The Daily Illini

Try something new on Quad Day

By Alex Greulich, Copy Chief

When I first stepped onto the Main Quad my freshman year, on Quad Day, I have to admit that it was overwhelming. Large crowds made me panicky. I had no idea how anyone could find anything they wanted to do in that mess of bodies. It was also over 90 degrees, so that helped.

Luckily, I had a couple friends from high school to go with me, and I navigated the edges of the Main Quad with (hesitant) ease. Even though I wasn’t excited about the prospect of being crushed by my fellow freshmen, I did have a goal in mind that day, and it was to try something new.

At the beginning of the school year, whether you are a freshman or a senior, there’s a certain promise in the air of possibilities untold. You have no idea what is going to happen in the following eight or nine months, and when you look back on your year, you’ll probably laugh at what you thought you knew.

College is a big process of growing, changing and searching. Anything that comes around the corner is fair game, and you probably won’t know how to do it, so you’ll just put your best foot forward and hope it all works out.

This is my advice to you on Quad Day. Go find something you don’t know. Search for it. Learn about it. Let it change you. Grow from it. That club about graphic design that doesn’t look very popular? It may spark a major change, pun intended. That newspaper club that’s handing out maps and Quad Day Guides? Well, look where I am now.

You don’t know what’s going to happen here, on the first day before school starts. It’s time to dive in and try something you never have before, something crazy or unpopular or niche.

There are over 1,600 registered student organizations on campus. If all of them aren’t right for you … well, come to the newspaper, I’m sure we can find you something.

Quad Day occurs on the Sunday before school begins and lasts from noon to 4 p.m. If you like to plan ahead, check out the Illini Union’s page to learn more about all the available organizations on campus. Search for your favorite hobbies or interests you’d like to pursue. Write them down and bring them with you to Quad Day.

When the time comes, if you are overwhelmed like I was on Quad Day and are alone, don’t be afraid to talk to the people around you. Chances are, someone has passed the solar car booth, or one of the many dance booths scattered around. If you need a general guide, look no further than one of the maps handed out at the north or south end of the Main Quad.

Just remember: Have fun, don’t be afraid, add your school email to the clubs you are interested in and go to the first meeting. There’s a reason you signed up in the first place, and hopefully it wasn’t for the free plastic cup.

Alex is a senior in LAS

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