Packerland Websites. 
Lisa O'Halloran - Instr,Marketing

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Lisa O'Halloran - Instr,Marketing