Stepping foot on campus in the middle of the freezing cold winter with the sky looking dismal and the ground full of slush can make for a dreadful return for second semester. For some, the day before classes can be miserable. Moving back into a dorm can be pretty gloomy when the sky is gray the entire day and the sun sets before most people start eating dinner. With the day so short, I wish there was something in place to welcome students back into the spring semester the same way the University of Indianapolis welcomes the incoming freshmen at the beginning of the fall semester.
Welcome Week is a long-standing tradition at nearly every college institution that benefits the students and boosts morale. Halfway through the year, institutions such as ours should notice that many students need a pick-me-up. Welcome Week helps to connect students to peers with whom they may not end up having any courses, and it encourages them to spread their wings and dive into rewarding situations with which they may not be comfortable. Welcome Week builds students up and helps them realize that there is more to college than studying for exams. Most of all, it gives students a sense of excitement and readiness for the coming semester. I believe that excited and prepared students are the most engaged and hard-working, which is why I am pushing for a week or weekend that welcomes students back and jump-starts the spring semester.
The first few days on campus for me were pivotal in fueling my motivation to overcome any and all upcoming academic obstacles. In a Forbes article titled “Motivation Matters,” James Marshall Crotty said that 40% of high school students chronically lack motivation. Students do not struggle with a handful of assignments throughout high school, but they find themselves without adequate motivation on a regular basis over an extended period of time.
This kind of academic atmosphere will translate into the college level regardless of what university a student attends. Colleges spend so much time and so many resources picking students, they should also invest in and maintain those students throughout their entire college career.
College campuses should do everything they can to avoid a chronic lack of motivation within the student body. Understanding this lack of motivation before attempting to find a solution to the problem would make for long-lasting and positive results.
Any student could tell you that when he or she lacks motivation, it lowers the quality of his or her work. With a lower quality of work, UIndy students’ test scores and overall GPAs suffer. It would be a win-win situation for UIndy, even just to make the attempt to introduce something comparable to Welcome Week for the second semester, plus students would appreciate any attempt made by administration to sympathize with them. I know that if I heard that UIndy was making the effort to meet students where they are on the grounds of mental health, there would be reason to celebrate– and where better to celebrate than at a spring semester Welcome Week.