What is welcome week?
Each university has their own version of it, whether it be called “Welcome Week,” “WOW,” or the as my personal Alma Mater SDSU called them, “Aztec Nights,” and they are surprisingly fun. I know when you think of events that are supposed to bring a ton of strangers together the PTSD of singing silly songs and doing weird dances can come flooding back from high school or summer camps—but I assure you these are not that. Most colleges host some form of welcome week for students, specifically aimed at making sure freshmen have activities to go to.
Usually the first week of the school year—for some schools the first week of Fall and Spring semester—are packed with fun activities that the student body has organized for not just the freshman, but really anyone who has a student ID. (Hear that, grad students?) And the events aren’t as excruciatingly awkward for the cool reputation you worked so hard to keep up in high school. The nights can be filled with DJ’s and dancefloors, carnival events (think full blown rides and games), performances from touring stand up comedians, or huge movie nights on the lawn of the quad.
The best part of all of these events is that they are 100% free—and I can’t stress enough how important it will be from this point on to save as much money as you can. Think about how much these events would cost in the real world (carnivals charge per ride, not just for admittance) and most comedy clubs require you buy two drinks after the cost of the ticket. The point is, take advantage of these “free” events while your massive tuition bill is paying for it!
Not only that, but it’s a great opportunity to meet new people, and get to know your roommates and floor mates. The anxiety of doing anything practically dissipates when you can go with someone who also doesn’t know anyone. Or if you got a local kid as a roommate, who has a ton of friends already at the school, think of it as an opportunity to branch out and meet their squad.
The events aren’t only limited to the nighttime extravaganzas! Welcome Weeks usually consists of a lot of day time “tabling” events where clubs and organizations will set up a small booth with information about what they’re all about. Depending on how large the school is, the days can be broken up into a day dedicated solely to tabling by Greek Life, or Club Sports teams, or major-related organizations. I would recommend perusing through all the days and tables to see what might strike your interest that you didn’t even think of when applying to the school. For me, I had no idea that SDSU had an amazing radio station called KCR, until I happened to walk by their table. The General Manager at the time offered me free tickets to a show downtown and I was hooked–and eventually became highly involved with the station through out all four years of college.
The point is, you’re here to have new experiences in life that will give you fresh points of view on things you might have never even considered before! And for the price tag of tuition, I recommend getting the most out of your school, before graduation and before they start hitting you up for more money as an alumni.