It was Saturday, August 22nd and it’s a date that will always be cemented into my brain. It was the day I started the next four years of my life at Central Michigan University. It was an exciting time for most, and for me, an extremely nerve-wracking period of my life. I had no idea what to expect, I was open to everything but also terrified of the unknown.
After endless hours of unpacking in the heat, I headed over to the University Center to register for my first experience at college – Leadership Safari. The program is for all new CMU students and provides an opportunity to learn more about leadership skills and opportunities. Safari gave me an inside look on academic achievement, campus involvements, and friendships. I had the opportunity to move in a week early, which helped me get acquainted with campus and make friends even before classes started. I was very excited to jump in and start my life in Mount Pleasant.
I was put into an “animal” group the first day, which consisted of 10 other incoming students and a guide, who was our leader for the week. I felt at home in this environment because of my experience with MASC/MAHS camp and various leadership trainings.
On the first night, we got to relax to the lovely voices of our a capella groups on campus. After a hectic move-in day, I was so happy to just sit and listen and relax. The next day, we were sectioned off into various excursions of our choosing. This was a fun way to bond with others of a similar interest. Later on, I participated in Central Connections, which presented information about clubs, organizations, and Registered Student Organizations to get involved in.
Throughout the week at Safari, many inspirational speakers (including Slam Poets!) came in to talk to us about topics ranging from effective communication, to team building, to dating advice.
The challenge courses were an interactive way to use and learn leadership skills in a hands-on sense, utilizing communication skills. Some of these activities I had previously done, so it was fun to sit back and watch my team members try and think their way through each task.
Over, Safari was a great way of getting to feel comfortable in my new home. Moving in a week early was a definite bonus, it helped me transition easier from life at home to life at college. The friendly people and beautiful campus made me realize that Central is definitely my place to be, and I couldn’t wait to begin classes and take off on this new journey I’d been anticipating for months.