Welcome Week offers many aspects that are essential for student life on SLU’s campus

Fresh faces, orange shirts, and the Billiken-spirit will be buzzing about campus in a few days as SLU prepares to regale the class of 2014 with Welcome Week festivities.

Welcome Week serves as one of those first exuberant experiences that can help freshmen make the friends they need to weather the storm of first semester. This includes everything from the traditional square dance atop Olive Compton to the Spirit Competition at the opening soccer game. Freshmen engage in torrents of activities to smoothen the transition from comfortable lives as high school students to (slightly) more realistic lives of college students.

Freshman face the stark truths of homesickness, crippling workloads, and troublesome roommates. This is overwhelming for those who suffer a disillusionment of their American Pie dreams. Others will learn that straight A’s are long in coming. This is a world of its own, with different rules regarding a plethora of situations.

There exist added factors of roommates, professors, and independent living that push freshmen towards feelings of deprivation and loneliness. We open our eyes in a rebirth, and what we often see is a disarray of stressors.
The story you hear from students, however, is that first semester was rough; second semester improved dramatically. A mysterious change develops in that short space of time. We make friends.

While living together may generate friction, we more often make the greatest friends we will have. We share powerful experiences of enlightenment and growth that bind us to certain people with a depth we likely have never experienced before. It’s mainly because we use our time so uniquely in college. In high school, we spend time with friends in distinct bubbles – school, home, miscellaneous. Here, the bubbles discombobulate. We suddenly share life and school inside a crowded space of time.

Thus, friendships wrap tightly around us because friendships hold onto every part of our lives at once. Friends, young freshmen, can make this strange world warm and sun-dappled. Saint Louis University welcomes you to all it has to offer. Help yourself.