It’s a beautiful August morning, and students are waking up in their dorms and houses to a blaring alarm, signaling it’s time for class. For some of them, this will be their last first day of school at Miami University.
That was the case for Madison Shaffer, a senior zoology and pre-vet major.
“It feels so weird to finally be a senior, but it's so exciting at the same time,” Shaffer said.
Miami Activities and Programming (MAP) were prepared for the first day of school pictures that have become a staple in most students' lives. MAP set up a light-up sign that read “First Day” outside of Armstrong’s front doors, along with a Miami backdrop to pose in front of.
“Me and my best friend purposely came to Armstrong for it to take our last first day photos together,” Shaffer said.
They weren’t the only ones. At one point, the line was full of people waiting to get their parent-approved first day of school picture, as people walking by took part in the fun tradition.
While this was a sentimental day for some seniors, it was a morning full of nerves and excitement for first-years like Irelyn Kelly.
“I did college classes in high school, too,” Kelly, a biology and pre-med major, said. “So, I guess I've done it before, but I feel like being in the actual environment makes it a lot more exciting.”
Jai Dixon, a first-year political science major on the pre-law track, had a similar mindset to Kelly. He said the independence of college was nice because he could create his own schedule, hoping once classes were over he could go home and sleep.
Junior integrated science education major Casey Rensel said the night before felt like Christmas Eve.
“When I was a freshman and sophomore, I got nerves that would last forever, but I'm used to it now,” Rensel said. “I'm used to the routine I have to go through and everything, so I was looking forward to that.”
A common theme among students of all grades was excitement for the day and the hope to see their friends or make new ones. There was not much anxiety in the air — some stress — but primarily an eagerness to start their day.
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That feeling was reflected in Bri Snider, a sophomore biomedical engineering major. As a resident assistant, she was on campus early and loved seeing the excitement build among the students and her residents.
“I was ready to come back like two weeks before I even got here,” Snider said. “I was already packing, itching to be back in Miami.”