Sorry it’s been so long. In the week since you’ve heard from me, I flew to Chicago, visited my first IKEA ever (and purchased eight picture frames), drove to Butler in Indianapolis, moved in/helped others with move in, organized my entire room, participated in Welcome Weekend activities…
Welcome Week is hectic, no matter how you are involved with college. Examples:
- Returning students: you have to move in — without all the help of previous years.
- Professors and staff members: you have to gear up for the beginning of the semester.
- Parents: it’s all about seeing children safely to school — without forgetting necessary items like toothbrushes.
- New students: You not only have to do all the above (move in, get ready for schoolwork, and remember your pillowcases), but you have the million activities of Welcome Week as well.
Welcome Week at Butler is about orientation and transition — meeting new friends. You can view the complete schedule here. Events include:
- Play Fair (doing silly things on the mall)
- Meeting with students in your major in your class for orientation games
- All reading the same book and meeting the author (my year was Listening is an Act of Love; this year was Farm City)
- Late-night activities in the Reilly Room (casino themed games this year)
- Block Party, where all the clubs and student organizations have tables on the Mall
- Taking your class picture on the lawn in front of Clowes Hall
- Other open houses — like the Blue House ice cream social
When I arrived at the Blue House last night at 8:45 to help with the ice cream social which was supposed to start at 9 pm, I thought my watch might be slow. The line stretched on for ages, and apparently people had arrived as early as 8:30!
The Blue House, or the Center for Faith and Vocation, hosts an ice cream social during Welcome Week. Different spirituality organizations are stationed around the Blue House with ice cream toppings to share (as well as information on their particular spirituality group, if a student should be interested). I met loads of new freshmen. LOADS.
This year’s event was the largest ever. We actually ran out of ice cream within an hour! Next year, more ice cream, more ice cream social. Check, check.
Schwitzer Hall is the all-female, freshmen residence hall on Butler’s campus. I lived there with a roommate my first year at Butler. Last post, I compared Schwitzer to ResCo (where I lived as a sophomore). A bit more about Schwitzer:
- Three floors (plus a basement), four units on each floor. The first floor, for example, was 1 West, 1 North West, 1 East, and 1 North East.
- Laundry room in the basement.
- Only a service elevator.
- Communal bathrooms, one for each unit.
- Mostly doubles, but singles and triples are available.
- Mostly new students, but I remember a unit of sophomores in the basement.
- Main lobby with mailboxes, front desk, piano, chairs, and restrooms.
- Extremely sociable… at least my unit was!
Here are some of the activities I remember from my freshmen days with my Schwitzer unit, 1W (or “one dubb,” as we liked to say).
A canal-side show.
Attending a Hispanic festival with my RA.
Riding the fairground rides that were randomly set up on Butler's campus (I forget why).
Movie night in my freshman dorm room.
Decorating for Halloween. Faculty members bring their kids through the residence halls for trick-or-treating!
Voting for the first time in the presidential election with my RA as a witness.
If you are about to move in to Schwitzer, you are indeed set to have a fun first semester.
This coming semester marks the beginning of my senior year, and my third year of blogging for Butler! In the past, I’ve given tours of my dorm rooms. However, we switched to a new server last year, and all my archived posts were lost. Since they now indeed seem to be Lost Forever, I’m going to rehash some old dorm rooms in hope of helping new students getting ready to go to college. Excuse me, old-time readers, if I repeat myself!
Most freshmen live in Schwitzer (all girls) or Ross (two floors of boys, one floor of girls). I lived in a double room on the first floor of Schwitzer. Schwitzer, while perhaps not as lively as Ross, has certainly been the loudest place I’ve lived. It comes from a bunch of new, excited girls living in one unit, sharing one bathroom, tromping down the hall with doors partially open in invitation.
The corner of my unit's hallway in Schwitzer. As you can see, there were frequent meetings.
