It happens every year around the end of August. No, it is not the closing of the pool, pre-season football, sweet corn, apple cider, or the changing colors of the leaves. It is the beginning of college. For millions of people around the world, this is a return to a familiarity – same friends, same buildings, same professors, sometimes even same courses. For millions of others, however, this signifies the end of dependence on parents and the beginning of total independence (until tuition is due). They begin the proverbial journey of a thousand miles with that proverbial single step. And, at least in this country, we call these people freshmen. They can be identified by the clueless stares on their faces and the anger exuding from their pores directed at either physics or calculus homework. I say this with full knowledge – my clueless stare is permanently affixed to my befuddled face and I nearly cried over my Calc II homework this week. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I am a freshman, and I am not ashamed to admit it. Perhaps you too, reader, are experiencing everything for the first time. No matter what your class, you may be curious to read on as this week, Minds at Mines investigates how these fresh-faced youngsters are coping with the transition to Mines life. As is readily apparent, responses varied widely, from advice to complaints to blank stares – lots of blank stares. So, without further ado, here are several representatives of the class of 2014 saying what is on their minds after three weeks at the Colorado School of Mines.