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Information for new students

By   Sam Herder

By Sam Herder, Devils Lake Journal

Published in Devils Lake Journal August 7, 2015

With the school year approaching, students are starting to get ready to be back in the classroom. No matter the grade, a majority of students get anxious as the first day of school nears. 

One of the biggest jumps of a young person's life is going to college. Colleges make it an emphasis to have first ­year students feel welcome, and Lake Region State College is no different. While bringing in many students from the Lake Region area, LRSC also brings in students from all around the United States and the world. The story is the same at every college. New faces and new surroundings. 

So how does one get acclimated? For starters, orientation is the first step.

"Orientation is place to learn, a place to grow," LRSC Director of Counseling Brigitte Greywater. "I would never skip your orientation, wherever you're going. You get to learn about the resources and also meet new people. You do fun activities and find out what's available. There's something for everyone on every campus. But you can't sit back. You have to choose to be engaged." LRSC's orientation begins August 22 and extends into Thursday with various activities. "Orientation activities are a chance for new students to get out and meet each other and make some new friends before school even starts," 

LRSC President Dr. Doug Darling said.The first week of nerves are normal for freshmen. But Greywater says that is natural."Everyone feels like you,"Greywater said. "Everyone is nervous and new. For most people, it is a new experience to do college. Understanding the person next to you probably feels the same way allows you to develop those relationships." For most of the students, it's their first time living on their own. And as with most colleges, first­year students are required to live in the dorm halls unless they live within driving radius of LRSC.

About 180 students live in dorms at the college.

And not only is it an adjustment to live in a dorm room, roommates can also be complete strangers. But that gives plenty of opportunity to make new friendships.

"First thing I would as a new student, if I'm from Devils Lake I know Devils Lake, but if I'm not from town, I would go get my dorm buddies and go drive around town and find where these places are where we can buy things that we can't get on campus," Greywater said. "And then find some fun things to do around town. Being safe, but also recognize we have a ton of student activities on campus." 

LRSC does have one dorm area with AC and the others get solid air circulation from the school buildings, but Greywater still suggests students bring fans. Among other things to bring to adjust to the dorm life include: towel, shower shoes, and robe, soap, shampoo and conditioner. Students should fill your R­card (student ID) with money so you can do your laundry, bring laundry detergent, some dishes and silverware, bedding (extra long twin sheets for LRSC beds), paper and pencil. 

Getting your class text­books in a timely manner is also important. Books and supplies are a heavy bill for students, but LRSC has an option for that.

"Not everyone has $1,000 to go and buy these things,"Greywater said. "What we do offer is you can charge to your bill. So if you have financial aid coming, you can charge up to $800 for your books and supplies. Don't get crazy, but get what you need."

Another important thing to do is talk with your roommate about sleeping schedules and class schedules. Dorm halls have quiet hours, but young adults aren't always quite in the evenings.

"For most of the students, it's their first time moving away from home, so it's important to get to know people early on," Darling said. "It's important for us to give them some survival skills that will help them be successful at Lake Region State College."

When it comes to classes, one of the main things Greywater encounters is struggles with technology. A majority of colleges use an online program for grades and assignments. At LRSC, that program is called eCollege.Submitting assignments
online is often new to students, and questions typically arise.

"My recommendation is go ask any instructor," Greywater said. "Everybody will help you because we all use the same program. But also, we have student services available." 

Adjusting to the college lifestyle comes easier for some compared to others. Colleges are about student experience and they put out the necessary resources to ensure students feel welcome and safe. At LRSC, they give students plenty of options and ways to get acclimated.

"Welcome to Lake Region State College and let's get set for a great year," Greywater said. "It's going to be fun."