This week marks the end of summer and, more importantly, the beginning of the fall semester. Here at Elon, the entire community is excited about welcoming our 1298 new freshmen! Summer on a university campus can be quiet save for thousands of visiting prospective families, so it’s particularly exciting when move-in day finally arrives.
The anticipation for us is great, but I suspect the emotions our incoming students and families are experiencing are quite mixed. I well remember my arrival at Elon as a freshman (more than a few years ago now). The trip from NJ seemed shorter than it had previously, due in large part I think, to the uncertainty I was facing. Without Facebook I didn’t know my roommate as well as students do now.
Let’s face it, graduation from high school puts you on top of the world. All summer you look forward to finally going to college – but when the time comes, it can be overwhelming. Life as you know it is changing for students and parents and the realization of that doesn’t usually occur until you arrive on campus. You wonder how you will do academically – even though you’ve demonstrated to the admissions committee that you are fully capable of succeeding here. More than anything you wonder who your friends will be and if you’ve made the right choice. I remember attending a session at orientation and looking around wondering if anyone else in the room was feeling like I was. The reality is, everyone probably was!
Elon does an amazing job of orienting students to campus. Our Orientation Leaders work tirelessly (though since sleep is a rarity for nearly two weeks I’m not sure that’s the right way to describe them!) By the end of the first week, you’ll like you’ve been part of the Elon family for much longer. Still, it doesn’t mean the whole transition to college thing will be immediate.
So to all our new families, I say Welcome! We hope you will relish your membership in the Elon family the way those of us already part of it do. Friday is going to be an exciting day and remember, you will not be alone in experiencing a roller coaster of emotions. I’ll be ever mindful of that as I walk around and see you. My friend and colleague Lee Bierer, offers some great insight into what’s ahead at http://www.collegeadmissionsstrategies.com/. Take a look. It’s well worth your time.
Life may be changing for students and families. These changes result in a new beginning – one that is often every bit as rewarding as your family memories. So hang on tight – and remember, you are not alone. There are 1297 other new Elon families who are going through the same thing. See you Friday!