The line at Starbucks inched out the door and traffic lanes were congested. Students lingered on the lawn, while others chatted in hallways, catching up after a long summer break.
Yes, school was back in session Monday as more than 37,000 students returned to campus for the start of the fall semester. And when they arrived, they found new 3D printers in the University Library, new faculty, a cybersecurity major, continued construction and a lot of anxious freshmen, who were eager to get started on their college careers.
Mark Phan, a freshman, said he was nervous before his first class, but the professor quickly put the Communications 110 class at ease.
“He said that we wouldn’t struggle in his class,” Phan said. “There were a lot of us who were nervous and that helped.”
Haley McDonough didn’t have any complaints on her first day, not even when it came to parking. After three years, she has figured out the traffic patterns.
“I live in Yorba Linda, so I leave my house at 6:30 a.m.” she said.
McDonough was reserving any comment about her classes, though. She is carrying 13 units this semester.
“I’m sort of indifferent right now,” she said. “I like to figure everyone out the first week.”
Freshman Jenny Martinez, an aerospace engineering major, didn’t hold back when asked about her professors.
“They are a lot more lenient than I expected,” Martinez said. “So today has gone a lot better than I expected.”
Jacob Kress perched two chemistry books on his skateboard as he adjusted his backpack. He decided to purchase two books last week to avoid the rush for notebooks, reference materials and text books on the first day at the University Bookstore.
“I’m excited to start the next chapter of my life,” said Kress, an incoming freshman and marine biology major from Huntington Beach.
Ashley Glover, a transfer from El Camino College, walked around the campus two days before school started to learn where her classes were located. She also wanted to get her ID card.
“This campus is a little bit bigger than the campus I’m coming from,” Glover said.
SOAR positioned booths around campus to help with wayward students and anxious students on their first day, offering advice and directions.
Incoming freshman Christopher Shih said he was both nervous and excited for Monday. He said he was nervous because he was away from his Fremont, California home but excited to get started on his electrical engineering degree, a key reason he decided to apply to the university.
Long Beach State, recently ranked No. 22 by Money magazine as one of the “Best Colleges in America”, is the most applied-to university in the CSU system with more than 102,000 applicants.