Welcome Week is a time when lots of people come from all over the world, country, state, and city to Union’s campus to get settled into their new lives as Union students, eat nice dinners together and ride mechanical bulls.
As a dual enrollment student at Union for the past two years, I knew to some extent what I was getting into as far as academics were concerned, but officially moving on campus this year as a freshman was a completely different experience and has given me a whole new perspective of this university I now call home.
New. If I could summarize Welcome Week in one word, it would be new. This is an exciting time for everyone at Union, especially for us freshman who have moved on campus and begun an adventure that we can finally call our own. During this season of our lives, and especially during this particular week, we’re given lots of advice about everything. We’ve entered a brand new time in our lives. It’s big, and awesome, and sometimes scary, and the staff and student leaders at Union recognize that and want us to have the best experience possible.
What’s so amazing about Welcome Week is the community that is developed in such a short amount of time. One thing is for sure. The people at Union wanted to make us feel at home quickly, and they achieved that by creating a space for community to thrive and for us to really feel that we belong.
Special memories were made in initial get-to-know-you-games that felt really awkward at first, the oh-so-good meals where deep and meaningful conversations took place, the volleyball game where someone accidentally hit a Welcome Week leader in the back of the head with a serve gone really, really bad (that may or may not have been me), and the line-dancing where everyone was sweaty and happy.
Even if it felt like church camp at times and even if we had to wear those little red lanyards that told every single person on campus that we were the “new kids,” every bit of Welcome Week was an experience I don’t think any of us would change. There’s something special at Union, and that something special is what brought all of us here. This past weekend, we were able not only to see that at a deeper level, but also to participate in it at a deeper level. And I believe we have an amazing four years ahead of us.
Photo courtesy of Kristi Woody