It’s that time of the year again. Welcome Week. As a freshman, Welcome Week was a positively overwhelming list of places I had to be at. Yet, it was also a list of places that I had to balance with the unending amount of bonding activities in my freshman hall. However, it made me realize that college was “made for me,” in a slightly self-centered sense. It was a week that demanded my presence for entertainment, only to punch me in the face as weeks 1-10 of fall quarter proceeded, filled with midterms, exams, and a flood of deadlines. Still, Welcome Week gave me that initial “umph.” It gave me courage and belief that I’d be able to balance fun and academics at once, which I’m sure many other students would laugh in my face at the thought. (Has anybody heard of the mythical “college triangle?”) Later on, however, Welcome Week became a nice way to catch up with friends while getting free food at the same time. (Read those flyers, students. Those are the greatest source of complimentary pizza and pasta.)
With this in mind, Welcome Week for freshmen is the prime form of socializing. Here, you will meet, greet, and befriend more of the student body than ever. You will also acquire enough free pens to write for the rest of the year. Lastly, you will most likely get loads of email spam in your uci.edu account regarding the rowing team barbecue or the dance crews’ free workshops. KEEP IT ALL! This is your portfolio of fun for the week. Now, don’t be overwhelmed, simply “keep calm and zot on.” (Expect many more clichés and taglines to follow.) With that being said, here are a few quick tips to truly make the most of Welcome Week at UCI.
1. Sign up for EVERYTHING. You’ll make a ton of friends with similar personalities and interests. Then choose what you like the most and toss the others aside for later. You have four years to try other things out!
2. Don’t be hesitant to stay out late if you’re bonding with other first years on a week night. You’ll make the greatest friends that may and probably will surpass your college years.
3. EAT. EVERYTHING. This free food never ceases, but it does slightly trickle after Welcome Week.
4. Talk to older students/upperclassmen. They definitely know way more about your campus. They’ll be able to tell you what professors to take, fees to pay, etc.
5. Get out there and do everything. And I mean that literally; walk everywhere and talk to everyone. On campus. At club booths, in front of lecture halls, and at your dining halls too. Sit with strangers there! Chances are there are tons of freshman just as eager to make friends as you are. This will be the only week at school where strangers will say hi to you when you pass by them at your housing complex. Embrace it, love it, return it. That person you wave hi to in Middle Earth might end up being in your Bio 93 class, where you WILL want to find study buddies!
6. Again, Welcome Week is an overwhelming amount of socializing. Give yourself an hour or two everyday to sit by yourself, veg out and do your own thing. You’ll find yourself a much more pleasant person when you’re sharing your name, major, and year with all those clubs you end up signing up for. (Expect to share these 3 details of your life 15+ times this week.)
7. Lastly, ask your RA everything. She or he knows way more than I do about this campus because she/he got trained to help you! One more time, they are there to help!
Hope you all enjoy your first Welcome Week as much as I did. It is, essentially, the sweetest first taste of college life.