Let the exploration begin! On the first day of classes, Northeastern students discover new academic interests

Photo by Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University

Their beds firmly mounted on risers and mini fridges packed with snacks after moving into residence halls and off-campus apartments, Northeastern students were ready to finally hit the books.

Wednesday marked the first day of classes where students were greeted by familiar faces and traditions. Community resource dogs Cooper and Sarge were spotted making the rounds, students milled about the bookstore shopping for merch, and others enjoyed the still-summery weather by the koi pond. 

In the evening, undergraduate students new to the Boston campus would enjoy convocation, held this year at MGM Music Hall at Fenway.

But as always, the first day of classes brought something new. Those who spent the summer away from the Boston campus might’ve had a class in EXP, which opened its doors Wednesday with the start of the year.

Others, like sophomores Jacob Gelbart and Talia Shaw, might be exploring new courses in order to see where their Northeastern journey might take them.

Gelbart spent last year at Northeastern’s London campus, while Shaw spent her first year at Northeastern in Oakland, California. Both are both undecided, but are using this year to further explore their interests to declare a major. The two kicked off the 2023-2024 school year with a class on sex, relationships and how we communicate to the people close to us.

“I took a lot of classes in sociology, psychology and criminal justice last year,” Shaw said after class while hanging out on a bench near the Curry Student Center. “I’m taking political science, business and communications this semester so far. This class we just had seems really interesting to me. I feel like it’s applicable to my everyday life as a college student.”

Gelbart’s morning also included a class on the history of music technology. He says this year, he’s taking classes on anthropology and music after trying some psychology classes last year, in hopes of perhaps exploring a major in the cross section of these topics. 

“I’m excited to go back,” Gelbart said afterward when catching up on a bench by the Mugar Life Sciences building. “I’m just seeing where these classes take me.”

Meanwhile, other students looked forward to the opportunity to dive even deeper into their declared majors through their new classes. Anya Solani, a second-year data science major, began her day with calculus III and statistics, while her fellow second-year classmate Ava Levinson delved into her communications/English major with a class in global and cultural communications. 

“They were good, definitely new,” Solani said before grabbing lunch in the Curry Student Center. “I switched my major last semester so last semester was new for me and this semester I have more math classes so I’m excited about that. It’s a lot of different classes this semester from last.”

“I also recently declared my major,” Levinson added. “I’m taking two English and two communication classes, so I’m just enjoying that, but I’m a theatrical design minor so hopefully next semester I’ll be able to take some theater classes.”

While many professors often spend the first day of class reviewing the syllabus, some got started with the work right away. Aldis Soto, a third-year finance student, said his financial management class kicked off with taking notes instead of the standard first day course explanation.

“I thought it was going to be a boring class, but I was intrigued,” he said. 

Erin Kayata is a Northeastern Global News reporter. Email her at e.kayata@northeastern.edu. Follow her on Twitter @erin_kayata.