Fill in the Blank: Starting a new semester is…

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A student studying and taking notes.

By Angelina Padilla-Tompkins, Senior Opinion Columnist

…Exciting 

The start of a new semester is full of fresh starts, especially the spring semester which begins just after the new year. Getting back into a routine with new classes and schedules is a thrill. 

If you were someone who struggled in the previous semester, this is the time to wipe the slate clean and start over. You are taking new courses with new professors, so it doesn’t matter how your final exams went. What matters is how you plan to handle your new course load. 

There is something inspirational about purchasing a new planner and filling it out with all your new goals and resolutions in mind. The only challenge is making sure the motivation lasts the rest of the semester.  

…Stressful 

While there is the thrill of new beginnings, there is also the stress of figuring out class schedules and tuition. 

The first week of class, syllabus week, tends to be laid back as far as coursework. However, students can find themselves feeling overwhelmed as they go through the syllabus looking at all the projects and exams they will have to complete throughout the next 16 weeks. Furthermore, it can be overwhelming to determine how the course loads will fit in with their other class schedules, as well as their personal and work lives.  

Additionally, the subject of finances is always a stressful one, and paying tuition is no exception. 

NIU’s tuition is due Feb. 28, unless you have already set up a payment plan, according to the university’s website

Whether it be the student, a parent, guardian or grandparent writing the check, seeing the large number of what is owed on your screen can be shocking. 

Students will also need to decide which courses they will buy or rent books for, or if they have no choice but to purchase a ridiculous access code