The first weekend you spend on campus here at Illinois is bound to be a busy one. From the second you step on campus, there are plenty of activities for all freshman students to attend, and they’re a great beginning to your four years here. Here are some of the ones I went to, and in my opinion, the ones you really shouldn’t miss out on when trying to get yourself acquainted with the school.
New Student Convocation
As Chancellor Jones said in his convocation speech, “Convocation is the first bookend to your experience here at the University of Illinois.” Convocation is like the opposite of graduation; speakers welcome you into the school and get you ready to be a member of the Illini family. This is also one of the only times that your entire year will be attending something together, and it’s very cool to see everyone who is also beginning their experience in one room. Convocation is not something to miss, and it got me very excited to start the year.
College Welcome Meeting
This one will be more subjective as I attended the College of Media meeting, but they are all more or less similar. At my meeting, we had a large greeting of everyone in the College of Media, and the dean of students welcomed us all to school. We got another talk about what it means to be a student and the opportunities we have as Media students going forward.
After that, we split into our respective majors and had more specific talks with professors, advisers, and students about what being a journalism major was like. They let us know about the clubs, extracurriculars, and other professional opportunities we had through the college and on campus. After all of the meetings, we had a chance to go to a fair to sign up for media-specific clubs. All of the colleges differ in what their meetings are, but they are essential for getting ready for classes.
Illinois Sights and Sounds
Illinois Sights and Sounds prepares you to be a social Illini and gets you excited for the school’s athletics. The Marching Illini perform, speeches are given from important figures like our football coach Lovie Smith and basketball player Giorgi Bezhanishvili, and you are taught all the chants and dances that are done at the football games. The hour-long event in Memorial Stadium got me excited to go to the football games and cheer on our team this weekend against the Akron Zips.
Quad day is probably the craziest event on this list, considering everyone on the whole campus is invited. Before coming here, I couldn’t believe that Illinois had over 1,800 student organizations, but after seeing them all with my very own eyes, it’s true. They aren’t joking when they say that there is a club or organization for everyone, whether you are into sports, service, or video games. Checking out Quad Day can help you meet people with the same interests as you and help make some new friends on campus.
Before coming to college, I was afraid it would take me a while to get acclimated. But with all the academic and social events that Illinois provided, I felt right at home, and it only took me one weekend.