Columnist compares college to a pair of shoes

By: Hailey Kurtenbach Columnist

Easing into the new school year is quite like breaking in a fine, new pair of shoes; it’s a slow process. The material is rather rough at first, and the shape of the soles is unfamiliar, not yet acclimated to the wearer’s feet. Situating one’s self into the foreign territory of new footwear and the beginning of the academic semester is similarly awkward and slightly uncomfortable. Shifting from the summer garb of flip flops to the more campus-crossing friendly, ever-reliable tennis shoes called for my slight discomfort the first week. My feet were not yet ready to fit into the structured makings of the school ‘shoe’. My toes were still wanderlust from three months of educational freedom, and not yet ready to accept the idea of confined classrooms.

My agenda within the first day was already bogged down with school-wide social events and homework. Not only did I feel quite squished in these new obligatory kicks, I felt extremely suffocated by the workload assigned by professors right off the bat. I understand the importance of homework, essays, quizzes and exams just as much as the next guy, but answer me this: Would someone logically sprint a mile in brand new shoes?

My mother always said to take baby steps first, but I felt as if on August 25 I was forced to run a half marathon in shoes just out of the box. By the end of the first week I was left with battle scar blisters and exhaustion due to the excessive amount of work doled out. I noticed my peers were about in the same shape as I was; sore feet and a wounded spirit crushed by an overload of assignments. The mistake that some professors make, I have come to understand is giving an unreasonable amount of homework or exams the first week of the semester.

If you were to take one look around the campus the first week, it was easy to see the many events planned for students to participate in. It was welcome back week for thousands of Jackrabbits; the excitement levels were hopping, as I may so punningly say. Morale and school spirit refreshed after a well-spent summer break, it surely was a great time to be completely immersing one’s self into the multitudes of activities and get-togethers offered.

College is not only a place to pursue academic success, but experiences and connections made can be seen as equally valuable. Missing these opportunities is missing part of the overall jovial spirit that the first week possesses. Multiple readings and short essays forced me to the library, meaning I did miss a number of things happening around campus. It wasn’t a pure heinous doing to place the burden of homework upon the shoulders of the student body during the first week, but I do believe it puts a strain upon many. Attempting to balance the social events and also the academic weight of 5 or 6 classes is no easy feat.

Taking the time to rightly break into a pair shoes will be rewarded with a comfortable feel; a fit that will last. Being expected to begin at such a breakneck speed will eventually burn the rubber off the sole, anwd make for a rocky start to the year.  Slow and steady steps wins not only the race, but also success for the upcoming semester.

Hailey is a freshman exploratory studies major. She can be reached at

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