Having moved in three weeks early for preseason as an athletic trainer, I’ve been completely settled in and ready for the year for a while. As the campus came alive during the last couple weeks with all the new and returning students moving in, I was once again struck by how blessed we are to have such a welcoming community as a home away from home. Being able to walk down the sidewalk and wave hello to just about every other person is a huge perk of this intimate campus.
To those of you who are returning students, and therefore understand what I’m getting at, welcome home.
To those of my readers who are first years or who are still struggling to feel comfortable on this or any campus, here are some tips to help you develop that warm fuzzy feeling:
1. Decorate your dorm — There are tons of ways for men and women to show their personalities through decorations. Posters, pictures, curtains, lights, furniture and bedding are all options to consider. For more ideas you could utilize one of my favorite tools, Pinterest.
2. Join groups on campus — I could bet you the 89 cents I have in my wallet that there is at least one organization that would interest you (I am a college student, after all, so of course I only have enough cash for a Polar Pop). Here at Hanover, there is everything from Colleges Against Cancer and Dance Marathon to Student Senate and academic clubs. And if I’m wrong and I have to buy you a Polar Pop, then you can always petition for the start of your very own organization here!
3. Find a second family — Our campus has a large percentage of Greek life with four IFC chapters (for men) and four Panhellenic chapters (for women). You may have some reservations or have heard rumors about Greek life.
However, I would like to encourage you to hold off before forming a hard-set opinion about the Greek community on Hanover’s campus; much like Hanover itself, Greek life here is unique in a way that is hard to describe.
4. Get to know your professors — OK, I know you have probably heard this a thousand times already. But really, you should take me up on this advice, if nothing else. All of the faculty and staff on this campus truly want to get to know you and help you succeed.
Having another friendly face to meet around campus is always comforting, and your professors have more to teach and share than course material. Plus, come (sorry seniors I’m going to use the G-word) graduation, you may need recommendation letters, and they will be easier for professors to write and more effective the more they know you personally.
Two years ago, I walked around campus thinking that I loved it here. I loved all the things that attract people to this campus: The Point, May Term, small classes and our study-abroad opportunities.
As I moved in to start my junior year, I reflected over what I now love about this campus. Of course, all those initial items are on the list, but now I think of the friends I have made through the organizations I joined like CRU, BSP and athletic training, along with all the sisters that I can turn to at any time of the day/night.
Add to that the friendships I have formed with my freshmen advisor and my advisor for my major — the list just keeps growing. Knowing that I’m half way through my time here, I realize that for once I don’t find myself saying “I can’t wait for ____.” Instead, I am more than happy to enjoy every moment I have left here at Hanover, my home away from home.