Today, when I was walking to the Honors Building I cut across central campus for the
sole purpose of stepping on the crunchiest leaves possible. Fall at Iowa State is my
favorite time of the year, so as the campanile chimes, I find myself grinning from ear to
ear. It’s 80 degrees in October. The trees are beautiful, and their fall colors sport the
Cardinal Red and Gold spirit all across campus…what could make it any better? No,
it’s not the organic chemistry test I took yesterday. And, no, it’s not even the Backstreet
Boys playing on my iPod….
…IT’S THE WEEK OF THE FIRST-YEAR HONORS PROGRAM RETREAT!
I am a First-Year Honors Program leader, so last year I attended the Retreat as a first-
year student, and I am so excited to go a second time. When I get to the Jischke Honors
Building today, I find it bustling with excitement as all the Honors Sections get pumped
up for the best event of the year. The classroom I use has tie-dyed t-shirts scattered
around the counters and bus departure times written in like size one thousand font on the
white boards along with a dozen smiley faces and the words: DON’T BE LATE. YOU
DON’T WANT TO MISS THIS!
There’s not one thing about the retreat that makes it amazing. Sure, there’s the bonding
that happens when each Honors Section competes in the Olympics… especially during
Space Crunch where you are closer than you ever thought you’d be to your new friends.
There’s swing dancing with the person you’ve never met before, but nonetheless instantly
fall into step with. There’s relaxing with coloring books and finger paint like you’re in
kindergarten again. There’s the fact that you’re in the great outdoors, playing glow-in-
the-dark Frisbee and roasting marshmallows and Starbursts on the fire and it feels like
you’re in the middle of summer camp without a care in the world. It could be that feel-
good glow you get after you participate in philanthropy and write a letter to a soldier. Or
it might be watching the engineers squirm as the non-engineers attempt to make a pasta
bridge. But, most importantly, it could be that feeling at the very end of the night when
you just look around at the people in your section who feel like a new family and you
can’t resist falling into a group hug while laughing and smiling.
It’s the combination of everything that culminates to the feeling that the night was –dare
we say it – magical. It’s just like the Disney movie that you never want to end. But,
lucky for us, it doesn’t end. We’ve still got the rest of the semester to hangout in our
sections and continue to have a blast. So, prepare yourselves first-year students, this
retreat will be an experience you’ll never forget.
Posted by Kelcy