The first day of the Fall 2018 semester notoriously almost the hardest day for students because everyone is returning from a long summer break. Some students prepare for the new semester, while others wish they still had a few more months.
Many students are coming to college for the first time, while some are returning for another year. Whatever the case may be, the first day of class is always daunting, your body and mind become encapsulated by nervousness.
For many freshmen, this is their first time away from home and their first time making major life decisions. While others are transferring in, more students are moving here from other states and countries. Many students don’t know what to expect before they step into that first classroom, it creates a fear that overtakes us. This flood of emotions occur not just for one semester but almost every semester. The question is, why do these emotions even exist, and why do they persist every semester?
In my opinion, there is one absolute answer to these questions: fear of the unknown. Many students do not know how their professor will be; will they be hard, or easy? They may ask themselves, is there a heavy workload? Or, is the teacher interesting? Others dread these questions so much that they are more likely to vomit than to go inside their classroom and face these fears. To put it bluntly, the fear is real.
I am in my last semester here at UTSA, but I was horrified of the first day of school. When I saw my class syllabi online, anxiety hit me like a brick. The fear of having so much work and not being able to finish it all paralyzed me for a few minutes. Just knowing that I had to read five books in eight weeks for my history seminar had me on edge and made me terrified for my first day. The fear of making a bad grade terrorized my normally calm demeanor.
All of these issues have something in common: fear of the unknown. Although these fears do persist for a long time, we eventually get over that first day of anxiety and classes progressively seem to get easier.
As assignments come into view and leave shortly after, we find out that the class was not so bad, in fact, maybe easier than we anticipated. However, these fears tend to come back the following semester, even if we know better. In the end, it may be just a mental block or perhaps it’s human nature to fear the unknown.