By Theodora MacLeod - Lethbridge Herald Local Journalism Initiative Reporter on January 6, 2024.
As the first week of the new year wraps up, a new semester emerges on the horizon for post-secondary students. Though classes aren’t in session until Monday, students new to Lethbridge College were welcomed on Friday and introduced to the institution and campus.
While some of the freshmen are southern Alberta locals, when asked by college president and CEO Brad Donaldson in his opening remarks, a substantial number of students indicated they are from outside of the area, new to the campus, the community, and, for some, the country.
No matter where they originated, attendees of the new student orientation were welcomed with open arms by a staff that emphasizes the importance of engagement.
Alumnus – and former Lethbridge College Students’ Association president – and current manager of Enterprise Systems (I.T.) at the college, Emmerson Reyes, spoke enthusiastically to the small crowd, sharing a few tips and quips from his days as a student. He encouraged new students to get involved in campus life, attend events, reach out to peers and instructors, and make the most of their time spent enrolled.
“Take the time to meet new people you’re going to share this adventure with,” he says.
“We are always excited for new students to come and explore our campus,” says Sara Riehl
“The biggest tip I have for students is: if you struggle, speak up. We’re very bad in mind reading, but we’re very good in everything else. We can help any student with any problem, but we need to hear about it.” Riehl says she looks forward to seeing halls filled with students and bustling with energy and excitement once again. This semester, there are approximately 450 new students enrolled at the college.
Following the formal introduction, the modestly sized but abundantly enthusiastic group of newbies were invited to attend smaller information sessions for specific programs and interests.
Also offered were campus tours for those who were brand new to the space and trying to avoid the dreaded first day fright of getting lost on the way to calls. Throughout the main building, representatives from various college services were on-site to welcome students and answer questions, offering free pens and goodies along the way.
As the morning shifted to afternoon, the new students were treated to a pizza lunch provided by the Lethbridge College Students’ Association, giving them an opportunity to mingle in The Cave and hopefully meet their fellow classmates.
While most think of September as the dawn of a new school year, in a semester-based system, the Winter start is just as excited. While the foliage may be a little different than the autumnal starts, the crack of a new textbook remains just as exciting, no matter the start date.