McKendree's Bearcat Blog

Say Hello to the New Bogey the Bearcat!

The New Bogey
You might have seen a cartoon version of our beloved Bogey here and there at McKendree University this summer. If you take a close look, you can see a happy, athletic purple Bearcat on some of the banners adorning the streets around campus as well. Did you ever imagine that your favorite Bearcat would come to life? Take a quick moment to meet the latest and greatest Bogey the Bearcat!

A New and Improved Friendly Face

Throughout the years, Bogey has always been the smiling face we love to see at McKendree. Now you’ll be able to easily pick out Bogey in a crowd – just look for a large purple head, big happy eyes, golden ears, and a joyful smile full of beautiful pearly whites. Fit and strong, Bogey now sports McKendree garb just like you (along with a handy pair of shorts)! This Bearcat is much more than just claws, teeth, and a swishing purple tail – Bogey is the fierce and friendly cheerleader we all need at good ol’ McK!

See Bogey Around Campus!

Whether it’s game day at Leemon Field or Homecoming Weekend, our beloved Bogey can be found at so many fun events on campus. If you see this happy Bearcat on one of these special days, don’t be shy – say hello, ask for a high-five, or take a memorable picture together with Bogey and your friends! There’s nothing that this Bearcat loves more than making students, parents, alumni, and other McKendree friends smile!

Stop by the All-New Bogey’s Career Closet!

Bogey’s got another surprise for all currently enrolled McKendree students. If you’re looking to make a good first impression but don’t have a thing to wear, make an appointment to stop by Bogey’s Career Closet in Clark Hall! You’ll be able to choose new or gently used, clean, and up-to-date business attire to use for networking events, career fairs, interviews, and other professional events. These items are generously donated by our faculty, staff, students, alumni, and members of the community so you may make a memorable impression and feel your best! Bogey’s Career Closet will officially open its doors on Friday, October 1 and will be open Mondays through Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. To make an appointment, just email Career Services and bring your student ID with you at your allotted time – easy!




15 Tips to Help You Thrive in Your First Semester at McKendree

Students in classroomBeginning your life as a first-year student can be daunting, especially if you move far away from home. You might feel nervous and wonder what your classes will be like, if you’ll get along with your roommate, or if you’ll be able to juggle your academics with your social life. Even though this time might seem a bit stressful, don’t worry – there are a few simple things you can do to enjoy your college experience to the fullest while being successful. Here are our 15 favorite tips to help you not just survive but thrive during your first year at McKendree!

Get Curious

As Dr. Alewine, professor of mathematics, says, “Ask lots of questions, about everything.” We feel like this is a great motto to live by! Don’t know the answer to something? Ask! Make sure you know exactly when your assignments are due and what your courses require of you. If you don’t understand something from class or you’re struggling with an assignment or paper, don’t be afraid to reach out to your professors! Professor Kniepkamp can attest to this. “Reach out to your instructors via email. Ask questions and make sure you understand what’s required of you,” she said. “Make sure you specify what you don’t understand so we can better assist you.” Finally, take advantage of your professors’ scheduled office hours – they are there for you to stop by and ask any questions you might have about your assignments. The faculty at McKendree care about you and are here to help you succeed!

Go to Class

Pretty obvious, right? It needs to be said, however, because sometimes slamming that snooze alarm can be way too tempting when you have an 8 a.m. class. Remember that you’re here for a purpose – to get an excellent education, which will pave the way for your future success. Attend your classes to receive all of the information you need from your professors. Pay attention, take notes, ask questions, and work hard to earn grades that you’re proud of.

Group of Students

Get to Know Your Roommates and People Living in Your Residence Hall

It can be so easy to close your door and shut yourself off from the rest of the world. If you want to squeeze the most out of your college experience, take it from us – leave your door open (literally). It’s one of the easiest ways you can meet new friends. Besides, other first-year students are going through the same thing as you. Sharing your experiences and emotions can help you form an incredible bond with people who may wind up becoming your best friend or even your future spouse!

Stay on Campus as Much as Possible

We know it can be tough living far away from home, even if it’s only half an hour away. Do your best to stay on campus as much as you can, though. Why? Not only will you get to know your hallmates and classmates, but you’ll also get to attend several entertaining activities and events. There’s always something fun to do at McKendree – even on the weekend! This same advice applies to first-year commuters, too. Staying on campus can cultivate a sense of belonging and will make McKendree feel like your home away from home!

