By Anna Meurer
Tacky as it sounds, the only thing I could think when I first saw the chart for GC’s first ever “Weeks of Welcome” was, “Wow.” Perhaps it was just my absence from the usual range of extra-curriculars while I was abroad, but I was simultaneously impressed and a bit overwhelmed by the amount of information crammed on that chart.
Surprisingly, once my eyes adjusted, I liked it. Quite a lot, actually. I liked the diversity and attempts to appeal to everyone on campus found in the mixture of informative, fun and recruitment events. I liked the shift in focus from welcoming just freshmen to welcoming back everyone. Most
importantly, I liked the message the administration sent by starting the year strongly. It made being back on campus exciting, a completely different feeling than the anticlimactic ooze back into academia that’s been too prevalent in recent years.
That being said, I had two concerns about the endeavor, both of which fit very nicely into a coffee metaphor.
Imagine returning from a coffee-free summer (like I endured while in England) to a venti-sized white chocolate mocha. While the drink is delicious, it also sends you into a sugar overdose. The same was true for the W.O.W. events. As impressive and diverse as the entire thing was, there was just so much. It was overwhelming to read the chart, let alone actually attend the events.
That leads me to my next part of the metaphor. Following the initial caffeine rush, the inevitable next stop is the crash. Undoubtedly, I’d call the Weeks of Welcome a resounding success. Students were excited, organizations recruited new members, students came together as a community and then…what? What happens now? Life returns to normal? Except in this case, in light of the sugar rush that was W.O.W., one of two things will probably happen. Either 1) “normal” life will seem incredibly dull with the absence of constant activities or 2) students will feel that they’ve had their fill of college activities and retreat to the quiet of their rooms for the remainder of the semester, where they will discover that they are behind on their work from the aforementioned W.O.W. Which are you?
Overall, I applaud the administration for taking the initiative to start the year off strong, sending a positive, energized message to the community and pulling it off pretty well logistically. The only question is, now that the college has our attention, how are they going to keep it?