By Steve Holt, Opinion Editor
Welcome Week was a lot better the second time around.
As a leader, that is.
Frankly, I was pretty intimidated by Welcome Week my freshman year. Maybe it was the mixers and activities that forced normally shy people to mingle and talk to the other newcomers. It could have been the fact that I only knew one person-my roommate.
But this year was different. Gone are the jitters, butterflies, uncertainties and fears, only to be replaced with a genuine desire to guide ACU’s newest students through perhaps their biggest transition.
Remembering how tough a transition it truly is for some motivated me to treat everyone with the respect and interest that I so badly needed just two years ago.
I believe this truth fuels Welcome Week.
Why else would more upperclassmen than needed volunteer to be peer and mentor group leaders? Why else would they run themselves ragged through five days of back-to-back-to-back activities?
The answer is that upperclassmen can relate to how these newcomers feel, and long to ease the transition. They put Welcome Week activities above even their own class registration, jobs and social lives. They give up part of their summers to be Welcome Week chairs or on the steering committee.
Sure, a few might have ulterior motives for assisting ACU’s newcomers, but they are heavily outnumbered by sincere upperclassmen who just want to make new students’ first week a little better.
My 2002 Welcome Week experience was better than my 2000 experience because I got the focus off myself and onto others.
Know this, freshmen: upperclassmen are here to help you along in your first year. In most cases we would stop whatever we are doing to help you. We love you, we empathize with how you feel, and we are glad you are here.