Congratulations! June is gone, July is here, and you’re officially one month closer to becoming a Hanoverian. But before you’re immersed in the whole student body experience, you’ll have the opportunity to participate in August Experience. Consider it your Hanover tutorial, or your college boot camp. Whatever you call it, you don’t want to skip out on ANY of the activities.
Connect with your P.A. group. I’m sure some of you have received post cards from your P.A. with a little introductory note about how excited he or she is about getting to know each and everyone one of you. I remember receiving my card in the mail, and it was the first of many reminders that even though I’m moving away, I’ll still have people to watch out for me and guide me through my first year of college.
My P.A. group was really the first group of friends that I made at Hanover; the team building and get-to-know-you activities really made the transition a lot smoother for me. Really take advantage of getting to know the people in your group, because here’s a little surprise, your P.A. group is also your Great Works class! So you’ll be with these people all year and that creates a great opportunity for lasting friendships.
Take the Walmart shuttle. This was quite an experience. I don’t know if you guys have the same rules, but for my freshman year, we weren’t allowed to bring our cars until after fall break. This means you’re stranded whenever you need anything, right? WRONG.
The Wednesday of August Experience, we took a van to Walmart to pick up any odds and ends that we left at home, and even if we didn’t need anything, it was still a fun outing for all us baby Panthers. I encourage you to take the Walmart shuttle and bring your new friends along. Believe me, it will be your first of MANY trips to the Madison Walmart.
Start something during your down time. During August Experience, you’ll find that the schedule is a bit hectic. With all the P.A. group meetings, group activities and seminars that you’re encouraged to attend, it seems hard to find time to hang out with all of the new friends you’ve just met.
Fear not! If you take a close look in the August Experience schedule packet you’ve received (if you haven’t received it yet, sorry for ruining the surprise), there are a couple designated “free times.” I really encourage you to get up and do something!
Don’t spend it in your room rearranging your new closet or trying to figure out where to plug in all of your stuff or economizing the space in your room. I decided I wasn’t going to sit still during my free time. My parents made the wise decision to buy me some frisbees before they said their goodbyes, so I told my roommate that we were going to start a game of ultimate frisbee. Soon enough, the girls on our hall were up for it, and once we got out on Donner lawn, we kept inviting people to play until we got a big group together. No idea is too small, so get out there and start something
Go to sessions and events. During August Experience, there are different sessions you can attend as ice breakers among the other freshman as well as professors. These sessions range from academic topics, to completely outlandish activities, like one of the sessions I attended, Mario Kart Wii Championship.
The sessions only last about two hours and it’s great to meet people who share your interests. Also, the Shoebox, the hot spot to eat on campus, hosts a pizza-and-games night for freshman and P.A.s. There are card games, karaoke, food, fun and new friends.
Also, the first football game of the year is during August Experience! It’s a great way to show school spirit and get to know some cool new folks that you may not have met yet.
So, with all these activities, it’s impossible to have a bad time during your first week at Hanover. You’ll make plenty of friends and meet plenty of professors, which should make assimilation into college life a breeze!
Until next time, keep packing, keep reading and keep it classy.