It’s the start of the new year, and that means it’s time for students to begin to arrive on campus! On the first day, much of the work includes hauling your stuff to your dorms and outfitting your room with posters, flags, or anything else that adds your personal touch to your new space. This year I was able to stuff an inflatable couch into my room, and so far it has served as a nice place to hang out with friends and watch Netflix. Also, if you are assigned a roommate, get to know him/her. Your roommate and dorm mates will be the first people that you will get to know on campus, and your first friend group.
Orientation follows- basically it means getting to know your new dorm mates, classmates, etc. As a new student, there are so many opportunities to get to know other students through dorm activities, class events, and your daily activities. There is a scavenger hunt in the library, as well as a Harkness demonstration, so you can understand how you can participate in class to create an effective learning environment.
As you start your first week of classes, the teachers will introduce themselves and make sure that you are able to transition smoothly into the coursework. Lots of “icebreaker” games will occur during this first week – word games that will make you more comfortable speaking in class to your peers. For example, the Fall term for incoming preps is pass/fail, which means that no specific letter grades are assigned for the first term on campus. This alleviates some of the stress and frees up time to get to know Exeter and all the people here as best you can.
Big Red Carnival falls on the first weekend, which is another opportunity to get to know people through basic carnival games. This year it was held in the gym, and there was even a trapeze artist! At another fun event during the second weekend, students can dance the night away at Back in Black hosted by Dunbar Hall (one of the girls dorms). At the end of your first two weeks at Exeter, you will for certain have met a wide variety of very interesting people. Some of them will become your closest friends. There is still an entire school year to go, and an infinite number of unforgettable experiences to be had!