Froshing outside of the box

Not all students are interested in Frosh Week, Gael says

For many first-year students, faculty Frosh Week is a much anticipated event. It is a time to make friends, learn cheers and get to know the campus. It can be a thrilling time, full of whipped cream fights and impromptu song and dance numbers.

Not every frosh is looking for the same experience though, and many students opt out of certain orientation events or the entire Frosh Week experience altogether. While some look forward to the energy and excitement of the week, others would rather sit it out and get to know the university and city for themselves.

Maeve Jones, ArtSci ’12, said she wasn’t initially interested in participating in frosh week at all.

“I wasn’t going to do it at first, and then people talked me into it,” she said. “I went to the parade and some of the activities they had during the day, but then I didn’t go to the dance or some of the more social events.”

Jones said the activities she did take part in were the ones that involved getting to know the University, such as campus tours and information sessions. Her Gaels were understanding about the unwillingness of some of their frosh to participate in every event, she added.

“They gave us the choice on what you really wanted to do,” she said, adding that this prevented negative attitudes from forming in the group.

Jones said the activities she avoided were ones that she felt clashed with her personality, like the many cheers performed during the week. Tilly Wolfram, ArtSci ’12, was a Gael during frosh week in Sept. 2009. Wolfram said attitudes toward frosh week were varied in her group.

“My frosh group was rather shy in the beginning, but as time passed and they began to feel more comfortable, everyone was always excited to try few activities,” she said. “In general, each Frosh group always has a core group of people that are highly enthusiastic, a few that aren’t as interested, and some that are shy and unsure.”

Wolfram said she thinks one of the biggest factors in frosh week participation was the time of day that the activities took place.

“I honestly believe that for the most part, events began too early in the morning and many people struggled to get up early to make it to those events,” she said, adding that frosh who have friends in other groups also tend to spend more time with their friends and participate less in their own group. “As Gaels we were always open to accepting friends of our Frosh into our groups.”

Students who aren’t interested in conventional Frosh Week activities can head to alternative activities like Queerientation, a series of events put on by the Education on Queer Issues Project (EQuIP). Queerientation runs from September into October, and includes film screenings, information sessions and social events.

Students who wish to avoid orientation events altogether have no reason to fret, Jones said.

“You can find and connect with other people who are also not into it.”

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