Maximize your Quad Day experience

Back to Article
Back to Article

Maximize your Quad Day experience

The Daily Illini File Photo

The Daily Illini File Photo

The Daily Illini File Photo

By Abby Paeth, Editor-in-chief

Having been to three Quad Days already, once in front of the table and twice behind it, I think it’s safe to say I know a thing or two about how to maximize your first Quad Day experience. For anyone, freshman or not, Quad Day can be extremely overwhelming. There’s a lot of people around, giveaways being handed out, organizations to choose from and not a lot of time to see and take it all in.

Here’s a few helpful tactics about how to get the most out of your Quad Day:

Get there early

Quad Day gets extremely crowded and it can be very unpleasant navigating the booths when you’re shoulder to shoulder with your fellow Illini — not to mention it might be really hot and sweaty. Try to beat the crowd if you can, and leave before it gets too hectic. It’s also best to get to Quad Day early instead of later because you wont run the risk of booths being in short supply of their freebies or handouts. Also, you want to have first pick of the food if it’s offered!

Make a plan

The first thing you should do once you get to Quad Day is pick up a map and review it carefully. It might be helpful to circle all of the places you know you want to go and mark all the places you might want to go if you have the time. There is also a Quad Day app that you can download if you’re not into holding a physical map. Figure out your starting point and locate all the places that are close by to visit first. Make sure to stop in front of the Illini Union because that’s likely where the free food will be.

Remember that everyone here is looking to try something new, so keep an open mind when you plan out where you want to go. The beginning of the year is the easiest time to join a club because your class load is light and many other members are new, just like you.

Organize your freebies

Free food and drinks are everyone’s first priority; however, don’t underestimate the importance of coupons on Quad Day. This is normally where local businesses give out the year’s best coupons, some of which can be saved for a later date. During my freshman year, I stocked up on a ton of free coffee coupons and used them throughout the semester. I would definitely suggest doing this because you can use them for an extra pick-me-up on a rough day. 

Also, remember to think about the environment when you’re picking up flyers and handouts. If you really don’t think you’re going to read the flyer, leave it on the table.

Prepare for the weather

Weather, especially in Illinois, is unpredictable. You don’t want to get caught in the rain without an umbrella or a raincoat. Likewise, you don’t want to forget to wear sunscreen or bring your sunglasses just in case it gets too hot or too bright outside. I suggest checking the day’s weather before you leave, just in case, to prepare for any surprises.

In addition, remember to bring a water bottle and keep yourself hydrated. Even if you don’t feel thirsty, it’s good to keep drinking water. Quad Day is very crowded and it can be difficult for emergency responders to get to you if you pass out from heat exhaustion (which can happen).

Don’t be afraid to say ‘no’

Every booth will have something different and you should always push yourself to branch out and try new things. Don’t be afraid to turn down the organizations you know you’re not interested in right away. Otherwise, you’re just wasting your time and, frankly, their time as well.

Going off of that, I remember being flooded with mass emails from different RSOs that I signed up for, so don’t be afraid to deny giving your email.  It will save you time unsubscribing to them later on. Just remember not to be rude about it and turn them down politely.

Abby is a senior in Media.

[email protected]