Not So Welcome Wagon

As I drove off campus on May 16th with my Suburban full of junk, that I somehow managed to cram into my small double, I started to think about my future home in Walsh with my closest friends. After just a couple weeks apart, I suggested that we all sign up for Welcome Wagon so we could move in earlier and be together longer. With four enthusiastic responses out of eight, it was confirmed, half of us would be part of Welcome Wagon!

This excitement lasted all summer, through the Welcome Wagon orientation, and even up until the first move-in day. However, as soon as the dreaded 12 hour day started (the day most freshman moved in), all I wanted to do was go home.

The week started out great! My three other friends and I moved into our two blocked quads, made plans to go to a Zac Brown band concert, decided to rent a Zipcar and drive to the Cape for a day, and also got settled in before everyone arrived on campus. Although all these days were great, there was one day that made me question whether or not I made the right decision to move in early.

My day began when I woke up around 6 am (something I hadn’t had to do since high school) and then making the trek all the way to Upper. The first two hours of the day were actually kind of fun, kids and parents were happy, it wasn’t totally blistering hot yet, and there was a decent amount of volunteers to help out. This sense of excitement halted to a stop at around 11am  when the weather started to heat up, parents got cranky, and volunteers began to disappear. When there was a shortage of volunteers, parents started to get angry that their child’s stuff wasn’t being brought up to their room fast enough. When that happened, many parents decided that it seemed logical to yell at the volunteers, not the leaders that got paid to do this, or even the RAs, but the very innocent volunteers. I kid you not, I couldn’t count on my two hands how many parents yelled at me that day. At this point I was fed up; I was angry at the parents, I was angry at the volunteers that disappeared, and I was angry at myself for signing up to do this. And to add to all my frustration, my legs were so beyond tired that they could have been tricked into thinking they ran a marathon. By the end of the day, I couldn’t wait to take a shower and go to bed.

To summarize my experience, although I wouldn’t trade the amazing experiences I had with my friends for anything in the world, I would never recommend volunteering for Welcome Wagon. It was extremely unorganized, it was not promoted enough (hence the lack of volunteers), and throughout that 12 hour day they didn’t even give us lunch. Instead of Welcome Wagon, I would recommend finding a club or a retreat that allows you to move in early because moving in early is way less stressful than moving in with the rest of the population of BC.  

I truly hope that Welcome Wagon can be better organized next year for those that do decide to volunteer because I do think the organization is helpful to most freshman, even those that didn’t receive their items fast enough.