College is hard. One day you’re a High School Senior, enjoying life with your friends and family, and the next you’re leaving everything behind to start a new life. A change like that is hard on any of us; whether you’re 2 miles away from from home, 200, or 2,000, it’s a hard transition. College’s usually know the fact that you’re scared, sad and just want to go home, so they tend to do activities for you to try and get a little adapted to the college life, before actually beginning the college life. Most universities have an orientation day, and that’s it. However, some have an entire week of orientation, like yours truly. Illinois College’s Welcome Week is meant to help you get to know the college itself, as well as your fellow classmates.
Two weeks ago, Welcome Week, which took place from August 25th to September 5th, concluded. Since the beginning of Welcome Week, the staff at Illinois College did its best to make everyone feel welcomed. Since first years arrived, they were greeted with smiles and taken to their dorms, afterwards the activities began. From the Kick Off at Bruner, to the first connections group meetings, students would participate in social activities while having fun. This went on as the days passed by, filled with both residence hall and Connections groups meetings, as well as fun activities like the Student Resource Scramble, the Comedian Arvin Mitchell, the free pizza party, and so forth. Things got a little serious when it was time for the Service Blitz, where students lent their hands to the community by assisting different places throughout Jacksonville and contributing to their certain needs. Activities and meetings continued on up until the first day of classes, where most freshmen students were not lost, thanks to the different tours Welcome Week provided them with, and everyone pretty much knew each other’s faces, for the most part. The Involvement Fair was also a big part of this week, helping students get involved in the different clubs and organizations that the college has to offer. Welcome Week’s purpose is to make scared freshmen feel more welcome and integrated in the Illinois College life. It is to open a new college student’s eyes into the new transition they are going to enter in a fun and active way. Most colleges do activities like this, but in different ways. Nothing could compare to Illinois College’s style at helping students adapt and feel secure with the university and themselves.
After talking to a couple fellow classmates, who attend a different college, said they didn’t feel ready for the college life. They agree that even though they did attend the orientation at their school, it didn’t help much because they just focused on the entire group, rather than one person. Illinois College however, does it’s best to try to get to know each and every one of the new students that participate in the Welcome Week activities, and for that we are truly grateful. After a week of everyone’s favorite ice breakers, meetings, tours, and convocations, students start classes a little more confident in themselves, and a little less scared of change. Because even though college is hard, it’s an experience that we’ll never forget.
By: Adrializ Acevedo