The Daily Illini

Quad Day survival guide

Espresso Royale exchanges travel mugs for follows on their social media accounts during Quad Day. August 21, 2016.

Espresso Royale exchanges travel mugs for follows on their social media accounts during Quad Day. August 21, 2016.

The Daily Illini File Photo

The Daily Illini File Photo

Espresso Royale exchanges travel mugs for follows on their social media accounts during Quad Day. August 21, 2016.

By Jessica Bursztynsky, News editor

Quad Day is one of the most essential and hyped-up events you’ll encounter during your first few days at the University, and for a good reason.

It’s a chance to get involved, make friends and put yourself out there among the 600 plus registered student organizations.

Among the large crowd and what should be a pretty active afternoon, you need to remember to take care of yourself — almost as if you’re heading into Lollapalooza.

A Quad Day survival guide, if you may.


Before going to Quad Day, try and think about what interests you and what you would like to dedicate time to. Gone are the high school days of having time for four or more organizations while maintaining a high grade point average and a part-time job.

By focusing on what clubs you would like to join, you’ll feel a bit more prepared among the booths that are trying to recruit you.

With that being said, try not to get stuck in the mindset that you’re there to join one club and one club only. Keep an open mind, put your name on a few email lists that seem cool and try it out.

You’ll eventually find the perfect fit, even if it wasn’t what you were initially expecting.


The morning of Quad Day, be sure to pack a water bottle and slather on some sunscreen since you’ll be out in the sun for at least a few hours.

Stuff your water bottle and a hat in a bag, which you will soon fill with countless free items like T-shirts, pens, cards and lanyards.

It’s important to stay hydrated on your walk to the Main Quad and while you’re taking laps around the booths. It’s never a good idea to be dehydrated the day before starting college courses.

If you get too hot, remember that the (air-conditioned) Illini Union is open (as well as several shops on Green Street) and has many places you can get a drink from and relax. It’s also a good place to go if you find yourself overwhelmed with all of the activity going on around you.

If you tend to get overwhelmed, go into Quad Day with a friend or ask some people in your residence hall to join you. While you may not be interested in the same things, it’ll be nice to have someone to chat with about some of the more obscure clubs while you wait in line for things.


If you’re not already filled up from the free food samples around you, you can always debrief with friends over some frozen yogurt. Try to think of any clubs that interested you, since having at least one extracurricular activity is good for both your social life and resume.

In a few days or weeks, your email will be filled with notices of meetings and get-togethers as the clubs start to become more active. Try and follow up now, since you’re less likely to join in the middle of the semester as your routine becomes more comfortable.

Go to a few meetings, talk to the members and eventually you’ll have found your place among the more than 600 groups on campus. By then, you should be a Quad Day pro.

Jessica is a junior in Media
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About the Writer
Jessica Bursztynsky, Interim Managing Editor for Reporting
I’m Jessica, and I’m a junior studying journalism. I started at The Daily Illini my sophomore year as a news reporter, worked my way up to news editor and had a brief stint as interim editor-in-chief. I’m spending this semester as managing editor for reporting. If I’m not doing journalism, I’m running, eating brunch or...
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