As a first-year it can be challenging to get out of your comfort zone and meet new people. The Connections Retreat for first year students such as myself acted as a catalyst for us to meet one another and explore our faith at Scranton.
The two day retreat, which took place at the University’s Chapman Lake House, was a great way to take a break from studying and get to know other students.
The “Drake and Josh” themed retreat, led by upperclassmen who’d previously gone as freshman, helped students reflect on their lives before Scranton and the transition into college.
The retreat leaders shared personal anecdotes from their own first year experiences. Afterwards, in small groups, students would reflect on what they took away from the stories. It was helpful to hear insight from both the upperclassmen and the first years because it reaffirmed the idea that everyone can relate to the uphill transition into college.
Having never been on a retreat before, I was not sure what to expect when I signed up for Connections. However, when I got to the lake house, I was pleasantly surprised by the uplifting tone that the weekend held.
The retreat leaders put a lot of hard work in throughout the past spring and fall semester to make sure all the first year students would have a fun time. Throughout the weekend, students participated in fun icebreakers, games, and sing-alongs. Coming into the retreat, a lot of the people did not know one another; however, we left Chapman Lake with a shared bond from the unique experience. First year Cali Wingate reflected of her experience.
“Connections was such a great experience as a first year student. I met a lot of new friends and became closer with friends I had already established. I also loved the all girls retreat and intimate atmosphere,” Wingate said.
Every first year held the same conclusion at the end of the retreat, that it was a unforgettable way to create new friendships and foster ones already held.