The first day of classes is undeniably terrifying—threatening professors, unfamiliar faces and mumbled whispers sounding all around you, the sense of isolation, homesickness—we’ve all been there. Hopefully, these tips help you survive the onslaught of freshman year jitters with a variety of resources that enhance the college experience (don’t stay locked up in your dorm room all semester).
As the majority of you are incoming non-Nebraska natives, it’s important to note that the city of Lincoln and the Union College campus offer a variety of resources. Go on, take a look. You might be surprised.
Union College hosts a variety of social events specifically geared toward enhancing your spiritual and social life.
Associated Student Body (ASB) – Most every Saturday night, ASB hosts a social activity for the entire student body, events include; ice skating at Mahoney Park, rollerskating and Skate Zone, the Union College World Cup, bubble soccer, glow runs, talent shows and a plethora of other activities.
Other Clubs – Oftentimes, students don’t realize that when they enroll at Union College, they are automatically allowed to join two clubs in addition to ASB (it’s built into your school bill!). There are a variety of other clubs, usually designated specifically for certain majors, ie. Nursing Club for the nursing majors. However, anyone can to join any two clubs, regardless of major. You can also join more than two, if desired, for an additional fee.
Project Impact – Project Impact is an annual community outreach activity that takes place in the fall semester the second Thursday in September. Classes are nonexistent on this day as all students and faculty are encouraged to partake in the adventure. Not only will you be representing the spirit of Christ in the local community, but if you are in need of community service hours, this is the place to get started.
Chapel and Heartscan – Chapel takes place in Woods Auditorium every Tuesday morning. This is your chance to garner much needed worship credits and to share your spirituality with the rest of your buddies. For those who are more inclined toward a personal spiritual experience, there is one-on-one Heartscan (see Dr. Becker or Rich Carlson for more information).
Joint Worships, Family Worship, and After Glow – Joint worships are typically held in the Rees Hall chapel on Wednesday evenings, but occasionally double worship credit services take place in the Rees basement. Family Worship is every Friday night, followed by cinnamon rolls at Buell Fogg’s house or After Glow. V2 is a worship service that concludes the Sabbath. Watch out for Rich Carlson’s emails for specific times and reminders.
Campus Ministries – Do you like to sing, play an instrument or just get up front? Campus Ministries offers a handful of activities that utilize student leadership and involvement. If you’re curious about the various activities Campus Ministries has to offer, feel free to drop by ask.
Sports, Intramurals, and Gymnaires – What college campus is complete without a sports team? Union College’s Warriors and Lady Warriors offer you basketball, volleyball, and golf teams. The Gymnaires are Union’s travelling gymnastics team. Intramurals are also offered, so keep your eyes open for fliers and emails on specific sports and games.
Band and Unionaires – Are you a music lover? The Unionaires are Union College’s vocal gold. For those more instrumentally inclined, Union also features a band. Watch out for posters on audition dates, or stop by Engel hall for more information.
Though a quiet city, Lincoln has its perks. The list below includes a few of the notable places and activities this historic city has to offer.
The Mill – Directly across from Union College, cozily situated on Prescott Street, is The Mill, a Lincoln-born coffeehouse that offers tastes of locally baked pastries and espresso. It’s one of the most popular hangout spots for Union College students and some nice locals.
Gateway Mall and South Pointe – Gateway Mall and South Pointe are two local malls which serve as a quick-stop fix-it for your attire, back-to-school and personal interest needs.
Holmes Lake – Holmes Lake, accompanied by a park and seemingly endless trails, is located off of 70th Street and is also within walking distance from Union College. Huskers, Saltdogs, and Stars – The Nebraska Huskers are nestled right in the heart of Lincoln, Nebraska. Not a fan of football? The Lincoln Saltdogs is the city’s baseball team, and the Lincoln Stars offer a venue for ice hockey fans.
Lincoln Children’s Zoo – Lincoln also offers the Lincoln Children’s Zoo (don’t let the title fool you, it’s a great zoo for all ages). About an hour’s drive away, Omaha also offers the the internationally known Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium.
Nebraska State Capitol – The Nebraska State Capitol, located off of K Street, is one of three of the nation’s skyscraper capitol buildings. There are daily guided tours.
Building Your Success
Most important to your college experience is building your personal success. There is a handful of departments and offices on-campus designed to help you succeed. These useful avenues include but are not limited to:
- The Teaching and Learning Center (TLC)
- The Career Center
- The Library
If you’re still feeling a little lost or stressed out, don’t be afraid to ask questions or for help. After all, the #1 most-liked aspect of Union is the fact that we’re a tight knit community.
The connections you make here can impact your future, the relationships you build here are foundational. Whether it’s through landing an internship or helping you pass a class, Union wants you to succeed.
And yes, this is a hint to not ignore those pesky alerts from faculty. There are nuggets of valuable information in there, such as class assignments/schedule rearrangements!
Good luck, Freshmen.
Stefani is a junior studying communication.