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Welcome Week: the week before the fall semester starts during which freshmen experience various scheduled activities and events together for the first time as the Class of 2018. The Welcome Week schedule is online and has everything you, as an incoming freshman, need to know about where to be and at what time that week. What the schedule does not tell you is how to cope with the mass influx of new names, faces, and awkward social gatherings that is Welcome Week. We at the Gavel can offer some guidance and reassurance that it gets better.
Boston College has graciously organized a plethora of events to welcome you and keep you engaged throughout the week before classes. Welcome Week is a lot like Orientation in that you will be constantly herded from activity to activity. There will be hours between events in which you can continue to unpack, decorate your room, explore campus, or do whatever the heck you please.
When it comes down to actually attending the events, one must be prepared to do a lot of small talk. Some events, such as Hypnotized on the Heights, a hypnotist performance that had boys twerking in Robsham last year, provide a nice break because you don’t need to talk to other people. You’ll probably be tired of the ongoing introductions by this time in the week and will want a breather. The class trip to Target is another perfect event because you can focus on your needs and run other students over with your shopping cart! Other events, like the Ice Cream Social, are a whole different animal. You will meet a lot of students with the same name: a lot of Mikes, Emilys, and Dans. Most likely, you’ll never actually be friends with these students so it’s OK. Unfortunately, you’ll see these people around campus and won’t know whether to say “hello” or not. You probably won’t say hi and that’s perfectly normal.
Usually the infamous Boat Cruise ends the week, but this year they have canceled the tradition. The Boat Cruise has historically been the first embarrassingly drunken experience for freshmen. Nicknamed the “Booze Cruise,” the event is looked back on fondly by some but is usually just an unfortunate night in many freshmen’s lives. The Office of First Year Experience has decided that such tomfoolery is the wrong way to start off one’s college career. I would have to agree. Instead, you all will get to enjoy new traditions! A class picture, a carnival, and a movie on the turf of Alumni Stadium will take its place. The class picture and carnival will happen again your senior year and will bring back fond––hopefully––memories of the freshman year versions.
It won’t feel much like college at this point, but rather like summer camp. All fun and no work does not make for a well-rounded experience. Once classes and clubs start it will feel more like what you had expected: classes and clubs both bring a sense of stability to college life. You’ll get into a routine before you know it, and while routines can get boring, this one won’t. Every day will bring a new adventure!
Enjoy your first week, Class of 2018! It’s the only Welcome Week you’ll get. As a sophomore, I only wish I could experience the excitement and awkwardness once more.