Eastern Students Share Their Back to School Experiences this Fall Quarter


Keri Kelly

Two EWU students attending EWU event. Many incoming students look forward to the new year.

By Cannon Barnett, Reporter

Students all over have been coming to college for the Fall quarter, and the journey doesn’t look exactly the same for any of them. For some, this is their first experience away from home, while others return to campus for the first time since the lockdown began in 2020.

The Easterner interviewed students anonymously about their experiences this fall quarter in order to highlight the highs and lows that many face in starting the 2022-2023 year. 

Incoming freshmen at Eastern Washington University are, in many senses, thrown into a whole new world as they transition from living with family and going to high school to being in the dorms and managing coursework.

“There is definitely more studying than I have ever had to do in my life,” One student said about the new academic pressure.

Another freshman commented about having “back-to-back exams” that were difficult to manage.

Dorm life also presents a challenge to some freshmen.

“You don’t get home-cooked meals, you’ve gotta do your own thing,” one student said about dorm life. “It’s is like living outside of a comfortable environment.”

“The hardest part is being away from my family, and the friends I’ve known since middle school,”  another student said.

Returning students also face unique challenges. One 4th year student had a unique point of view, as this was their first quarter back on campus after 2 years of online-only schooling. 

“When I took my Chem and Bio labs they were all online, so now when I go into a lab room I don’t know what things are.” They said, “I went to turn on the gas [of a bunsen burner], and I was like, ‘I don’t know how to do this,’ and my lab partner told me I was just releasing gas. We were going to have a huge flame.”

“The hardest part is being in class. Sitting through lectures is very difficult, because at my house when I was doing online school I was listening to my lectures but also doing something else,” The same student said.

Despite the challenges students face in coming back, all of those interviewed had good things to say about coming to school as well.

“I think being on the cheer team helped me a lot,” a student said. “Meeting a lot of friends, meeting and interacting with a lot of people. I get to go to the on-campus events in my uniform and have fun and represent my school.”

Multiple students said that the on-campus events in the student mall, such as the Sip and Carve pumpkin carving event, have helped them get engaged and find friends.

“It’s been weird for sure, finding a whole new group of people and basically creating a new life for myself,” one student said. “But overall I’d say it’s been positive. I think I’ve grown a lot as a person.”