Experience Quad Day quickly and efficiently

By Isabella Jackson, Supplements editor

Because Quad Day takes place at the end of August in Central Illinois, it is generally hot and humid outside. Combine this with the thousands of students vying for the same free stuff and the fact that everyone is squished into one line in between all the booths along the sidewalks, and you have a situation that not every student will find pleasant.

While many people see Quad Day as one of the most fun-filled parts of Welcome Weekend, others can find it overwhelming, intimidating or just plain miserable, regardless of the many opportunities that it has to offer.

If you don’t like heat or crowds, Quad Day might not be your first choice of how to spend your first Sunday afternoon at school. However, getting involved on campus is too important for someone to miss out on this unique opportunity. So, even if for a little while, students should find time to attend.

My strategy for meeting new people on campus was to join as many groups as possible.

Without attending Quad Day, I would have had no idea which groups interested me.

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    If the necessity of getting involved still doesn’t make you want to run to the Quad right away, know that there is an efficient way to approach the event so you are not battling the crowds for hours on end.

    First, get a general idea of what groups you are looking to join. What interested you in high school that you want to continue? What are activities that you always wanted to try, but never had the opportunity?

    Research the groups on UofI Connections to discover the name of the group you are trying to find. After this, you can make a list of the groups you want to gather information about, all while sitting in the air conditioning.

    When you finally decide to brave the Quad, bring a water bottle. No matter how long you stay, a little extra hydration should help you feel fine.

    Grab a group of people from your residence hall or bring your roommate along with you. It will make the whole experience more fun, and if you are stuck waiting in line, at least you will have someone to talk to.

    Pick up a map and look up the organizations you might want to see in the list of names. Organizations tend to be arranged in logical patterns, based on their theme or goals. This makes it easy to target areas where you know you will be interested in multiple organizations.

    If there is a long line to type your email into a laptop or write it on a sheet of paper, see if there is a flyer about an informational meeting. Many groups will allow you to enter your email at the informational meeting, even if you do not wait in line on the Quad.

    If you want to avoid the crowds, plan to attend Quad Day toward the end of the four-hour event. While the free stuff may be running low, many of the freshman who came right at the beginning will have left already.

    Even if Quad Day is not the best part of Welcome Weekend for you, the connections you make by getting involved in campus RSOs will make it worthwhile. By the time next year’s Quad Day rolls around, you may even find yourself volunteering to work a booth for a couple hours with the friends in your organization, and you might even enjoy it.

    Isabella is a junior in [email protected]