Published: 08-18-2022
decorative image of first-day-art-class , Students are back. Fall classes have started. Campuses are buzzing. Finally! 2022-08-18 14:26:51

Art instructor Paula Work talks to students on Aug. 15, the first day of the fall 2022 semester.

Ashanti East wasn’t taking any chances on Monday, Aug. 15, the first day of the 2022 Pensacola State College fall term.

A full 15 minutes before her second class of the day – a humanities course – East was sitting on a bench outside the classroom waiting for everyone else to arrive.

“I don’t want to be late the first day,’’ said East, who just graduated from Pine Forest High School in May. “I’m nervous already.”

Rest assured East. You weren’t the only nervous incoming student on Monday. And if you were a bit late, you probably would have been running in a large crowd. Across the Pensacola campus, first-time students were searching out buildings and classrooms with faces so anxious you would think they lost their puppies.

PSC staff and administrators were all over campus though, shepherding the lost students in the right direction. (Students who attended one of the many PSC Pirate Path orientation sessions seemed to have much better luck finding their way.)

It was a busy day. There were big crowds in the bookstore, a line to get PSC car decals and packed parking lots across the campus. We’re sure it was similar at PSC’s other campuses and centers.

Despite the hectic nature that comes with any first day of school, PSC staff, faculty and administration pulled together to assist students in any endeavor needed.

“It’s great to see everyone at the campus pull together,’’ said Jon Stephenson, PSC Associate Vice President of Student Affairs, taking a short break from helping students register for classes in Building 4, where the College hosted numerous registration sessions in the weeks leading up to Monday. “We’ve registered more than 300 people today and it’s just now 2:30 p.m. It’s been remarkable.”

decorative image of art-class , Students are back. Fall classes have started. Campuses are buzzing. Finally! 2022-08-18 14:32:47

PSC student Madalynn Adams works on a ceramics piece on the first day of the fall 2022 semester.

Final registration numbers aren’t yet in, but Stephenson believes this year’s fall enrollment is higher than fall enrollment in 2021.

“We’re making positive strides for sure,’’ he said. “But you never know the final number until (registration) is over.”

Incoming students could definitely spot the differences between high school and college.

“There’s a lot more students,’’ said Mitch Rutherford, who is a freshman member of the Pirates baseball team.

“There’s a lot more freedom,’’ said his PSC teammate, Blaydon Plain. Both are 2021 graduates of Madison High School near Tallahassee. “So far, it’s been great. We’re excited.”

The big difference that East noticed between classes at PSC and classes at Pine Forest?

“The age gap is a big difference I noticed right away,’’ she said. “Some people here look a lot older than I do.”

She then noticed the grizzled, aging face of the person talking to her.

“I think it’s cool though.”