Incoming freshmen received an early welcome on campus as Regent University greeted new students in the College of Arts & Sciences (CAS) for Summer Orientation, Advising & Registration (SOAR). The event entertains, informs and encourages incoming students who get to stay in the residence halls, sign-up for classes and find new friends.
“As a freshman last year, I really want to make people feel welcome, because that first semester was all about community,” said Cassia Sherrill, orientation leader. “That really made me fall in love with Regent, so I want to be that person. As an orientation leader, we’re here to become their first friend. I’m really excited to know all of the faces and be one of their first friends and help them grow in the community here.”
“There are really friendly people,” said Kendall Holbrook, an incoming CAS freshman. “I have met so many friends. It’s made me excited rather than nervous. Before I came here, I was doubting whether I wanted to be so far away from home and now I’m really excited.”
Holbrook starts Regent in the fall and will be studying Cinema-Television. He got to room with some of the other new students in his class and register for classes. A Campus Services fair introduced him and his new friends to all of the possibilities awaiting them in the fall.
“My favorite thing I’ve learned is about the ministries they do here,” said Holbrook. “I’m really excited about the Good Friday ministry. I was really involved in my youth group at home, and so I was a little bit afraid that going to college, I wouldn’t be able to be as involved in outreaches, prayer groups and Bible studies, and so, I’ll definitely be a part of that.”
“We’re very intentional with all of our programming with SOAR,” said Charlie Jones, SOAR captain. “We have the informational sessions, where they’ll go in and learn all of their logistics. They’ll learn how the school works. They’ll learn about the different departments. We also have a lot of set-team time, so they’re not only learning about the academics, but they’re spending their time with their peers. We start that off with a relay where they go through their team and orientation leaders and come up with a team cheer behind their team identity. Then they go through a fun, wacky relay-race. We do that because we think it’s a good catalyst for bonding, breaking the ice, and getting them to get to know people.”
SOAR spanned Thursday and Friday, June 24, and offered campus tours, worship, team activities, lunches, dinners, and sessions to help students register for classes and ask questions to experienced students. It is offering two more days of SOAR for even more freshmen Monday, June 27, and Tuesday June 28.
“We’re not going to quit after SOAR,” said Sherrill. “We’re going to be there on move-in day and welcome week. We’re there to help them through all of the things they’re thinking in their minds right now and they’re going to experience at welcome week. We’re going to be there to ease that tension that they’re feeling.”
Sherrill will return to Regent as a sophomore this fall. She describes Regent as a close-knit family and is looking forward to being an Resident Advisor. She advises students to be intentional about making friends and getting involved at Regent.