With his two classes for the day ahead of him, University of Colorado freshman Okera Obika didn't yet know what to expect this semester.

On the first day of classes at CU on Monday, Obika headed off to biology and a class in African American thought after a quick check of the campus map.

"I don't know what it's going to be like," said Obika, who's planning to study psychology. "I guess I'm just down to see what it's like. I'm not nervous, just ready. I'm ready to see what it's all about."

Students scurried into the University Memorial Center to pick up the books, notepads, pens and Buffs gear they'd need to start off the year.

Dane Rinehart walked out of the CU Book Store carrying a tall stack of heavy textbooks, with some pencils on top, but wasn't too irked by the cost of this round of books.

"I've had pricier books in the past," Rinehart said, motioning to his hardcover organic chemistry textbook.

Rinehart, a sophomore studying chemical engineering, said he expects to spend time in the library this year because he's taking mostly science and math courses. To de-stress, he said he'll spend time rock climbing.

"It's gonna be a tougher semester, tougher year than last year," he said.

Other students waited in long lines for an early-morning cup of coffee inside the UMC, the library and the ATLAS building.


The campus map southeast of Norlin Library was also a popular spot, as students pedaled up on their bikes to squint at the building names and find the best route to take to class.

Volunteers staffed "Buff Stops," or tents around campus where students could get answers about finding their classes, which buses to take where and how to find campus resources. The second-year program helps new students acclimatize to their first few weeks in Boulder.

Freshman Colton Jones navigates his way around the University of Colorado’s Boulder campus with a map on Monday, which was the first day of classes
Freshman Colton Jones navigates his way around the University of Colorado's Boulder campus with a map on Monday, which was the first day of classes for the fall semester. (Paul Aiken / Daily Camera)

Other students registered their laptops with campus police, or got their bikes tuned up at the CU bike station.

Though some students lamented the end of summer, second-semester freshman Atheer Alqatari said she was looking forward to this school year to begin her first class in a new language — Japanese.

As a fan of anime, or a style of animated Japanese film or television, Alqatari spent her summer learning a few basics in Japanese to prepare.

Alqatari, who's studying chemical engineering, said she's feeling a bit of nervousness mixed with excitement this fall.

"You're excited to start again and see how it's going to go," she said. "If you're going to get better grades than last semester, if I'm going to like my classes. How are the professors going to be? Am I going to meet new people?"

Contact Camera Staff Writer Sarah Kuta at 303-473-1106 or kutas@dailycamera.com