The red dolly came from the front desk. Students at all residence halls can check out tons of things at the front desks: dollies for moving heavy objects (yes… that’s what we were doing in the hallway… uh-huh…), movies, games, and cleaning supplies like vacuums. At ResCo, you can check out a key for the piano in the basement; in Schwitzer, the piano sits in the main lobby.
A few freshmen live in ResCo, but it is mostly sophomores. ResCo is much, much quieter than Schwitzer, which is nice for studying but perhaps not so nice for meeting a lot of new friends. I credit the quietness of ResCo to the following items:
- Sophomores generally have a group of friends already. They are not unwilling to meet new people — far from it! — but they are not knocking on doors introducing themselves like in Schwitzer.
- ResCo rooms are suite-style. Two double rooms share a bathroom, so you brush your teeth with three other people rather than twenty.
- ResCo doors are heavy, and they close automatically. When they close, they lock automatically. In my Schwitzer unit, girls left their doors half-way open, and if a door were closed, one only had to knock and hear the “come in!” to visit.
- RAs (resident assistants) in Schwitzer are more hands-on. Units are smaller and focus on group activities. ResCo RAs, while they have programming and are always available, aren’t as large a part of residence life.
- Schwitzer has no AC. ResCo does. Misery loves company.
Since I have not lived in Ross, I can’t tell you how that compares. Wherever you end up, however, you will find Bulldogs ready to make your transition to college an exciting one!
This is NOT a sponsered post or any of that malarky, but I must tell you that TJ Maxx is the bee’s knees for college shopping. My sister will enter college this year as a freshman, and my mom did with her what she did with me: took her to TJ Maxx.
Actually, this trip became a family affair when my littlest sister and I tagged along. We needed hairbrushes (Fashionable Sister) and birthday gifts (me). My Vegetarian Sister, however, found the following college essentials:
- A backpack. Not Northface. (In fact, she picked the same one I have, but in a different color!)
- Extra long twin bedsheets. Ombré blue cotton. Quite tasteful.
- Stationary, for writing her fond older sister.
- An over-door hook for hanging towels. Actually, I might recommend you wait until you see your rooms for this one. My freshmen dorm room in Schwitzer had two bars for towels already, and some hooks may not fit over all doors.
The towel bars in my freshmen room in Schwitzer Hall.
- Rainboots. Butler’s sidewalks turn into rivers when it rains, and in college, you walk everywhere. You will want rainboots.
I can’t think of anything else she got, though we did look unsuccessfully for a hamper (not huge, collapsible). What are other items you really shouldn’t forget to pack for college? And check out these student reviews of Schwitzer Hall!
Also… do you say “backpack” or “bookbag” or some other permutation of that sack that holds stuff?
The freshman class this year is enormous. Huge–958, in fact. This also extends to the incoming dance majors–there are approximately one gazillion of them this year, and I am having a devil of a time trying to keep all the names and faces straight.
This is why Sigma Rho Delta’s Freshman Progressive Dinner was so helpful. Three of the apartment blocks in the Apartment Village house Sigma Rho officers, so they hosted the dinner. One apartment had appetizers, one had pizza, and my apartment had dessert.
The head chef. She makes a mean pot of vegetarian chili
My roommate (who is president of Sigma Rho*) baked for about twelve hours straight. I’m only slightly joking. She was baking when I went to sleep on Friday night, and she was in front of the stove again when I returned from snow rehearsal the next morning. The spread was impressive:
Adjusting to a new school can be difficult at times. Being in so many of the same classes day after day means the dancers generally band together pretty quickly, but it can still be awkward. I know I didn’t really get to know many of the dance majors in my own class until second semester of my freshman year. But I made other friends, and we’re all one big, happy family, etcetera and so on.
Still, this gave the freshman an opportunity to get to together in a non-dance setting and to meet some more of the upperclassmen. I say the evening was a grand success. Look at those smiling faces.
*Sigma Rho Delta is the dance service fraternity. We provide service to the department (help in the costume shop, publicity, newsletters, working the boutique during shows…) and go see performances and things like that together. Last year, I was the pledge trainer.