Pre-Arrival Programs ROCK!

I am sure that many of us remember the first few days as freshmen, running around campus with budding friendships and fear of the unknown. For most people, being thrown onto campus with the thousands of other freshmen is alarming and chaotic. However, for the students who have participated in early arrival programs, the experience can be softened by making friends and meeting upperclassmen mentors to ease into those first days and weeks of college.

Before returning for sophomore year, I participated as a leader in the inaugural freshman pre-arrival program called Spark. This four day program was jam-packed with both fun and insightful activities for the freshman to do. With informative sessions done by campus programs such as CFAR (Center for Academic Resources), SHARPP (Sexual Harassment and Rape Prevention Program), CaPS (Counseling and Psychological Services), and many others, students were able to learn what they have access to on campus in terms of support systems. Fun activities also included access to the rock wall, team building exercises, a trip to the observatory, and wheelchair games during a collaboration with Northeast Passage. Although there were tons of entertaining things planned, some of the best memories were made in the downtime spent with the small groups.

I highly recommend pre-arrival programs to freshmen, as I have witnessed the close bonds made through such programs. Not only are the programs beneficial to freshmen, but to those who lead the programs as well. I had a blast getting to know the other upperclassmen leaders during training and during the program in our shared small groups a well. I have learned many lessons from being a Spark leader. I am much more outgoing now, and I'm unafraid to be my true self! I have also walked out of this program with new friends and connections with faculty, and also highly recommend leading pre-arrival programs such as Spark, PAWs, PrOVES, and Connect. 

To all the freshmen, have a great first year! And to everyone else, keep being you! You’re doing AWESOME!

Signing off, 

Meaghan :)