Welcome back, Lakers!

Welcome back, Lakers!

As the summer winds to a close, the signs of a new semester are hard to miss. Traffic is busy, Meijer is unbearable and all the parking spaces are full. Parents are running around campus and students are trying to fight through the bookstore crowd to get their textbooks. Although things are hectic right now, we are so happy to have old Lakers and new on campus.

Welcome Week is full of new opportunities for Grand Valley State University students. From Transitions to convocation, you will meet more people than you can possibly remember. And that’s totally OK. For freshmen, you have the next four years to explore GVSU and get settled in. For upperclassmen, now is the time to make memories and take advantage of the resources available to you through the university.

To the class of 2020, Transitions week is a great way to meet your fellow classmates and learn about the university. During Transitions week presentations, you will hear from administrators, police officers and fellow students. Worst case scenario: you can win free stuff. Make sure to stay open this week. Keep your doors open to make new friends, and stay open-minded to all the new and exciting opportunities around you.

One of the best things about West Michigan is the easy access to public beaches. Welcome Week is also the perfect time to go to the beach. Holland State Park is only a 30-minute drive away from the Allendale Campus. So pack your bags, put on your suntan lotion and make sure to try a Pronto Pup.

One of the best parts of fall extracurricular opportunities is football season. Whether you want to go for the tailgate or to cheer on your fellow Lakers, this is a free activity for GVSU students to utilize. If you’re lucky, you might even see Louie the Laker in the stands or grab a selfie with President Thomas Haas.

GVSU also has a vast wealth of student organizations – over 450 of them. Take the first semester to explore all of the opportunities presented to you. Whatever your passion is, GVSU most likely has a club or student organization dedicated to that. Student orgs are also a great way to meet new people and make friends outside of the classroom walls.

Club sports are also a great way to not only meet new people, but stay fit and healthy too. The “freshman 15” is real, and with a wide variety of sports offered, having fun while you stay healthy is the best route to go.

If you are thinking about taking a personal health day, the GVSU Recreation Center offers a variety of services from personal training time to health screenings, and even small group fitness is available for free or at a reduced cost for students.

Taking an advantage of these campus resources at the start of the semester is a great way to ensure a spot in your regular routine. Now is the time to figure out when you can make a coffee run between classes, when you can grab the newest edition of the Lanthorn, or what times your roommate won’t hog the bathroom.

Starting out with all these new experiences and decisions is exciting, but it can also be a little overwhelming. Take a moment to stop, breathe, and give yourself the chance to settle in to your new life at GVSU.

Returning Lakers, we’re glad to see you again. To our newest Lakers, welcome to GVSU! We’re so glad you’re here, and we can’t wait to see the great things you do during your time on campus.

So, say a fond farewell to the old and hello to the new. Take chances, meet new people and make sure to call your mom every once in a while.

Here’s to a great school year, Lakers!