Student Studying in Cafe1828
Find Your Perfect Study Spot

Whether it’s at your desk in your dorm room, in your residence hall’s cozy study lounge, or nestled in a quiet corner in Holman Library, it’s so important that you have an ideal study spot that you can rely on. Find the place that helps you zero in on your studies and avoid distractions as much as possible.

Get Organized

When you were in high school, your teachers probably helped lead you through your homework and due dates. College life is quite different. Your professors will post assignments and expect you to be prepared. Take the time now to organize yourself for the semester. Buy an organizer, use a giant wall calendar, or stay on top of your workload with an app. Do whichever method you like best to ensure that your assignments are finished and turned in on time.

Student Highlighting Notes
Don’t Procrastinate

You might want to wait until the last minute to finish your assignment or paper, but trust us – it’s better to start working on it as soon as you can. Deadlines might seem far away at first, but they tend to sneak up pretty quickly, especially if you have a busy social life or are taking a lot of classes. If you want good grades, take it from us – set reasonable deadlines for yourself and stick to them.

Put in the Effort

Cutting corners on your assignments, papers, or tests might seem like a good idea at the time, but at the end of the day, you’re cheating yourself out of a learning experience. Put in the effort to finish your assignments. Don’t be afraid to go the extra mile and put great thought, care, and detail into whatever you turn in. Your professors will notice your efforts!

Students Working Out
Stay Healthy

Now that you’re away from home, you might feel more like staying up late, binging your favorite shows, and indulging yourself with an extra helping of fries, pizza, or sweets from Ames Dining Hall or the 1828 Café. To stay healthy and avoid putting on extra weight, do what’s best for your body and mind. Stick to a regular exercise regimen. Eat a whole, nutritious, well-balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and lean sources of protein. Get to bed at a reasonable hour. This will help you stay on track for success! While you’re at it, don’t forget to listen to current CDC protocols and mask up in indoor locations to avoid COVID-19 as well.

Get Involved on Campus

If you want to beat homesickness, love your time at college, and forge friendships that last for a lifetime, become more involved on campus by joining a few groups, including student organizations, clubs, sororities or fraternities, or sports teams. These groups give you the unique opportunity to make new friends who love the same things that you do, learn new skills, and help you feel even more connected to McKendree!

Make Time for You

Amidst classes and time dedicated toward your studies, sports, and extracurricular activities, it’s imperative that you find some time for yourself – just you – every single day. Relax, de-stress, and give your mind a much-needed break by reading, taking a walk in the park, writing in your journal, or watching a show that makes you laugh. Even carving out 15 minutes can make a world of difference!

Student Studying Outside
Manage Your Time

A skill that you’ll learn and develop as a college student is time management. You probably had to do some time management in high school, but college is a whole new level. Don’t worry – you can do it. Stick to your deadlines, study hard, and find ways to sprinkle in a healthy amount of social activities as well. Striking a balance is the secret for a successful and rewarding college experience!

Be Brave – Step Outside of Your Comfort Zone

Moving away from home or even commuting to your college classes each day can be a big, overwhelming leap outside of your comfort zone. It might feel uncomfortable at first, but you’ll soon relax into your new surroundings and you’ll find that becoming a Bearcat was one of the best decisions you’ve ever made. Look for new opportunities that come your way to try new things and attend all sorts of events on campus. Pushing yourself past your comfort zone can give you a huge confidence boost, allow you to learn more deeply, and help you grow more than you ever could have imagined!

Learn When to Say “No” or “I Need Help”

We know that we just told you to step outside your comfort zone, but you never have to say “yes” to everything. Be honest with what you can handle. You might not be able to go out with friends on Friday night if you need to write up a paper or finish assignments for Monday. And don’t forget, the faculty and staff at McKendree want to do everything to help you succeed, which is why we provide you with a student success center, career services, tutoring, spiritual activities, counseling services, and more. If you feel like you’re falling behind in your classes, you only need to ask for help – the earlier, the better to get yourself back on track. You never have to go it alone!

