Welcome Week may have ended two weeks ago, but if we’re all being honest, the busiest week on campus is still frequenting our minds and our Instagram feeds. McMaster’s first year orientation week sets the tone for the rest of the school year by welcoming new students to campus and Hamilton and welcoming back faculty and student representatives. The week is a fun-filled extravaganza, but its enduring physical and mental participation means that not all students leave with a positive attitude. Here are eleven different feelings you’re experiencing now that the week is dead and gone.
Exhaustion. With the high amounts of spirit and consistent cheering Welcome Week brings, reps and first years alike are probably still recovering from the exhausting eight days. The beating sun, the long hours and lack of food and water intake all contribute to needing to hibernate for three whole weeks (until we come out for Homecoming, obviously). Take your time to sleep as much as you can, refuel on all your nutrients and spend some time practicing self-care.
Relief. Welcome Week is a cherished time — one that first years and reps can look back on with fond memories. But that doesn’t mean that we’re not relieved it’s over. While most students start off the week in full spirits, we are relieved by the start of actual school that we no longer have to be up at 8:30am for a day of mostly extraverted activities.
Sadness. As Nelly Furtado best puts it, “Why do all good things come to an end?” While there are so many mixed feelings towards Welcome Week as a whole, one feeling many reps share is sadness. The week can act as a supercharged bonding activity for so many students. So much so that at week’s end, reps are miserable that they don’t get to spend any more condensed time with their team. And for those who are graduating, the end of the week can be even more somber as fourth and fifth year reps know that they have suited up for the last time.
Excitement. The years or year to come can be a beacon of excitement while finishing off Welcome Week. The orientation activities might not have been for you, the classes you choose might be really interesting or you’re just really ready to graduate. Symbolizing a fresh start to a new school year, the Welcome Week finale can be full of anticipation.
Regret. While Welcome Week is full of great memories, there’s always something we wish we could have done or improved. Maybe you forgot a move during Airbands or didn’t get to ask your Welcome Week crush for their phone number (it’s impossible to recognize people without their rep suits). Or you didn’t get to visit the Engineer’s petting zoo or get someone to take a fire Instagram photo of you. Welcome Week regrets can hit you harder than normal as the only way to redeem yourself is to wait until next year (if you’re repping WW 2018 that is). Try to let the good memories replace the regrets. By the end of April, you probably won’t remember them at all.
Anger. If you were involved in Welcome Week in any capacity (organizing, repping or being a first year), you probably got angry or frustrated at some point during the week, and those feelings might be lingering into first term. This year’s Welcome Week definitely had some areas of improvement that left many people angry with the process — some examples being the food options on campus available during move-in, Justin Trudeau’s visit taking reps away from their duties or rep training being slightly boring and redundant. Take your anger and channel that into filling out the Welcome Week survey, which should be hitting your Mac email inbox within the month.
Sickness. No, this isn’t a feeling, but students sure are feeling the big Welcome Week sick. Due to the exhaustion and over exposure to germs, there’s many people who are slowly descending into gross coughs and sneezes. Go to the doctor, take some medicine and save your roommates and classmates from your cold.