By Mia McCauley, Student Affairs
When I moved from California to Wisconsin my freshman year, the big change was unsettling. Not to mention, I felt a lot of pressure to make strong connections, get high grades, and adjust to college life. Now, as I start my second year, I’ve learned there are so many opportunities to create your college experience when you get to UW–Madison!
An easy way to start is going to Wisconsin Welcome events, our campus’ way of helping you explore your new home, meet other students, and kick off your college experience. My first year, these events helped me see our passionate school spirit and feel at home.
There are over 300 Wisconsin Welcome events happening throughout fall semester, and you can find them all in the Wisconsin Welcome app. But, if you don’t know where to start, here are some tips:
1. Give Back at Bucky’s Big Event
Friday, September 1 at 11:00 a.m.
The Red Gym
A great way to feel at home on your new campus is to get connected with the Greater Madison community. On September 1, meet at the Red Gym for Bucky’s Big Event, a campuswide day of service with volunteer opportunities in sustainability, education, youth, and more! You can sign up on your own or with a team. Then, give back and start building relationships with your new local circle.
2. Learn Traditions at The W Project: Bucky’s 5th Quarter
Friday, September 1 at 6:00 p.m.
Learn the songs, traditions, and dances that follow every home football game during The W Project! Plus, take part in the annual new student “W” photo. Just bring a smile and your best Badger gear for an unforgettable kickoff to your college experience. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. on September 1. See you (and Bucky) there!
3. Meet Fellow Badgers at Sunburst Festival
Sunday, September 3 at 7:00 p.m.
We all want to make lifelong friends in college, but you might be wondering: How do I actually do that? Sunburst Festival is a great place to start. You can try just about everything the Union has to offer: delicious (and free) food, laser tag, silent disco, bingo, crafts, video games, and way more! With so much to do, it’s way less pressure to get to know potential new friends.
4. Join the Badger Family at New Student Convocation
Tuesday, September 5 at 1:30 p.m.
The Kohl Center
There are only two times you’ll be with your entire incoming class: at Commencement and New Student Convocation, your official welcome to UW-Madison. Learn what it really means to be a Badger and why we love calling this place home. You’ll hear from university leaders and one special Badger alum. Wondering who it is? Visit go.wisc.edu/convocation to find out!
5. Find Community at MCOR Multicultural Student Performance Showcase
Friday, September 8 at 6:00 p.m.
Shannon Hall, Memorial Union
Finding your community is key to feeling connected. Come out to Shannon Hall on September 8 for the MCOR Multicultural Student Performance Showcase. You’ll meet some of our campus’ multicultural student organizations and be blown away by talented student performers. Plus, you can learn more about joining these groups at The Meet Up, UW-Madison’s multicultural student organization fair happening on September 15.
6. Get Involved at the Student Organization Fair
Tuesday, September 12 and Wednesday, September 13 at 5:00 p.m.
The Kohl Center
Joining a student org can help make our large campus feel a little smaller. With over 1,000 groups to choose from, there are tons of opportunities to expand your horizons, bond with your peers, and learn what’s offered on our campus. And if you don’t find what you’re looking for, you can start an organization yourself!
While the transition to college can be difficult, it can also be equally rewarding. So, whether you attend all these events or just a couple, Wisconsin Welcome is only the beginning of the greatness you’ll find here. And remember: Your entire Badger community is here to help with whatever is on your heart.