When Tyler Ward (So., IN) arrived early for summer work in 2016, he didn’t know anyone on campus. But that changed when he met Levi Phillips (So., FL) his first day. “We ate breakfast the next day and have been best friends ever since—definitely a memorable friendship,” said Tyler. Friendships that last a lifetime can be made in a moment. These moments happen every day, thousands of times a day, but PCC makes it a little easier for new students to connect.
Unlike Tyler, most students arrive on campus at the end of August with some apprehension about reaching out to other, just-as-nervous newbies. But before they arrive, they can reach out by joining the Facebook Applicant group, getting acquainted online first. Once they arrive on campus, new students can attend the 2021 Connection and the New Student Connection, interacting face to face with their newfound friends.
The first weekend, new students are encouraged to attend the 2021 Connection. “It’s a time for new students to get together,” said Student Activities Coordinator Rachel Moses. “The names of these events really carry through.” For one hour each night in the Commons, new students have an opportunity to talk while snacking. This year’s big draw was the cookies.
“Salted Caramel cookies are top notch!” said freshman Josiah Cassada (IN) on the Facebook Applicant page. “I’m going to go again tonight, if just for the cookies!” responded Caleb Sander (Fr., OH) who said he doesn’t usually make friends quickly.
Continuing friendships made on Facebook and at the 2021 Connection, the culmination of the new student activities is the New Student Connection the first Friday night of the semester. “It’s just a casual atmosphere to get to know each other and release all that energy and get to know new people,” said Rachel Moses.
This year’s New Student Connection gave freshmen and upperclassmen the perfect combination to make friends fast—free pizza and games in the Sports Center. Because they have a longer activity time, students played basketball or volleyball in the upstairs arena and went ice skating, bowling, or rock climbing on the main floor.
For freshman Amanda Smith (TX), the New Student Connection was a good way for her to meet other new students. “I feel like it has been somewhat easy to make friends,” she said. “I have met several people from different countries and states, and it has been really neat to find out where they came from.”
Overall, Rachel Moses felt this year’s activities were a huge success. “These are their final big new-student activities, their opportunity to connect before the semester gets underway.”