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Navigating New Student Week as a Freshman

Ryan recaps some of his experiences during New Student Week as a freshman!

Ryan recaps some of his experiences during New Student Week as a freshman!

Coming to campus for the first time was daunting. However, all of the New Student Week programs made my first week in Northfield so enjoyable! Meeting new people, learning more about the school and the resources it offers, and tossing my frisbee at the Freshman Frisbee Toss are just some of the many things we did during the first week on campus. All in all, though it was jam-packed with various activities, NSW was a blast!

Moving In

Moving in was more fun than I expected. When I first walked onto campus, I was greeted by many energetic and friendly returning students. Some were holding signs welcoming the Class of 2026 and others dressed up like cows (one of our unofficial mascots) and were dancing on the Carleton College sign. My experience with moving in was very smooth; I arrived on campus first thing in the morning and was able to pick up my OneCard and key to my room from Reslife without any trouble. My parents and I spent a couple of hours unpacking some of my stuff and setting up my room. Because everything went so well, the toughest part about this day overall was saying goodbye to them in the evening.


A wide picture of Carleton's campus in front of burton hall with students walking towards the building
Outside of Burton, my dorm hall for this year!

New Student Week Groups

All of the incoming students are assigned a NSW group: a group of around 15 new students who spend lots of time together during the first week on campus. We ate meals together, participated in group activities, sat with each other during the #CarlTalks (whole-class presentations/talks to learn more about the school), and more. It’s only been two weeks since I arrived on campus, but many people from my NSW group are some of my closest friends here. Though all of our schedules are different, a lot of us still eat meals together, study together, and just hang out in our free time.

Activities During the Week


The #CarlTalks were informational sessions held in the Rec Center designed to inform new students about different aspects of the school. They ranged from topics such as dealing with change to making connections with others during your time at Carleton.

frisbee toss
The Class of 2026 at the annual Frisbee Toss!


Frisbee Toss

The Frisbee Toss is a staple of NSW. It’s a Carleton tradition where all of the new students write their names on a frisbee given to them, line up around the edges of the Bald Spot, and toss them all at once to try and hit a flag post in the middle (the closest frisbees to the target even win prizes!). Once everyone has thrown their disks, students then walk towards the middle and pick up any frisbee. The goal is to return the frisbee you pick up to its rightful owner, giving you a chance to meet someone new.


To finish off the week, all new students participate in NOlympics with their dorm floor, a series of team building games geared towards bonding with each other, and showing off spirit. Everyone on your dorm floor also dresses up according to a theme, adding extra fun during the competitions. Some of the games this year included corn hole, three-legged racing, and speed trash sorting. They were all a lot of fun and I was able to hang out with and get to know people on my floor better.

There was so much during the week that I couldn’t cover it all in one post. If you want to learn more about what we did, check out the New Student Week page on our website!



Ryan (he/him) is a freshman from Alameda, CA. He is currently undecided on a major but enjoys stem classes. He plays on the varsity baseball team and is an avid fan of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Ryan loves spending his free time playing video games, listening to music, or spending time with his friends in the dining halls.