When incoming Bachelor of Arts student Hannah Beth Cannon arrived on Southwestern’s campus for move-in day, she was excited and eager to start her college career, but she was also nervous and overwhelmed by the numerous “firsts” that many college freshmen experience. But after she settled into her room in Barnard Hall, she says the warm welcome of Southwestern students and Student Life team members during the semi-annual “Welcome Week,” Jan. 17-20, quickly calmed her nerves.

“I had been worried about being so far from home, but once I arrived, I realized that there was nothing to worry about,” Cannon says. “I feel right at home here!”

For students like Cannon, Welcome Week offers numerous opportunities to connect with fellow students through activities such as Bubble Soccer and Outbreak. The week also included a dessert fellowship and church fair wherein students connected with local churches and learned about opportunities to serve in ministry.

Reflecting on her first week of college, Cannon says she is grateful for the students who welcomed her to Southwestern and helped her navigate the first-week nerves. From looking for a new church home during the church fair to forming new friendships, Cannon says Welcome Week helped her get the semester started on the right foot.

Student Life team members assisted each event throughout the week and also helped new students as they transitioned into their first semester. Student Life volunteer Kathy Robinson says she and other volunteers work to help students get oriented with campus, get set up with the necessary items for classes, answer questions about what to expect in their first semester, and introduce students to other students and professors.

“One of the highlights of Welcome Week is always being able to hear students’ stories about where they came from, what brought them to Southwestern, and where they feel the Lord is calling them,” Robinson says. “Whether the calling is overseas or right here in the United States, the excitement most freshmen exude is contagious, and I love that. Their enthusiasm and anticipation for the future remind me of the reason I am here.”