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Welcome, Class of 2016!

It's hard to believe that the summer is nearly over! I love the start of a new school year because you get to meet new people and get a fresh start. Next week, I'll be starting my junior year, but this week the University of Minnesota Class of 2016 will be moving in and participating in Welcome Week on campus.

Welcome Week is a new tradition for incoming freshmen that takes place the week before school starts and is designed to help new freshmen adjust to campus and college life. This year's Welcome Week will be held this week, from August 29 to September 3, 2012. The class of 2016 will have the opportunity to connect with their advisors and faculty members, build friendships with classmates, become an expert at navigating campus, and sign up for student groups and other opportunities. 

When I was an incoming freshman to the U of M, I loved Welcome Week! I didn't know anyone when I moved here, so it was great to get to know students who were going through the same experience as I was. My favorite events were the Target Run and Late Night at Mall of America. During the Target Run, freshmen are bussed to Target after hours to pick up last minute school supplies or items for their residence halls. There are also tons of freebies and games going on in the Target parking lot at this event. Another fun event  is "Late Night at Mall of America" After the mall closes, the U of M freshmen take over and 
spend the evening on the rides at Nickelodeon Universe or exploring Sea Life Aquarium in the Mall of America. I had a blast at Nickelodeon Universe with all my new friends.

Another cool part about Welcome Week is that students who attend Welcome Week have a greater sense of belonging and higher fall & spring GPAs (as reported by research based on survey and attendance data from Fall 2009 cohort). What's not to love about Welcome Week? 

Ski-u-mah, and welcome to the Class of 2016! I hope you all have an amazing Welcome Week!

Check out the video below to learn about more great events that happen during Welcome Week, such as Convocation and Pride and Spirit Day:

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