It’s fall again. That means pumpkin spice everything is back, yoga pants are coming back, and there’s 1000 new people on campus. Here at GU, we pride ourselves on providing an excellent first year experience to new students. Orientation is a competitive place to get into, we talk about “being a Zag” like being the Seahawks 12th man, and we don’t make them do anything mean like a naked mile. So we treat them pretty well.
I talked to a few freshmen students to see what they thought about adjusting to their new Spokane chapter of their lives, and the results were pretty positive. Sam Merritt, a freshman from Kirkland, WA stated that, “My first impression of Gonzaga was the hospitality. Arriving on campus, everyone helping at orientation greeted you with a smile and a handshake. Everyone here seemed eager to welcome incoming Zags to campus and I totally felt welcomed into this new community off the bat.” BOOM! Sam knew exactly what we go for here. Orientation is a critical weekend for new students because it’s their first ever college experience. So good job, upper classmen, you weren’t jerks! Justin O’Farrell, out of Kirkland again (seems to be the popular place), said he felt “…lots of excitement and energy. I could definitely feel a positive vibe”. Well, Justin, your vibe radar is not wrong. This place is sweet. Jacob Yee, from Woodinville, WA, summed it up nicely by simply stating “I like it here”. Such scholarly words.
Another important aspect of a good college experience is to feel at home. After all, if you’re going to be here for four years you should probably like it. Luckily it wasn’t a problem for the freshmen students I talked to. Bailey Kelso, from Ogden, Utah, felt it immediately, saying “I knew Gonzaga was my dream school from the time I stepped onto campus.” Similarly, Kacie Waagbo, from Lakeville, Minnesota, said “At first I thought living so far from home was going to be hard, but I feel right at home here! My roommate is me in ginger form which is great, and I have already met some awesome people that are going to make the next four years a blast!”
This type of feedback is amazing to hear as someone who loves this school and has had similar experiences. The next four years for these new students is going to be full of learning, experiences both good and bad, and bonds with people they’ll hold for life. They appear to be approaching these challenges head on, and I can’t wait to see where the class of 2018 goes from here.