Kristin Rieger, Justin Pirnie, and Jenny Adams aren't sure what to expect from their first semester in college. But they're eager to get started.
For them, high school is over. Now they're headed to Kansas University and a new academic and social world. In that world, they know that they're taking on more responsibility. They know they'll be meeting new people, adapting to new schedules and facing new challenges.
Interviewed during a summer orientation session on campus, 18-year-old Kristin Rieger of Fairway said she expects the transition to college means some changes some study habits.
"I know I'll have to learn how to study hard," she said. But she also thinks she's prepared to handle college coursework.
Justin Pirnie, Kansas City, Mo., thinks he's realistic and prepared for college life. But he does have some concerns about economics. Pirnie said he's been saving, but admits he's worried about ``spending too much money."
Jenny Adams won't find KU as new as many of her freshmen peers. Lawrence is her home, and she got an early start on classes by taking a course at KU this summer.
Still, she expects a busy and challenging first semester. Adams said she thought her first semester would be fairly difficult and expects that college work will require more study.
KU ISN'T going to be like high school, she said. "Now I'm going to have to learn to study again."
Concerns about money, study skills and course choices are shared by new students, and KU works to help them during summer orientation sessions. At the sessions, students get briefed on topics ranging from academics to living arrangements to campus diversity. And they get to ask their own questions about KU.
Ron Roecker, one of the orientation assistants, said he typically answers hundreds of questions from students attending orientation.
"When you get to college, only you have the responsibility of graduating," Roecker told a group of new students at one of the summer sessions. "This is the time when you need to be making you own decisions."
Mabel Rice, professor of speech, language and hearing, told incoming students during an orientation session that they will learn to be responsible and open-minded.
"Tolerance of individual differences is the mark of truly educated people," she said.
With that guidance, Rieger, Adams and Pirnie are about to begin their KU careers.
Here's a glimpse of what they anticipate during their first semester on the hill.
"This isn't as bad as I thought it would be," Rieger said during a break in her orientation session. "I thought it would be like `Do this, do this, do this,' but it's more relaxed," she said.
Rieger, who already has two older brothers in college, said she was surprised that KU officials addressed several social issues of campus living.
"I thought they would talk about more academic things," she said. "I guess the social issues are pretty important."
Rieger, who will be living in Corbin Hall, said knowledge is the most valuable thing she'll be bringing to campus.
"I hope everything I learned in high school will be enough to help me do well," she said.
"I know I'll have to learn how to study hard."
Rieger said she hoped to maintain the B average that she had in high school.
"I don't think there's anything that will give me a lot of trouble," she said of the 15 class hours she will be taking.
"I know I'll be surprised by a lot of things . . . but I guess I'm as prepared as I need to be," she said.
Rieger said that during enrollment, she did not require special help from academic advisers.
"I think everybody pretty much knew what they wanted to take," she said. "You have to take a lot of requirements, and I think it was just a matter of deciding what you wanted to take and when."
She has not chosen a major.
"I've had a couple of ideas, but it's something that I won't be sure about for a while," she said.
Rieger's mother, Karen, said Kristin is pretty independent.
"I think she's ready for college," Mrs. Rieger said. "She's a pretty independent kid."
However, she added, "I want her to have common sense and take reasonable precautions.''
"I've told her not to get herself in situations that could be dangerous," such as walking home alone at night, Mrs. Rieger said.
Socially, Kristen says she wants to meet new friends.
"I'm looking forward to meeting different people . . . my high school was kind of small," she said.
"I already knew quite a lot," said Adams, a Lawrence High School graduate who plans to take 17 hours and work during her first semester at KU.
Adams also got a head start on classes. She took English 101 this summer.
"I wasn't going to go to orientation, but people kept calling me and telling me that I should go," she said. "Now, I'm glad I went. You need time to have someone answer questions you might have, and this gives you the time that you wouldn't have."
Adams said her main concern was wondering if she was taking the right classes.
"I just want to make sure that I'm taking all the ones I need to take," she said. "I'm really not nervous about anything, but I think the summer (class) helped me out a lot."
Adams, who will be living at home, said many of her friends have asked her why she doesn't leave Lawrence for college.
"A lot of the other colleges are just like KU," she said. "KU is (financially) cheaper and it's a good school, so why not stay in Lawrence?" she said.
Adams also is eager to play with the KU band.
"I'm hoping that will help," in meeting new people, she said. "I've heard that they (band) are like a family and they do a lot of things together.
"I'd like to be a part of that."
Adams said she thought her first semester would be fairly difficult.
"I really didn't study my senior year I just wanted to get out of there (LHS)," she said. "Now I'm going to have to learn to study again."
"I'm worried about spending too much money," said Pirnie, who will be living in McCollum Hall with a roommate from Minneapolis, Minn.
"I'm trying to save as much as I can now I just hope it will be enough."
Pirnie said he was surprised when he got a call recently from his future roommate.
"He's got a fax machine and a pretty good stereo . . . and he sounded real nice."
Those appliances, combined with Pirnie's personal computer, should come in handy for both relaxation and school work, he said.
Pirnie, who hasn't decided on a major, said he hoped to maintain his B average from high school. He has enrolled with 19 hours and wants to stick with them.
"Realistically, your grade-point average goes down when you get to college . . . so if I can keep up my high school average I'll be happy," he said.
Pirnie said he hoped to live off campus by the spring semester.
"I want to buy a house with four other guys," he said.
For now, Pirnie said he thinks he's ready for Mount Oread.
"I think I'm pretty prepared because I'm pretty realistic about it," he said. "I really don't have anyone else to blame if I don't do well.
"I know I'll have some good teachers and some bad teachers, but I'll have to learn how deal with that."
Pirnie also said he was glad KU officials addressed tolerance during the orientation session.
"The minute you start labeling someone else, you've already limited what you can learn about them," he said.
"When you have tolerance of people of other races or different sexual orientation you just have a better learning environment.
"You have to have an open mind in order to learn."