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Northwestern Welcomes New Students

Wildcat Welcome begins with move-in day

Relive the Wildcat Welcome excitement with our social media roundup of posts and photos from Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

EVANSTON, Ill. ---The population of Northwestern University increased by more than 2,100 people today as freshmen and transfer students moved in to residence halls across campus.

Kim Mengis and her son Zech drove in from St. Louis, arriving on campus for move-in day with boxes and bags full of the essentials that will help Zech thrive in his new environment.

“It’s bittersweet,” Kim said. “I’m excited for him, but the thought of driving home by myself is sad. He’s starting a new chapter in his life, and what he does now is going to lead into what he does for the rest of his life.”

Move-in day kicks off a week of orientation activities for new students known as Wildcat Welcome. After getting settled in their residence halls, freshmen and transfer students will spend the week getting acquainted with each other and the ins and outs of life at Northwestern through a variety of fun activities, informational sessions and welcoming traditions.

“This is the most exciting day of the year,” said Burgwell Howard, assistant vice president for student involvement. “Parents are excited, students are excited, and I love the fact that our students just volunteer to help out and really welcome our new students to campus.”

More than 200 students serve as peer advisers, who each mentor a smaller group of incoming students and lead them through the Wildcat Welcome experience. The advisers join more than 100 "Purple Posse" student volunteers to spend move-in day doing whatever they can to ensure that the move-in process is as stress-free as possible.

“I remember back to my own move-in day and the emotions I was feeling and the emotions my mom was feeling,” said Josh Thompson, a junior in the Bienen School of Music and a second-year peer adviser. “It’s emotionally and logistically good to help the new students through all of that.”

Thompson said he is particularly excited about a new addition to this year’s Wildcat Welcome schedule -- the Purple Pride event at Millennium Park in downtown Chicago.

“It’s really exciting to have the entire class of 2017 and transfer students down at the Pritzker Pavilion to introduce them to Chicago,” he said. “We’re so close to such a wonderful city, and I’m really excited that we’re emphasizing that.”

Returning students go through a rigorous application process to serve as peer advisers and relish the opportunity to share their love for Northwestern with the University’s newest Wildcats.

“Being a peer adviser is the most magical way to connect yourself to this university,” said Medill junior Molly Shaheen. “I can’t wait to teach the new students about why we’re so passionate about what we do and why we’re so proud to be here.”

Check out the full schedule of Wildcat Welcome activities.
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