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!

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!

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!