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Shannon Carney for TRW

Fresh faces on campus

New students populated campus before the semester began, eager to learn and explore UMBC. Welcome Week activities, meetings and orientations filled their schedules, but the students weren’t overwhelmed. Instead, they were preparing for their first semester here.

Facilities like the library are what Vivek Deo, a first year graduate student studying information systems, likes about UMBC. As an undergrad, Deo studied in India, and UMBC is a very different experience for him.

“We don’t have the facilities [in my former college] like at UMBC,” Deo said, and added, “the library is the best thing.”

In addition to the helpful staff and over 1 million books, some students find the library a restful place. It is not uncommon to see students on the upper levels napping in a quiet corner. Fortunately, the library enforces “absolutely quiet” rules on the fifth and sixth floors for those who need to concentrate free from distraction.

For students trying to stay awake, there are several places to purchase coffee. Starbucks is the popular choice, with long lines when the campus is busy. For students who do not want to wait in line, they can get their caffeine fix at Au Bon Pain in The Commons, Pura Vida Cafe in the lobby of the library, The Coffee Shop in the Administration building, the Subway Cafe in the UMBC Research Park or at True Grit’s, UMBC’s dining hall.

Along with a great education, the extracurricular opportunities were alluring to many students. Jeremy McCord, a freshman studying theater design and production, said he feels good about his college choice because of the opportunities outside of the classroom.

“I’m excited to enhance my education,” McCord said.

Student organizations run the gamut of interests, such as the 22 Yards Cricket Club and the Linux Users Group. Finding extracurriculars should be no trouble for students.

Beginning classes can be overwhelming for a newcomer. “I’m trying to figure out study places, besides my bed,” said Cliel Shdaimah, a freshman studying gender and women’s studies.

Still, many incoming students are focusing on the positive aspects of coming to UMBC.

“I’m so ready to learn,” said Shdaimah.