Professor Working with Students
Don’t Feel Pressured to Rush Into a Major

It might feel as if all of your friends already know what they’re majoring in. Maybe you don’t – and that’s okay! Sometimes students won’t know for a while or will wind up changing their majors once, twice, or more until they find their passions. If you are unsure about your major, take your time and explore your options. Discover who you are, what you really love, and what you’re good at. You can also talk to the amazing staff at Career Services or your academic advisors as well!

You did the hard work of becoming accepted into McKendree University. Now is your time to shine as a first-year Bearcat! Work hard, reach out to your professors when you need help, connect with new friends, and be yourself. We guarantee you will get the most out of your college experience by doing the above things!



Starting Your First Year at McKendree? Here’s What to Expect

The big day is just around the corner. You’ve graduated high school, enjoyed the summer the best you could, and are preparing to start your very first semester as a college student. You might be feeling all sorts of emotions: excitement, anticipation, nervousness. Trust us, though – this new chapter is going to be a fresh beginning that will shape your life for the better. Of course, it never hurts to get a sneak peek into what lies ahead, right? Here are just a few things you can expect as you begin your college journey at McKendree University:

Student on Baker Hall

Moving Into the Dorms

Say hello to your new home away from home! Barnett Hall, Baker Hall, Walton Hall, the Suites, and Residence Halls East and West are all options for first-year students. You’ll move in before classes start and get acclimated with your new surroundings, including the study lounges, bathrooms, and laundry rooms. While you’re settling into your new room, you’ll meet your hallmates and will begin building meaningful relationships with your peers. Decorate your new digs, hang up a dry erase sign on your door, and leave the door open so you can have fun impromptu chats with new and current Bearcats!

New Student Orientation Team
Taking Part in New Student Orientation

New Student Orientation, affectionately known as NSO, is designed to help you and your family in making a smooth transition from high school to life at McKendree. After Convocation, you’ll participate in fun team-building exercises with your peers and will get to know the University even more. The goal is help you succeed as a Bearcat! During this time, you’ll meet current students, faculty and staff members, other new students like you, and possibly your future best friend.

Students Eating in 1828 Cafe
Getting a Feel for the Campus

As you get settled in, you’ll probably become even more curious about your new home. If you haven’t already, take some time to stroll around campus and explore Bearcat Country! Pop in and say “hello” to the friendly and knowledgeable staff at Holman Library (they will be instrumental whenever you want to do any future research for your classes!). Take a peek at Piper Academic Center (PAC), Clark Hall, Carnegie Hall, and Old Main, which house our classrooms. And of course, don’t forget to stop by 1828 Café and Ames Dining Hall to grab a bite or enjoy a meal with your new friends on campus!

Male Student Smiling
Becoming More Involved on Campus

Your studies and athletic activities are important, of course, but McKendree is proud to offer much more to make your college life unique and memorable. Dip your toes into the water, let your curiosity take the reins, and get more involved as a Bearcat! Start by checking out Campus Activities Board (CAB), which plans tons of fun social, recreational, multicultural, and educational events on campus. McKendree is also home to several Greek fraternities and sororities, both social and academic, that can help you increase your career potential while giving you friends for life. You can also join plenty of groups that are geared specifically to special interests, including Black Student Organization (BSO), Team Bogey, McK Radio, and many more!

Dr. Eggleston and Students in the Classroom
Meeting the Faculty and Staff on Campus

McKendree is an incredible place to study as a college student. Not only do we provide an array of fantastic courses to put you on the career path of your dreams, but we also have some of the most passionate and enthusiastic faculty and staff members you’ll ever meet. Don’t be shy to say “hello” to your professors, the staff in Financial Aid, our Public Safety officers, our staff in the Student Success & Advising Center, and more! We are thrilled to get to know you and learn how we can help you on your journey as a student. Our goal is to help you succeed as a Bearcat, both now and in the future!

Welcome to the Bearcat Family!

Your first few days and weeks at McKendree are bound to be special. As you move into your dorm or drive up for your first few classes, be sure to live in the moment and soak it all in. Take plenty of photos. Write it all down in a journal. Take a step or two out of your comfort zone and be yourself. This is the beginning of your newest and greatest adventure – something that you will cherish all your life – and we couldn’t be prouder to be a part of it!