Welcome Week proves lukewarm

The University should make some of Welcome Week’s icebreaker activities optional.

Maddie Eaton

We’ve all been there. Between struggling to find that class on the opposite end of campus, adapting to an independent lifestyle and trying to figure out which textbooks you need for your classes, the first few days away from home are undeniably stressful. In addition to adjusting to the college routine, first-year University of Minnesota students also experience a rigorous Welcome Week of activities designed to prepare them for their new lifestyle.
 
Last year, I was one of the approximately 5,500 students who took part in the demands of Welcome Week. While there were some activities that I found very beneficial and relevant, others proved to be unnecessary. 
 
Events like tours and activity fairs were both enjoyable and informative, while those such as lectures and icebreakers were redundant and even boring. The week’s jam-packed schedule made it difficult for students to relax and prepare for classes, which created a tense and stressful environment. 
 
Instead of requiring the incoming freshmen to attend all of Welcome Week’s activities, some of them should become optional. This change would not only permit students the freedom to decide which of the activities would benefit them the most but also provide an experience that’s more tailored to everyone’s individual needs. 
 
By doing this, the University would cut redundancy to a minimum, and students would gather the information they need in order to be successful. With more flexibility in the
week’s schedule, students could adapt to the college experience themselves instead of simply being told how they should react to their new life. 
 
College is all about gaining real-world experience — and there’s no better way for freshmen to do that than by going out and exploring our wonderful campus for themselves.