Students Return to Hit the Books


Sean Lee

Document Type

News Article

Publication Date


Campus Unit

University of North Dakota


During a week where all but one U.S. state saw snow , more than 14,000 students returned to The University of North Dakota campus.

“It’s nice to get back in the groove of things,” said Shane Gerbert, a UND air traffic control senior. “The best part of coming back is catching up with friends.”

Despite a frosty campus, students were eager to hit the books.

“36 degrees, T-shirt weather back at home!” said Gerbert, a Las Vegas native.

While many students traveled over the winter break, some elected to stay and enjoy the winter wonderland that is Grand Forks. Graduate student Jackie DeMolee took in the peace and quiet Grand Forks had to ofter.

“(At home) I couldn’t relax at all, my 11-year-old brother and four-year-old sister were both super energetic about Christmas. It was nice to get away,” said DeMolee.

Students went through their normal back-to-school routines during the first week of instruction: buying books at the bookstore, catching up with old friends and, perhaps the most important task, returning to class.

Though most were returning for another semester, over 400 new and transfer students set foot in a UND classroom for the first time.

Brooke Pearson, a transfer student from Lake Region State College took her very first class at UND last week. “I absolutely love it here so far,” Pearson said. “It’s going to take a little getting used to this many people on campus everyday. Still, everyone here is super friendly.”

With a new set of faces on both ends off the classroom, the task of becoming acquainted can be both exciting and nervous. “(My classes) haven’t spit up into their different social structures yet,” Gerbert said. “For now its just a group of strangers and a professor in the front of the class.”

All these new faces can mean new friends, and new challenges.

Professor of Communication Dr. Richard Shafer calls his introductory lectures a “Baskin and Robbins of introductory classes,” and offered some lighthearted advice to his students: “Get up in the morning, ingest some form of caffeine, and try to make it to spring break.”

In all honesty, going to classes is far from “the daily grind.” and students often fit in a few credits just for fun. The Physical Education, Exercise Science & Wellness Department offers several for-credit classes that can liven up any schedule. These include ballroom dancing, floor hockey, billiards, and even curling.

Another way to break up the day is to squeeze in an afternoon workout at the Wellness Center. “It’s a huge stress reliever, and it helps me stay healthy and fit,” Andrea Collins, a junior marketing major said. “I live off campus so it’s nice to fit in a workout after classes.”

Other students relax in the student union, eat in the dining centers or catch up with work in the library.

Now, with a week of class in the books, the spring semester is officially off to a good start.

Students at UND find many ways to make their college experiences their own, and a new semester is a clean slate, ready for renewal. The spring semester may begin in January, one of the harshest seasons in the upper Midwest, but it ends in May, one of its most pleasant.