Oh, what a week


One first-year, stressed about his placement tests and problems registering for certain classes, mutters sarcastically, “Well, this is just amusing,” as he walks out of his adviser’s office. Meanwhile, 20 ambitious new students take a librarian-led tour of the Reg, asking nervous questions about everything from making copies to interlibrary loans. Perhaps most indicative of the early college-student traumas are the handful of first-years locked out of Bartlett Dining Commons, left hungry because they neglected to learn the dining hall’s hours.

Still, O-Week has brought a lot of excitement for the Class of 2008, with the College Programming Office attempting to make the acclimation to college life as easy as possible. Smiling O-Aides helped with Saturday move-in before students filtered to “O-Fest”—a midday fair offering games, prizes, and food—and later Opening Convocation. After the bagpipe procession, which passed through the main Quad and ended at the newly redesigned Botany Pond, students said goodbye to their parents one last time before officially becoming phoenix-loving first-years.

With 52 percent of the new class varsity high-school athletes, 60 percent musicians, 40 percent involved in publications, and 25 percent student-government leaders, this year’s 1,220 enrolled students have résumés on par with recent classes. They’ll continue meeting each other in activities this week, including tonight’s Reynolds Club dance party; tomorrow’s Aims of Education Address, given by President Don M. Randel, and subsequent discussion; and Saturday’s “Explore Chicago Day,” which culminates in a downtown reception at the John Hancock Observatory. Now if only first-years could get that lunch schedule down, they’d be in the clear—at least until midterms.

Sean I. Ahmed, ’06

Photos: new students tour the Reg (top); first-years fill out registration forms in the College advising office (bottom).

September 22, 2004