WATERTOWN, S.D. (KELO) — From little learners to young adults, students of all ages are heading back to school.
It’s the first day of classes at Lake Area Technical College in Watertown.
Lily Cruz is a first-time college student.
“It’s so different because I’m from a small town. You know everybody there, so you’re not ever alone because you know everybody, but it’s definitely, but I’m open to it being different,” Lake Area Tech student Lily Cruz said.
Cruz is studying cosmetology, a longtime passion of hers.
“I’ve always really liked doing hair and makeup and I like helping other people a lot. I’m a people pleaser, so I felt like it was a good fit for me,” Cruz said.
Meanwhile, Brett Priest is in the physical therapy assistant program.
While it feels nice to be back in college, it can come with some stress.
“I’m excited to get back into school and start learning again about my future career, but it’s definitely a little stressful getting back into the setting and having to balance my personal, work, and school life,” Lake Area Tech student Brett Priest said.
While it’s too early to know the final fall enrollment, President Mike Cartney says it could outpace last fall when the college welcomed its biggest freshman class.
Currently, there are more than 2,300 students enrolled at Lake Area, which is up over last fall, but that number could fluctuate in the coming days.
“This is an exciting time of year. The students are back, get that energy back into the school, and it’s just a fun time to be here and be in education,” Cartney said.
Cruz is looking forward to this new chapter in her life.
“It’s a little nerve-wracking at first, but you just got to trust and believe that you just got to be positive through everything. It definitely gets better,” Cruz said.