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New Student Week: A Carleton Welcome

Kai, a New Student Week leader, gives a glimpse into the Class of 2025's first week at Carleton!

Kai, a New Student Week leader, gives a glimpse into the Class of 2025's first week at Carleton!

A couple of weeks ago, a record-breaking class of 567 students was welcomed home to Carleton. 32% of incoming students identified as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, or a Person of Color), 12% International, 13% first-generation college students, among other stats. However remarkable students are, transitioning to college is a challenging task. Plus, many students had yet to set foot on campus due to COVID; that they came from across the country and world only added to this challenge. (Fun fact: 47 states and 29 countries are represented in the Class of ‘25. 50 states and 46 countries are represented in Carleton’s entire student body.) So how does Carleton ease students into college life?

New Student Week! And International Student Orientation!

My co-leader, Grace, and our group sign

In six days, New Student Week gives first-year students a crash course on Carleton. International Student Orientation starts three days earlier to allow extra time for acclimation. The idea that Carls help Carls is introduced from the start. I was one of the lucky returning students selected as a New Student Week/Peer Leader. We came in five days before the students, training, meeting up with our co-leaders and peer leaders, and preparing for our group of 12-14 new students.

Move-In, Frisbee Toss, NOlympics, CarlTalks, Meeting the President…

Part of the reason why leaders have so much training is that New Student Week (NSW) is packed! Just take a look at the schedule! From learning about Carleton’s traditions and resources, to finding friends and figuring out how dining halls work, we were there to help through it all. It was a lot of work for Grace (my co-leader) and me, but we both really enjoyed it.

All NSW leaders, peer leaders, and fall sport athletes helped first-years on move-in day. And by the end of the day, new Carls experienced their first Carleton tradition: the Frisbee Toss. Each first-year receives a frisbee and writes their name and room number on it. The first-years then gather in a circle around the Mini Bald Spot and toss their frisbees! After, everyone picks up a frisbee, aiming to find the rightful owner before the end of NSW. It’s a great way for first-years to get to know new people!

NSW Group pic
Group 22 at the President’s house!

Other events during NSW?

  • NOlympics is a fun-filled night to bond with your floor while competing against other dorms in various events like the frozen T-shirt contest, hula-hoop challenge, and frisbee basket toss.
  • CarlTalks are a series of lectures and discussions on topics that are important for creating the type of environment we all want on campus.
  • As a group, we played plenty of fun camp-style icebreaker games.
  • We got to meet President Byerly and eat ice cream while playing corn hole in her yard!
  • Many group meals were spent where Grace and I doled out our two cents of wisdom.

Before we knew it, we found ourselves at the end of a fun week. I first met some of my best friends at Carleton from NSW and I was definitely thankful to be a part of it again this year!

Convo at Chapel
Opening Convocation at the Chapel – the start of a great new academic year!

Kai is entering his second year at Carleton; though born in the Twin Cities, he lived in Kobe, Japan for a year, moved to New York City halfway through high school, and now calls Northfield home (plus Charlottesville, Virginia, his hometown). In true liberal arts student fashion, he’s interested in anything from American Studies to Economics to Psychology; hopefully, double minoring in Japanese and Music Performance. He enjoys walks around Lyman Lakes/in the Arb, seeing friends at Sayles, playing piano at Weitz, and pitching/playing infield for the baseball team. Meet the other bloggers!