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The insider’s guide to EU Launch

August 22, 2013 | Hope Hamilton

The countdown to the new school year has begun, and I for one am especially excited for this fall’s EU Launch.

What is EU Launch? you may wonder.

I’m glad you asked!

EU Launch is Evangel’s orientation week for new students that precedes the beginning of classes. The goal, according to the official mission statement, is to “optimize Evangel’s life-changing experience for incoming freshmen and transfer students by connecting them with faculty, staff and other students; preparing them to succeed in their academic, spiritual and social development; creating fun memories; and igniting lifelong friendships.”

But I can boil it all down to one word: fun.

This time last year I was a newbie, preparing to enter Evangel as a transfer student. What a difference a year makes – I am now back as a Launch leader, with the incredible privilege to help this year’s new students get plugged in to the Evangel community.

This year, as I’m sure you already know, EU Launch gets started at 8 a.m., on Friday, August 23, when the residence halls will be open to all new students.

Welcome ExtravaganzaWhen you arrive on campus, you should go directly to your hall and start unloading. There will be many people from Evangel – from Launch leaders to staff and even faculty – on hand to help you. If you are a commuter student, you should go to the Riggs Hall atrium for check in.

There will be plenty of time to meet your roommate, unpack a bit, take a campus tour if you haven’t had one and grab lunch before the Welcome Extravaganza starts in the Chapel at 3 p.m.

If you’re even thinking about missing it, stop. Every activity of EU Launch helps students be stronger on their feet when facing the new school year, and the entirety of the week is invaluable because of the knowledge and friends gained.

You will meet your Launch group the first evening. This group of 10-12 students will become your first, but definitely not your last, group of Evangel friends.

Each group is led by a Launch leader – a fun-loving veteran EU student who is there to walk you through it all. Some of my friends referred to their Launch leader as “Mom” or “Dad,” because they taught us how to walk and talk at Evangel (there’s more jargon than you’d think), and it is doubtless a family-like relationship is built during that crazy week of activities and adventures.

EU Launch was a week I’ll never forget. I can honestly say some of my dearest friends were a part of my Launch group, and I’m very grateful for everything I was able to learn about Evangel during that week. The activities and sessions provided answers to the hundreds of questions that had been running in my mind in preparation for moving to a strange school a thousand miles from home, and I’m not sure what I would have done without it.

There were practical things I learned, like how to use my meal plan and where to find my classes, but I also learned the spirit of EU and experienced the beauty of becoming friends with hundreds of strangers all joining their lives in the same place at the same time.

The whole week is planned and executed by the EU Launch committee, which works all year long to make your introduction to Evangel an awesome one. Truthfully, a ton of work goes into making every moment of the week purposeful, exciting and impacting.

EU Launch Kick Off PicnicYou can find a detailed schedule on the website, but here’s the basic rundown: You’ll get moved in, make new friends, eat amazing food, meet all the people who will be important in your academic life (like your adviser and the professors in your department), attend inspiring worship services with your new Evangel family, participate in an incredible service project with Convoy of Hope and laugh your way through tons of fun activities.

Did I mention eat amazing food?

Look, I know you’re nervous and maybe even a little afraid of making new friends. I’d be a little worried about you if you weren’t. But, that’s the point of EU Launch. This is the event where all the friendless gather and become friends. By the time classes start, you will have friends and feel like you have a new home at Evangel. You’ll be ready to rock this college thing.

I am beyond excited to meet my Launch group and to see what God has in store for this next year at EU. If you happen to be one of those few lucky new students who ends up in my group, I can’t wait to jump on this new adventure with you.

In the words of the our beloved Student Activities Director Christy Rowden, the beauty of Launch week is, “watching new students experience and enjoy the unique aspects of community life at EU. Our focus [with EU Launch] is to make the transition to Evangel as smooth as possible and set students up for success.”

Come. Make the memories and friendships of a lifetime. Never regret it.

Join the conversation on Twitter: #EULaunch13

Hope Hamilton is a senior Advertising/Public Relations major from Vero Beach, Florida. She is excited to serve as outreach director for CROSSwalk, Evangel’s student ministries organization, during the 2013/14 academic year. She is also a student blogger who enjoys sharing her EU journey with prospective students.

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