At the end of my summer holiday (which is the last week of August 2012), there was a week-long event especially ONLY for freshman students who would start their first semester at Fall, which was WELCOME WEEK.
It was such an amazing experience for me, because I got involved as the Welcome Week Leader. As I told you before here, I was a transfer student. I did not have such event that could help me adjusting to my very first weeks at the University of Minnesota, so for me, this is my chance to get some welcome week experience! =)
These are benefits that I got of being Welcome Week Leader (WWL):
+Meeting and Making a lot of new friends
+Building up my resume
+Free meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner) for 10 days!
+Getting many cool t-shirts
+Have tones of fun! ;D
Now I will explain what I had during Welcome Week based on each day.
1st day: "Kick-Off Day"
It was the very first time meeting my group. I was in group 20 with my leader partner, A.J.
4.30pm: Kick-Off Meeting. It was the time when we got to know each other and had some fun introduction activities. Although it was not long, at least I got to know their expectation for me and for this whole entire week.
6.30pm: Dinner and free time.
10.00pm: Target Run. What is it?? What is Target? Okay, let me explain! Target is one of the super store brand in Twin Cities area. In this TARGET RUN, U of M especially booked the whole place just for us! (I felt like I was a VIP! Haha) That was the opportunity for students to just shop and complete their daily necessity to settle down. Click here to know what stuff they sell.
During this time, I got many free stuff and free samples such as food, drink, lotion, moisturizer, and so on. They started handed in from the front door to almost the end of cashier area. Students would get chances to win some fun prize or gift cards if they played some games Target provided.
2nd day: "College Day"
8.30am: Convocation at Mariucci Arena. All the student were seated based on their colleges. The fun part was before the event start, WWLs represented each colleges initiated the "song war". Students had to sing to prove their college pride and to show which college had the coolest cheers! That was really interesting to see all the students got really pumped up in the morning. The awesome U of M Marching Band was performing as the opening. Then, President Kaler (U of M president) gave speech and shared some campus tradition and history. This here to see the video they played Isn't it cute??
11.30am: Lunch and College Activities. Since I'm a College of Science & Engineering (CSE) student, I helped for my college. We heard speech form Paul Strykowski about why we should be proud being a CSE student. This was the opportunity for CSE students knowing about college program, CSE student groups and attending their first class.
4.30pm: Dinner and free time
8.30pm: Jermaine Davis talk. He was a funny speaker, talked about obstacles and frustrations that individual might face on their journey of life, and shared some strategies to overcome it.
10.00pm: FUN ZONE. Again, more free food and fun activities. It was my first time experience did rock climbing, learnt some Cha Cha movement dance, and photo booth!
3rd day: "U of M Day"
8am - 6pm: This time was the longest time I got to spend with my group and get to know them even better. On this day, we got to explore more about West Bank, East Bank and St. Paul campus. The students got to attend their interest session that they chose before the welcome week starts, visited the Rec Center, learnt how to respect each other differences, and knew more how to be 'Greener' and how to survive as a college student.
8.30pm: Pride & Spirit. This was the time for student to learn how to sing, chant, cheer U of M pride songs. We also took the class of 2016 photo.
10.00pm: Gopher after Dark. Free food were still provided. Free concert, movie bowling, henna tattoos, dance time! This event was not happening only during welcome week, it was organized by Student & Unioin Activities (SUA) all year-long every weekend. This is a free and fun place for students to spend their weekend during academic year!
4th day: "Community Engagement Day"
12.00pm: The purpose of this day was to let students knew more about not only excel in their academic lives but also be active and engage in their community and surrounding. The activities included raising awareness for those needy and attending session to get involved in various volunteer opportunities
1.30pm: EXPLORE-U, where many student groups were having their booth to introduce their groups and let the students joined. There were also many vendors giving up free coupon, food, and stuff.
4.30pm: Dinner and free time
9.30pm: Late Night at Mall of America! As some of you may already know, MOA is the biggest mall in America. The theme park inside, again, especially booked only for us that night! We got free unlimited rides at Nickelodeon Universe, you can ride as many times you want! Don't you think we have so much privilege through this event? Loved it!! xD
5th Day: " Community Exploration Day"
12.00pm: This day was technically the last day we would be together as a group. It was the opportunity for students to explore places other than U of M area, included Downtown, Uptown, Riverfront District. Our group were assigned to Downtown. Scavenger hunt was available to help students exploring places. Unfortunately, my group was kind of exhausted, so we decided to discuss more about their concerns and anxieties as new students and we also had the wrap up time for the farewell.
8.00pm: Pick-up sports included basketball, frisbee and lightning.
6th Day: Free Time / Optional Time
This was the time for students just to relax and preparing for classes the next day. For those that have more energy, there were several optional activity, one of them was going to Minnesota State Fair.
The welcome week was really the best experience to end my summer holiday. Although, it was tiring since I put so much energy into it, but I had so many priceless experience in return. Based on the students' evaluation, they were all ready and confident to go around the campus after Welcome Week.
For those prospective freshman that feel worry and overwhelmed with this big campus, not having friends, not confident with speaking in English, you definitely should join!
For those transfer students, this is your opportunity to get WELCOME WEEK experiences.
If you have more specific question, regarding Welcome Week. Feel free to leave the comment! *Photos will be posted soon*