STILLWATER — Students squeezed past each other in the narrow aisles of Oklahoma State University's Student Union Bookstore on Monday morning, glancing at lists of textbook titles on their smartphones or printed on paper.
Monday marked the first day of OSU's spring semester, and the bookstore was crowded with students buying textbooks and staffers helping them find the titles they needed.
A line at the bookstore's cash register was about 20 students deep — a long wait, maybe, but shorter than the lines at the Student Union's more popular fast food offerings, which snaked around corners and down hallways.
Harley Heidelberg, a freshman from Muskogee, headed to the bookstore shortly before noon Monday to pick up his books.
Heidelberg had already been to one class that day, he said, and he was looking forward to the rest of the semester.
Heidelberg finished his first semester at OSU in December.
When he first came to the university last fall, he was nervous about the experience, he said.
Now that a semester has passed, he said, he's feeling more at home.
“The teachers are willing to help,” he said. “It's fun being up here.”
Although special activities at the beginning of the spring semester aren't generally as extensive as those offered in the fall, OSU officials plan to open an ice-skating rink on the OSU Student Union Plaza from 2 to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday.
The combined enrollment at OSU's Stillwater and Tulsa campuses stood at 23,044 on Monday — a 4.8 percent increase over the spring 2012 semester.
OSU generally calculates the combined enrollment at the two campuses, because many students enroll in courses at both campuses during the same semester.
That increase comes a semester after OSU welcomed the largest incoming freshman class of any public university in state history.
The 2012 freshman class numbered 4,306, which topped the previous record of 4,053.
That record was set at the University of Oklahoma in 2011.
Many of the state's other colleges, including OU and the University of Central Oklahoma, start classes next Monday.