As I may have mentioned, oh...three or four times AT LEAST, I'm so excited to start at Saint Mike's in just four weeks! And what contributed so much to this excitement? POW!
POW (or pre-orientation weekend) is an optional program offered to incoming freshmen. There are about five different programs like this, all of which are offered on several dates throughout July.
When I first read about these optional summer programs, I didn't plan on signing up for any of them. Since I live about 4 hours away from Saint Mike's, I thought that this would be a long drive for an awkward & somewhat boring weekend. But when my mom suggested that I go on one of these programs, I signed up for POW.
After signing up for POW, I started to research it a lot (I research everything - as a slightly anxious person, I love knowing exactly what I am getting into). After hearing a little bit about POW, I started to get excited about it. On facebook, I met a girl named Lauren who was also going on POW, and since she was on my way, we decided to carpool. (Check out Lauren's blog)
POW begins with summer registration day on the Saint Mike's campus. Here, you listen to student & faculty panels to learn about the school, take your ID picture, meet with an advisor & sign up for classes, and take your foreign language placement test. If you don't go on a summer registration day, there is plenty of time to get all of this done during orientation (except that you sign up for classes way before orientation - instead you send in a sheet with all of your top-picks for classes). But I love being able to cross it all off my to-do list! There's also plenty of time to meet other incoming freshmen, and this is a great time to start to learn where all of the buildings are.
At the end of this day, you meet up with all of your POW leaders, hop on a bus, and head over to a little ski lodge where you'll stay for the next two days.
Check out this link to the lodge where we stayed.
It's the cutest lodge, similar to a youth hostel.
During the winter, lots of schools and organizations stay here. I stayed there years ago during a ski trip with my youth group
On each POW, there are thirty incoming freshmen, about ten upperclassmen, and maybe six faculty members and adults. To me this sounded pretty intimidating, as I'm not a very outgoing person, but as soon as I got on the bus with everyone, I felt at ease. The POW leaders are fantastic - they're so friendly and helpful! I also met so many nice kids & even made a couple friends! The rest of the weekend was so much fun. We played games, went on a nature walk, went swimming, and talked to the upperclassmen about SMC. They answered any questions we had about the school.
There was also so much food the whole weekend! Wen we arrived there were big bowls of m&ms, chips & dip, and fresh veggies. Yum! We also had great meals, like french toast & pancakes for breakfast, delicious sandwiches for lunch, and burgers and pasta for dinner (they had the best garlic bread ever...it was so addicting that I ate about seven pieces). And if you're vegan or vegetarian, don't worry about the food. There are plenty of options for you.
Above is our giant group picture from POW. By the end of the weekend, I felt really close with everyone, and it will be great to see a couple of friendly faces on move-in day.
If you want to know more about the optional summer programs for incoming freshmen, like SOAR, community service weekend, WOW, or the knight overnight, check out Gabbi's blog. Below are the links to her posts about these summer programs.
Now, while you won't need to sign up for POW or any other summer program for a while, when you get your New-Student Guide in the mail (which you get in May after you send in your SMC deposit - it contains all of the info you need about SMC, including sign up sheets for summer programs) you need to sign up for your summer program ASAP! They fill up really quickly, but I think that they're definitely worth it! They're so much fun, and really get you acquainted with the school & the people. It's a great way to start off your freshmen year!