No booth left behind: be prepared to navigate Quad Day craziness

There’s something to be said about Quad Day. The ultimate opportunity an Illini has at the University is a day dedicated to congregating the hundreds of organizations, clubs and departments existing on campus onto a single, easily accessible location, at a most convenient time.

Now, how does one take advantage of this resource? How can one ensure to see every available booth? How does one not get lost in the madness that is Quad Day?

Here are a few measures you can take to guarantee an epic four hours.

1. Come with a list of the booths and venues you want to see. This doesn’t necessarily have to be a physical list, but having an idea of what clubs and departments you want to visit means you’ll be more likely to find them. If you’re looking to join a specific group, for example one to chat your heart out about Arrested Development or to bake something, you’re going to need that list. However, remember to keep an open mind; the club you least expect might strike your fancy. But, don’t sign up for every club because then your e-mail account might explode.

2. Wear some comfy gear. There is going to be plenty of walking to chisel your gluteus maximum into a Grecian derrière. Plus, it gets to be pretty warm out there, so hydrate and don’t wear your new shoes, unless you want a bunion.

3. Bring. A. Big. Bag. You’re going to be getting mountains of souvenirs for free. Yes, for free. Upperclassmen already know how valuable some of this stuff can be, especially as a newbie. Generally, the merch comes in the form of paper, pens and other practical school supplies. Some have been given plants. I’ve even received a stack of Ramen Noodles. So, bring that big bag.

4. Don’t be afraid of traveling solo. Oftentimes, accompanying a pack of your friends can seem more like a begrudging migration from one end to the next, leaving it very difficult to get much from what is being offered. Go with a friend or two, and the day will be a lot less stressfull.

5. Approach people. If you are truly passionate, or lightly interested, about an issue or activity, you’re going to have to go for it and prove it. Let these organizations know of your interest and give them something to remember you by. The number one purpose though is to enjoy the day. It can be tough to find your way around, even for upperclassmen. But, if the majority of the student body and faculty can take a day to navigate through the chaos, anyone can. I’m sure you’re going to find a gem or two, whether it’s the club you’ve wanted to join since or that nifty plant.