If you’re an Honors College student living in a residence hall, your first week might have been a little like mine: a mess of community, shenanigans and a great deal of walking.
After moving my older sister into her residence hall several years ago, I expected move-in day to be a sweaty mess of people and long, long waits for the elevator—especially since my family was moving me and my twin into different residence halls! But it took us no time at all for me to get moved into West Hall.
After getting settled in, I went to meet my neighbors. I’d baked cookies the night before and went knocking on doors to pass them out. It was helpful, as it allowed me to get to know who I’d be living with for the term and put faces to doors. Plus, everyone was so nice! I had a dozen different numbers in my phone before I had even gotten halfway through a plate of cookies and a promise of at least three movie nights.
The evening of move-in was the Honors College ice cream social in the first-floor lounge of West Hall. It was a great opportunity to enjoy some ice cream and get to know my fellow students.
I expected my night to be over after that, but at 9:30 p.m., I heard a knock at my door. Figuring it was one of my neighbors, I opened it, and I was right — it was my neighbor! There were also about thirty other neighbors with them, asking if they could look around my room. Apparently, someone on the floor above had gone around asking their neighbors for a room tour, and it had only grown from there. I joined them, and by midnight we had knocked on every single door in the building, from the fifth floor all the way down to the first. I still only know a few people’s names, but it was a lot of fun.
Honors College Welcome
The day after move-in was the Honors College New Student Induction. I got to meet Dean Toni Doolen and some of the Honors College ambassadors and played a fun game of Kahoot. It also gave us an opportunity to download the new Honors College Community Connector app, which allows students to easily get information and notifications about upcoming Honors College events.
On Monday I had my summer reading discussion. All honors students read the book Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson. Since I’d read it at the beginning of the summer, I was worried I might have forgotten parts. Turns out, I didn’t need to worry! Everyone had something interesting to say, and it was fascinating hearing people relate parts of the book to their own life experiences.
For dinner, my new floor-friends and I headed to the Greek Life BBQ on the MU Quad for some free food. We even got there early enough to be first in line! There were so many events with free food during the first two weeks, I don’t think I went to the dining hall more than once or twice!
New Student Convocation
On Tuesday, I attended the New Student Convocation. One of two major ceremonies at Oregon State University, the New Student Convocation is meant to honor and welcome incoming students, where we walk the same path we’ll take when we graduate. Starting at the MU quad, we were grouped by college. Each college had little gifts, mostly a small towel branded with “I’m a College of _____ Student!”
Once things got moving, the procession led us to Gill Coliseum, where we heard a speech by Jayathi Y. Murthy, the president of Oregon State, and a few words from the dean of each college.
After that, we headed to Reser Stadium, where we had a crash course on chants and cheers while listening to the Oregon State University Marching Band and watching the cheer team. Then we all came down to the turf for a class photo with thousands of students forming the letters “OSU.”
College Club Events and Poster Sale
I wandered into the poster sale in the Student Experience Center Plaza by mistake on my way to the College of Engineering’s Club Fair. Filled with bright, colorful posters, I got distracted and spent far too much money on posters to liven up my dorm room.
Just behind the sale was the agri-science club fair, with free ice cream, a live cow and lots of clubs. I never made it to the engineering fair, but I did end up joining the botany club!
First Day of Classes
My first day of classes did not go as planned. While doing some last-minute scheduling changes, I accidently dropped my math class. Math had been the only Wednesday class that was meeting during week zero, and I had just dropped it. Luckily, I remembered an email I had gotten earlier for drop-in advising hours. So, I headed over to Johnson Engineering building, signed in and cozied in to wait — but I didn’t even have time to sit down before someone came in to help me.
The staff were extremely helpful. They immediately sat down with me at one of the computers and helped me get my schedule sorted, discussing what I wanted, what existing credits I had, what classes would work for me and what classes wouldn’t. I left that building feeling much better about my schedule and already on the waitlist for a new math class!
The rest of the week went smoothly. Finding my way across campus was easy with the help of Google Maps and other confused first-year students, and I was only late to one class!
Overall, my first week at Oregon State was full of community building, new friends and great opportunities. I cannot wait to see what the rest of the term brings!
By: Rhianne Barratt, Honors College student writer
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