First week at DePauw: a freshman’s perspective

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Although it’s been about a week since first-years walked through the campus as part of the opening convocation, I think I can speak for the whole class when I say that it has felt like both the longest and shortest week of our lives.
Our time so far has been a whirlwind of nerves, chaos, excitement and realization.
Coming from a high school of 200 where I knew every single person I came across, DePauw is quite the change. Though I’m sure I’ll get to know more people as my time here continues, walking around campus and seeing only a few familiar faces can be frightening.
This is why I believe that spending time with our mentor groups is important and really helps the first-years to get to know one another.
I know that I personally have benefitted from my mentor group immensely.
My mentor group has allowed me to get to know people in other dorms, which has created so many more windows of opportunity to make new friends. The activities that all of the first-years had to participate in during orientation week brought us all closer, because it gave us an excuse to socialize with each other, and it gave us something to talk about.
The activities fair on Friday, in particular, allowed for us to meet people with similar interests in clubs and activities, which I have found to be a great way to make new friends. The fair also provided an opportunity for the first-years to meet some of the upperclassmen who are already a part of these clubs.
This broke the barrier between grades and helped integrate the first-years into campus. Seeing everything that we can get involved in and how people have already been involved makes DePauw feel more like a place we can call home.
The first week has been so overwhelming that we haven’t really had much time to stop and think about everything that we are about to dive into. DePauw has so much to offer us, and I didn’t fully comprehend all of the opportunities that are within my reach until the fair. Writing this piece for the newspaper, for example, is an opportunity that I am so fortunate to have handed to me.
A big part of this first week for me has just been taking in everything that is going on around me. I am still trying to comprehend the fact that this is now my home, and I can take part in whatever I want to.
It can be exhausting to introduce oneself to so many new people and get acclimated to an entirely new setting in such a short amount of time. However, I have found that this experience creates a new level of excitement for the four years that we as a class are collectively about to embrace together.
It’s the beginning of what will undoubtedly be an incredible college experience. Thanks for the big welcome, DePauw! I feel like a Tiger already.

-Block is a first year from Glenview, IL whose major is still undecided.