The best and worst parts of Quad Day

The+Marching+Illini+perform+at+Quad+Day+on+Aug.+26%2C+2012.

Daily Illini File Photo

The Marching Illini perform at Quad Day on Aug. 26, 2012.

By Aminah Koshul, Staff writer

Quad Day was the first campus-wide event I attended as a freshman two years ago. It’s one of the many events hosted by the Illini Union Board that captures a picture-perfect snapshot of the kind of college life you see in movies: a vibrant and lively atmosphere with students reconnecting after summer vacation.

It helps mark the beginning of a new academic year and showcases much of what the University has to offer beyond the rigorous academic coursework.

While Quad Day serves to acquaint students with the vast extracurricular opportunities available to them, it’s not always as easy as picking out a few choice clubs and being on your way.

Because it takes place in late August, the weather tends to be uncooperative. It can hot and humid and having a few hundred people packed into the Quad doesn’t help the situation.

It’s also extremely loud, with students talking over each other in an attempt to gain attention and recruit you into their clubs.

It can easily become overwhelming to process all the information being thrown at you and with over 1000 Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) it can become difficult to keep track of which club does what.

You’ll probably end up signing up for the mailing lists of numerous RSOs which you won’t remember until your inbox is plagued with emails from them until you unsubscribe.

Despite your initial ambitions, you’ll find that you won’t able to join every club that hands you a flier or a frisbee. The opportunities won’t seem as enticing in hindsight and ideally, you’ll probably narrow it down to maybe two or three prospective clubs.

On the upside, this event provides a great opportunity to meet old friends and make new ones before classes start. It’s a small snippet of the lively student body that you will find yourself a part of for the next four years.

Quad Day does an excellent job of capturing the exuberance and fast paced nature of campus life. Additionally, there are dance and theater groups performing live to showcase their talent and attract anyone interested. Watching their performances is always a good time and is a convenient opportunity for an entertainment fix between RSO hunting.

Quad Day presents the perfect circumstances to come across an RSO you might not have joined otherwise. With all the booths representing their RSOs, arranged and organized carefully for you to choose from, you’re bound to come across a club or two that you’ll find interesting.

It’s important to bear in mind that the chaos of Quad Day can easily be countered with some simple planning. First of all, decide what kind of RSOs you want to join. Create a balance between career-based or academically oriented clubs and recreational ones. Next, make sure to look over a map that outlines where each RSO will be. Familiarizing yourself with the names of the buildings on the quad is a big help.

It’s the first major step towards becoming involved with the campus community and creating a well-rounded college experience. The RSOs you join can help reinforce and compliment the knowledge gained during classroom education. Even for a self-professed introvert like myself, Quad Day is still worth the trip.

Aminah is a junior in LAS.

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