How to navigate Quad Day
August 22, 2017
Quad Day is one of the biggest events of the year and navigating the hundreds of clubs and thousands of people can seem daunting to both freshmen and returning students. Here are some tips to help you cruise through Quad Day like a pro.
Study the map
This may very well be your first assignment in college and how well you study will determine your success. The Illini Union offers a regular and interactive map on its website. You can search for an organization by name and find its exact location, or you can get an idea of where different types of registered student organizations (RSOs) are located.
The social fraternities and sororities are behind Foellinger Hall. The rest of the RSOs are located between Foellinger and the Union. There are athletic, pre-professional, religious, political, cultural and all sorts of other clubs and organizations to explore, all organized by type for convenience.
Quad Day is known to be incredibly hot, likely because of the sheer number of people. Make sure you have plenty of water and stay hydrated. Sunscreen and a hat are also good to have. If it looks like it might rain, bring an umbrella.
You will get a ton of free stuff: coupons, frisbees, pens, coasters, pins, stickers, bags, cups, T-shirts and more. It’s like Halloween in August. People will be throwing stuff at you left and right. Bring a bag, or three, to store all of your goodies in.
You only have four hours, and you are bound to get distracted. Instead of blindly going in, prioritize the sections you want to check out and plan a path you want to take. Be smart about the organizations you want to join and locate those you can see yourself committing to and might enjoy.
It’s comforting to have a friend or travel in packs, especially as a freshman, but Quad Day is best conquered alone. There are too many people to push through with a group. Also, you and your friends are bound to have different interests.
You may want to explore the Greek system or sports, while they may be interested in the cultural RSOs. Quad Day is a time to reflect on what you want your college experience to be like. Go solo and be thorough.
If you have a question or you are feeling incredibly lost, there will be people handing out maps by Foellinger and the Union. If you have a question about a specific club, ask the people at the booth because they’ll love explaining more about their club. There will also be a first-aid tent, should you need it.
The overwhelming atmosphere, the excitement, the getting lost — it’s all a part of the Quad Day experience. Don’t stress, meet new people, get free stuff and have a blast.
Meral is a sophomore in LAS.