By Kassidy Weemhoff | Echo
Freshmen, we get it. We've all been where you are: excited, nervous and very overwhelmed. With meeting so many new people, trying to organize your room, figuring out how to live with a roommate you hardly know and braving the endless events thrown at you, this weekend can get crazy quickly. Don't sweat it! (But if your residence hall doesn't have air conditioning, we get it). We've compiled some tips and tricks to help you navigate this weekend and stay sane through it all.
Stay energized. This can mean different things to different people. For example, the way to stay energized might be to keep drinking water throughout the day or stockpiling snacks in between events to keep from starving. After all, you need to keep your body ready for whatever comes next. This could also mean stopping at one of the local coffee shops like Joe on the Go or The Bridge (both located in Upland) to grab your tea or coffee and work fueled by caffeine. Find what keeps you going and use it!
Don't be afraid to ask questions. We know that your Personnel Assistant or Preceptor have probably already told you this, but it is essential. Taylor and its leaders have worked hard to create an accommodating, welcoming environment for you. They do not just tolerate questions, they encourage them! Don't know where something is? Ask the nearest Taylor student. Wondering about certain residence hall policies? Your hall director or PA would love to talk to you about that. The Taylor faculty, staff and students here are so excited you're a part of the community and would love to help you navigate if you feel lost in any way, directionally or emotionally. PA on Sammy II this year, senior Matthew Hapner, described his role in Welcome Weekend.
"My job as a PA this weekend is to welcome new and continuing students to campus and basically be a trustworthy face for them," Hapner said. "More than that, I will have the chance to set the stage for what Sammy II is and what we have planned for this year."
Communicate with your 'mate. Before you embark on the adventure that is Welcome Weekend, take time with your roommate to talk about the essentials. Figure out sleep schedules, ask about allergies and be honest about your room preferences. It it so much better to be forthright and communicate honestly in the beginning than to figure it out in an argument later.
Solidify your unpacking system. We recommend moving your furniture around before moving everything else in to avoid the hectic atmosphere of a crowded hallway and one too many mini fridges. By figuring out how you want to set up your room and doing the heavy lifting first, you will have more time to arrange and unpack in a much more organized, sane fashion. Also, don't be afraid to ask for help with advice about room layout or moving your furniture around.
"Everyone, for the most part, loves helping the freshmen adjust to the new pace of life that college brings," said Hapner. He will be available in Samuel Morris Hall during move-in to give the freshman a seamless adjustment.
Be bold. Now is the time to push out of your comfort zone and into your best college life. You'll be in some uncomfortable, sometimes awkward situations this weekend, but it is up to you to make the most of them. Preceptor Jacob Ferguson was a freshman last year, and his favorite part of Welcome Weekend was the Luau party next to Taylor Lake.
"My advice to freshmen would be if you're at the lake party, find an upperclassman and tell them to introduce you to everybody. That's a great way to meet people," he said. He also said to work on learning the names of people in your Preceptorial. There are quite a few names that will be thrown at you this weekend, but learning the names of those in your Preceptorial is a great place to start.
Enjoy these moments. Although you might not know it, you'll remember this weekend for a long time. Soak in every moment you have in this new stage of life. It may be challenging or scary, but before you know it you'll be making the friendships that will last a lifetime. Junior Deborah Settles, Discipleship Assistant on Second East Olson, will be ready to greet the new freshmen and answer questions.
"My favorite part of welcome weekend is for sure seeing my favorite people in one place and meeting freshman for the first time," said Settles. "Seeing my people back on campus and watching so many sweet reunions everywhere is incredible."