On day 2, students settle in to the semester grind

Newcomers hiked to class, shopped and put finishing touches on dorm rooms.

On a dreary second day of classes, University students – many protected by umbrellas – tried to acclimate themselves to college life.

Compared with the relatively quiet summer months, campus bustled with activity Wednesday as students bought supplies at the bookstore, tested their meal plans and scrambled to get to the right class at the right time.

Electrical engineering junior Sara Nasiri-Amini said she’s used to the University by now, but the first few days are always exciting.

“I spent the whole summer here when the campus was empty,” she said, waiting to submit financial aid documents to the One Stop Student Services Center in Fraser Hall.

Now, “life is in the air,” she said.

But a few things, like walking several miles each day, will take some getting used to, said first-year economics and Spanish student Adria Crowe. Crowe ate some waffle fries at the Pioneer Hall dining center before her lengthy walk to class.

“I’m walking to the West Bank in, like, 15 minutes, so I’m burning (the fries) off,” she said.

Her friend fellow first-year student Laura Nevens added, “We’re hoping to avoid the ‘freshman 15.’ “

Nevens and Crowe, Wisconsin imports, said they are also adjusting to the cultural differences between Minnesota and their home state.

“I went to Target and asked if they had a bubbler and (the clerk) told me ‘We have a bubble maker,’ ” Crowe said, chuckling.

In Wisconsin, drinking fountains are known as bubblers.

Nevens, from a Milwaukee suburb, said Minnesota kids are much more “reserved” than their counterparts to the east. Convocation was “like church,” she said.

Outside Pioneer Hall, first-year civil engineering student Matt Olson, returning to the superblock with a bag full of bookstore merchandise, said he planned to go back to Coffman Union for the poster sale.

“I’m trying to make my room as cool as it can be,” he said. “But everybody’s probably got the same stuff.”

If not for the rain, he said, he would be biking.

“When it’s raining like today, I get water on my butt and back area,” he said.

He said the problem will likely dry up when he picks up a water shield at a bike shop.

Some students said they prefer taking the bus over walking or biking, especially in inclement weather.

William Costello, an applied economics sophomore, picked up his U-Pass on Wednesday, avoiding the long lines that plagued the Coffman Union office in previous days.

Costello said he walked past the same line Tuesday when it stretched more than 100 feet. Unlimited Metro Transit access could wait a day, he said. He said now, with the U-Pass handy, he’s looking forward to “living the college life while I can.”

Lines were also short at other student services centers throughout campus Tuesday.

Nasiri-Amini said she had to wait approximately five minutes for assistance at the One Stop Student Services Center.

And College of Liberal Arts honors adviser Sally Lieberman said her office is running smoothly.

“We’re off to a good start,” she said.