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Over two years ago, I attended my first Arcadia Open House. I had visited many other schools prior, but I was still incredibly nervous. I knew I really wanted to go to Arcadia, so I wanted everything to be perfect and seamless. I was terrified about the idea of going to college in the first place, so I wanted reassurance that I was making the right decision.
- Lashanna Bryant
By the end, I’d done a 180. I felt very confident from meeting professors in my major, speaking with a financial aid adviser, and getting some information on the clubs I could join, like Arc Radio and Student Government Organization (SGO).
Since my first day at Arcadia, I have found ways to be more involved on campus. I’ve done everything from being an ambassador (tour guide), a senator for SGO, an Orientation Leader—you name it, I’ve probably done it. And I wouldn’t have been able to take on all these responsibilities if I hadn’t become an expert on what was offered to me when I went to my Open House.
Now, I work Open House as a career peer adviser for Career Education. Here are a few of the things I like best about the experience:
Sometimes it is frustrating to make calls and send emails when you want to ask a question. You’re busy, and there may be moments when you’re not sure who or when to contact the office you need. At Open Houses, everyone from the One-Stop Shop, to student clubs, to the Admissions staff will be there to help clear up any confusion you may have. The Resource Fair, which happens every Open House, gives students and their families a chance to get information that they want to know (or didn’t know they needed).
Seeing Arcadia in pictures is one thing, but seeing it in person is a completely different experience. It makes it more real, and you can better picture yourself there when you are standing right in the middle of it.
I am more of a visual person; I like to get the vibe of a place before I stay there. So seeing a residence hall and a room was very exciting. I started to mentally plan where I wanted to put my things and how I wanted to decorate my room. I also got to take pictures and ask real students what their experience was like living in the space that they’re in.
- Lashanna Bryant
If you’re anything like me, you love to eat. So, this doesn’t even really need to be explained. Free food is the reason I get out of bed every day—why not enjoy it at an Open House?
Having an idea about what you want to do when you start college is great. Whether you come in undecided or not, it’s good to hear your options and what those options entail. No one has it all figured out, but taking a step toward understanding what you want to do after college is a step in the right direction.
At my Open House, I met people who I would eventually be with in my classes and/or become great friends with. It’s good to know that you aren’t alone, and there are other people going through this very different experience with you.
When thinking about professors, it’s also good to know what to expect by talking to them directly. I was even invited by a professor to come sit in on a class to see how it was run and to immerse myself in the community before I made an official decision. I appreciated that immensely—it was almost like a sample or a free trial (where they don’t ask for your credit card information). I didn’t have to commit to buying, but got a taste and saw for myself if I wanted to invest in it.
And I truly found it to be a great investment because Arcadia is not only my home, but it is unique in its environment. From the first day you step on campus, you are welcomed with millions of open arms.