Well, here we are again, Cobbers. It’s nearly time to pack up the cars and head back to campus for the beginning of the new academic year.
Crazy, isn’t it? Where has the summer gone?
I must admit that I am a bit sad it is almost over. However, I also know that there are going to be many exciting things waiting for me when I arrive on campus again. So if you need a bit of encouragement to get ready for fall, here are 10 reasons we can all look forward to going back to school.
1. Seeing old (and meeting new!) friends
At college, it’s not always guaranteed that the friends you make will stay nearby during the summer. They may be at home in a different state or studying abroad across the sea. So, it’s no surprise there is excitement in the air when Cobbers start arriving in the fall.
And while old friends will be waiting, new ones are often found as well. New friends will be met at orientation and classes and simply just walking around campus. I’m starting my third year on campus and I’m still looking forward to meeting new people!
Yes, I know. Classes mean homework, stress, and late night study sessions. ... But I also get pretty excited when I think about all the new things I am going to learn this semester. Plus, I’ve had some pretty stellar professors the past couple of years, and I very much look forward to learning from their (and my classmates') wisdom again!
3. Extracurricular activities
If there is one thing Cobbers are good at, it’s staying busy. There are dozens of teams, clubs and groups one can join on campus. There’s almost no limit to what you can do here; I have friends in choir, orchestra, our campus sorority, Habitat for Humanity and Bible studies. The list goes on and on.
However, if you don’t know what to join or want to try something new, no worries! There is a Cobber Expo (at which many groups set up booths to help you learn about their activity) that can help you decide what you’re interested in.
4. Orientation Week
New students, be ready for one of the busiest, most fun, craziest, whirl-windiest (is that a word?) weeks of your lives. You meet your clubbies, new friends and some of your professors. You’ll get acquainted with campus and get your first real taste at what Cobber life is really like.
Even if you are not a first-year student, Orientation Week is still something to look forward to. It’s our chance to welcome new Cobbers to campus (and there’s nothing quite like walking into DS and seeing nothing but table after table of gold beanies). The energy is infectious.
5. The first day of classes
Not only do we get the first taste of what our classes will be like for the rest of the semester, but the first day of classes also holds the Opening Convocation and the beanie toss. At the Convocation, the academic year is officially opened. My favorite part of the ceremony is seeing the faculty parade down Memorial Auditorium dressed in all their academic finery. Then, after the formalities are over, new students parade to Olin Hill to toss their beanies into the air and officially become part of the Cobber family. It’s a momentous occasion in any Cobber’s life.
6. Cabaret and Bell Tower Dance
Cabaret is an Orientation Week talent show full of Concordia’s best and brightest stars … and boy are they talented! There are singers, dancers, skits by the emcees, and everyone has a wonderful time. It’s one of my favorite events of the entire year.
Another fun event during the first week is the bell tower dance. On Friday night, Cobbers are invited to dance by the bell tower and celebrate the first week of classes. Often, residence halls will choose floor or unit themes, so it’s also a fun excuse to get dressed up. During my first year, we dressed like the ladies from "Grease" and last year our unit’s theme was all things USA.
7. Dining options
Thinking about Dining Services' Thanksgiving Dinner just about makes my mouth water (bring on the lefse!). It’s no secret that we have great food at Concordia. I love grabbing a sandwich in The Maize (go for the specialty breads from Breadsmith – so good!) and eating chicken strips for dinner in DS. Every year I try and discipline myself to stay away from Bliss (the appropriately named dessert station in DS), but it never quite works. The cookie dough is just too good to ever pass up.
8. CEC events
Whether it's grocery bingo, open mic night, a movie, trivia, a comedy night, a cappella groups, a vaguely terrifying but crazy impressive mind-reading man, or a midwinter Hawaiian themed bash, Campus Entertainment Commission has just about any sort of fun you could wish for. Often, events are right on campus (and free), but sometimes there is an off-campus event at places like Thunder Road or Sky Zone. CEC always provides a fun way to spend a night.
9. Dorm life
Many of my favorite memories of freshman and sophomore year happened in a residence hall. Whether it is a dance in the basement, a movie night, studying in your room or your neighbor knocking on your door to see if you want to go look at the stars, living on campus will create many different memorable opportunities.
10. Concordia in the fall
Concordia in the fall is always special; the brilliant yellows and oranges our trees turn is evidence of that. And what better season is there to observe our population of squirrels as they prepare for the long winter months?
But if squirrel watching isn’t really your thing, there is also Family Weekend and Homecoming to look forward to, both of which are great events for alumni and Cobber family and friends to visit campus and get involved.
Originally published 8.18.2016
Ali Froslie '18 is an English major at Concordia.