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Looking back on the first semester

A college student’s first semester comes with new experiences, challenges and opportunities.

Not every freshman college student knows the do’s and don’ts of their university. One new student, Elizabeth Aluesi, a junior studying family and consumer sciences, shared her thoughts about what she wished she knew about BYU-Idaho during her first semester.

“I look back on my very first semester at BYU-Idaho, and there are a few things I wish I had known about the university,” Aluesi said. “There are so many resources that the school offers that could have helped me.”

Aluesi was born in Portland, Oregon, and is of Tongan and Fijian descent. She said that she didn’t care much for going to college until her seminary teacher changed her mind.

“I had missed all the deadlines for most of the college applications, so my seminary teacher helped me apply for BYU-I,” Aluesi said. “I also found out some of my friends from seminary were going there, so I was like, ‘why not?’”

Aluesi said that since she came to BYU-Idaho on a whim, she didn’t know what to expect. She was both nervous and excited to start her first college semester.

“I met a lot of cool people who have become some of my closest friends now,” Aluesi said. “At first I didn’t like that there wasn’t much to do in Rexburg, but once I made friends, I enjoyed it more.”

Even though Aluesi met good friends during her first semester, she said that there were some things that she wasn’t prepared for, like the weather.

“I wish I had better snow gear because I didn’t know how to dress for it,” Aluesi said. “All I had was rain gear, so I spent my first semester — which was a winter semester — in raincoats and rain boots.”

When it came to academics, Aluesi said that she didn’t know tutoring was free until her second semester. She feels it would have really helped to know during her first semester, so she could have used it.

“I never did any research about the tutoring center because I don’t like to ask for help,” Aluesi said. “Towards the end of my first semester, things got pretty rough with my classes, and I managed to get through but just barely.”

Aluesi said that she has used tutors ever since she found out that tutoring was free. She encourages first semester students to take advantage of the tutoring center and other resources that BYU-Idaho has to offer.

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