“Mihi Cura Futuri” – The Thought That Soothes the Savage Beast of Student Apprehensiveness

The third in a series of articles about the early weeks of the fall semester.

Septembers can be bittersweet for students the first few weeks of the semester. This year the weather was warm and pleasant, though students had to get ready to hit the books once again. The Lexington Avenue IRT 6 swelled with Hunterites – professors, staff and, of course, students – making their way to the main campus at 68th Street and Lexington Avenue.

Local coffee shops in the area once again advertised their 10 percent Hunter affiliated discounts. This Upper East Side neighborhood was bustling with fall semester energy after classes started Monday, August 27. While a new academic year can be exciting, the love-hate ambivalence caused by the start of the new semester was clear in the interviews of several students.

Andy Chen, 20, a transfer student from LaGuardia Community College, wearing sweats and a shirt when he was interviewed, said, “This school is just so freaking big. I came the week before classes started and didn’t realize how far apart my classes are. I have one class that’s in the seventh floor of the West building and my class literally 10 minutes after that is in the basement of North Building.” After admitting to learning a lesson the hard way, Chen was still optimistic. “My classes are interesting and I don’t have long days so I’m looking forward to learning a lot things at Hunter,” he said.

Just as he spoke, Chen jetted to his next class. He had been doing last minute homework when this reporter approached him for an interview.

Picture by Sagenda Alin

Jameson Lowenstein, a senior, said he had a very busy three years doing internships as well as studies and wants his last year to be the same way. Lowenstein, who also goes by Jamie, said he spent one semester in a pass academic year juggling an internship, studies, a social life and a part-time job. He kept his social life to a minimum. If he does well on an exam or finishes a project way before the deadline, he treats himself to a night out with friends, he said. On rough days the challenge of balancing responsibilities seem like too much, he spends more money on food to cope with the struggles.

“I like keeping busy, even though it gets hard at times. My internships revolve around my passions so it doesn’t really feel like work,” he said. Semesters do not always start off auspiciously. That’s the case for Stephanie Cherng, a senior majoring in sociology. “Hunter is killing me with all these extra classes” that she insisted she has ”to take for no reason. I spoke with my advisor a few days ago and despite finishing the classes I have to take for my major, I still need to take more classes which means I might not graduate on time.”

[Editor’s Note: City University Graduation Requirements ]

CUNY requires undergrads to complete at least 120 credits to graduate. Many take elective courses unrelated to their majors to accumulate enough credits to get their degrees. Cherng was not happy with the way things were going. She said she planned to take winter classes to get back on track. Unfortunately, winter classes are not covered by financial aid and she must pay for it out of her pocket.

Students take over the walkways during the regular academic semesters. Lexington Avenue, Looking North. Picture by Sagenda Alin


Hunter annual hosts Welcome Week when activities and events, such as food stands and face painting, are available to students during their breaks to bring in the new year.


 

The start of the semester was exciting but almost overwhelming for this reporter. She had to produce short documentaries for a class. She is studying for a degree in media studies with a concentration in journalism, and has done several internships. As a senior, the last year generates excitement for graduation as well as anxiety about the future.

Mihi Cura Futuri!

 

Sangeda Alin can be reached at sangeda.alin65@myhunter.cuny.edu