As the beginning of the semester draws nearer and nearer, it’s almost time for the kickoff for first-years: Welcome Week! This week is an incredibly informative and fun week designated for first years to ease into university life.
Rundown of Welcome Week
Welcome Week starts with Move-In, then is followed by a week of activities and events for first-years to attend. There are faculty reps, residence reps, and student union reps that will guide students throughout the week. It’s an extraordinary week but can be a little overwhelming with all of the information! Here are some tips for what to do with the information overload.
Chances are, you’ll meet a lot of people during the week. Whether it’s from residence, from faculty events, or just starting a conversation in a line, you’ll get to know about a lot of people. It can be very exciting, but also a little nerve-wracking. Sometimes it feels like there’s an expectation in Welcome Week to meet your lifelong friends. And it definitely could happen! But it also might not. Some of my closest friends are people who I met from residence, but some other friends I made a year or so later in my program and classes. One week of meeting people is an entirely different thing from 4+ years of forging different types and layers of relationships. Focus on being your authentic self, and friendships will come naturally.
There will be a LOT of clubs, teams, and services promoting themselves during Welcome Week, with the hope of gaining first year members. I’d definitely recommend checking things out, especially clubs that are related to your interests. You can check out the MSU clubs website for a list of current clubs. If you’re not sure about time commitment and how much you’re willing to spend on extracurriculars, I would highly recommend joining mentorship programs (yes, I’ve plugged these before!) so you can have someone to guide you throughout the year and so you can join events now and then!
Rack. Up. The. Free. Merch. So often there are many opportunities for little knick knacks! One thing I’ve found is that people will hand out self-care bags, with snacks and health supplies that can be useful to hoard just in case. You never know what kind of useful item you forgot to pack until you see it in a self-care bag. I also am a huge supporter of stickers for decorating laptops, water bottles, notebooks, anything really! I find it fun to just get a collection of anything, just to see the diversity and variety of programs, clubs, and all of that from campus. I’ve even gotten free bucket hats from engineering events!
The most important thing I would do during Welcome Week is to go through your schedule and figure out where your classes are. Then you have loads of time to get used to the walk between classes, and you don’t risk being late during your first week (although, it isn’t that big of a deal). It can ease nerves if you go with a group, or if you ask a representative to give shortcuts.
I’d also recommend going to academic-related events where you might find some useful resources to consider throughout the year!
Welcome Week is a huge time in university life, and it may not go the way any of us expect. I hope this has given a few insights of what to expect throughout the week and how to manage all of the events and information. And I’ll see you out there! You can find me in one of the red Engineering rep suits!