For some people, nothing is scarier than the unfamiliar. We get comfortable in our high school surroundings, and moving on into college can be difficult. That’s why Gannon hosts a three-day event at the beginning of each school year called Preview GU. It’s basically a crash course on everything Gannon.

And when I say everything, I mean everything.

On Move-In Day, there is a New Student Convocation in the Hammermill, GU’s gymnasium. Later in the evening, there’s a good chance you’ll have a meeting with the Resident Assistant of your building, as well as the opportunity to go see a movie in the Zurn Science Center or outside on Friendship Green.

The next day is packed full of opportunities for you to meet new friends and get acclimated with the campus, starting with a welcome Mass in the Mary, Seat of Wisdom Chapel. New Student Orientations, Honors Orientation and Freshman 101 sessions are offered throughout the day. These will teach you everything you need to know about Gannon’s buildings, residence halls and classes. You’ll even learn how to ride the EMTA busses.

If you’re not living on campus, there’s also a commuter student meeting that night. That might sound like a lot of meetings, but don’t worry – later that night the Student Government Association, KnightLIFE and the Activities Programming Board typically hosts some sort of a game night. That way you can relax and hang out with other new students just like you.

Finally, on day three, you’ll get a chance to have lunch with your advisor, meet with the rest of your residence hall, play at the Carnival Athletic Pavilion rec field and take part in another Freshman 101 session. One of my favorite parts of Preview GU (other than the awesome ice cream social that’s also on day three) is on this day: the PROMISE Photo. This is where the entire freshman class gets together – wearing the same PROMISE shirt – and takes a photo. PROMISE stands for Promoting Responsible Ongoing Management in Social Environments, and it is a something of a life-choice mantra for us here at Gannon.

Emily Taft, a senior legal studies major here at Gannon, is a student on the Preview GU committee who directly oversees all events planned by the Activities Programming Board.

“Preview GU runs from Aug. 20 to Aug. 23,” Taft said. “It is a program put on by the university, [for] freshmen, but open to upperclassmen as well, that welcomes students onto campus and is filled with fun events to get to know your peers and have fun while doing it. Events like an ice cream social, casino night and of course giving out free t-shirts get all students involved.”

Overall, Preview GU is a wonderful opportunity to get to know your campus as well as the students who you will be sharing your experience with over the next four years. I actually met one of my best friends, Kathleen Cahill, at the ice cream social. Once you get to know your surroundings, college becomes an amazing experience, and Gannon gives you the chance to get acclimated in just three short days.