A Weekend Could Last a Lifetime: Reflections on #ExploreEU17

     From Jan. 27 to 29, Eastern University welcomed a group of prospective students to see what college life might be like for them if they choose to attend Eastern in the fall. Prospective weekend was planned by the admissions staff over the course of several months. They reached out to current residents of Eastern in hopes of securing enough hosts to house prospectives. The goal of housing potential students in the residence halls was to help create a realistic view of how life would be at Eastern. Having been a prospective before, I eagerly signed up to host potential first-years.

     Arriving at Eagle Hall the afternoon of Jan. 27, I got to escort my two prospectives to my residence building, Hainer Hall. I laughed at their shocked faces when I showed them the lengthy and hilly path that would (eventually) lead to my humble home. I helped them transport their hefty loads. Arriving at Hainer, I explained the way of life at one of Eastern’s oldest residence halls. I told them that Hainer is very homey, but Hainer bathrooms have a certain scent to them. Oh, and I sure did not forget to tell them about the creaks you hear throughout the night.

     I attended different events with them. From an entertaining coffeehouse to an interactive T-shirt-dyeing extravaganza, the prospectives who were paired with me loved the sense of inclusion they felt at Eastern. However, these activities did not represent all that Eastern is about; every student at Eastern knows that it is the community that is so beautiful here. My roommate and I took the girls to the King of Prussia Mall to show them the temptations that will linger while they are at school. They were exposed to what we do (and try to do in moderation) as residents in our free time. Also, the prospectives took part in the preparation for a protest. They were highly confused as to why my hallmates and I hovered around the floor making posters that read, “No ban, no wall,” and, “Refugees are welcome here.” I told them that  during college is the time to express their views. College has the power to serve as a stimulant for students to expand their views beyond what they believed at home. The students seemed shocked by how passionate we were. They both soon joined in.

     The activities, meetings and atmosphere were quite like my experience last year when I attended Explore Eastern, Class of 2020. The welcoming administration, staff and students fueled my decision to attend. I was enamored that any college could have such a close-knit community. I was given multiple tours by my hosts, and I was given the “101” of Eastern. From the crazy snowstorms to the late-night Insomnia cookies, I was sure that Eastern was the best university to attend.

     The weekend I spent at Eastern inspired me to apply for, and later accept, a spot in the nursing program. If that weekend had never happened, I do not know if I would have attended Eastern.

     Being a host for the annual prospective weekend is open to every resident on campus. I cannot stress enough the importance of showing potential students the true atmosphere of a Christian institution. Dozens of students who attend Explore Eastern become students the following fall. The weekend has the chance to leave a lasting impact on prospectives. Even if the prospectives end up not attending Eastern, the weekend presents the university in a positive light that can encourage the attendance of others in the future.

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