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College hosts virtual Accepted Students Day for incoming students

By Elliott Nyugen
Staff Writer

The College hosted its annual “Accepted Students Day” on Saturday, April 10. Unlike previous iterations, this year’s events were held virtually. 

In preparation for the fall 2021 semester, which is currently slated to be held in-person, the College has begun welcoming newly accepted students. In addition to the Accepted Students Day events, it has also been holding student panels and small in-person campus tours.

The panels, titled “Lion to Lion” and held from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. according to an Instagram post by the Office of Student Transitions, feature student presenters and are designed to ease the transition process of new transfers and incoming freshmen.

This year’s Accepted Students Day opened at 10 a.m. It consisted of live Zoom-based sessions, the last of which began at 2 p.m. In addition to major-specific sessions, there were general information sessions such as “Campus Resources for Student Success,” “How To Get Involved on Campus” and “TCNJ Dining Made Easy,” among others.

Sara Zilinski, who plans to attend the College as a freshman majoring in English secondary education next fall, expressed excitement towards the event prior to attending. “I think talking to people about their experiences at TCNJ will be really insightful,” she said.

Zilinski attended the English Secondary Education, Deaf Education and Transition 101 sessions. The major-specific sessions had small groups, but the Transition 101 session had over 200 members, according to Zilinski.

“I liked how we were able to pick which sessions we could join so that we were actually interested in what was being said,” Zilinski said. “I feel much less nervous now that I know what to expect in the fall.”

Mart Villanueva, who plans to attend the College next fall as a freshman majoring in nursing, said he felt some of the information presented in the early sessions was redundant compared to what he had learned in previous events he had attended. 

However, he added, “The second meeting I went to was about my major…They showed us a sample of what our sim labs would look like which got me really excited for the next four years.”

Despite going virtual this year, Accepted Students Day has always been a celebration of achievement (tcnj.edu).

“I was able to meet some future students, professors and other administrators which made me even more excited about my commitment to TCNJ,” said Rachael Dewey, who plans to attend the College as a freshman art education major. “It was a very fun experience…Accepted Students day helped me feel significantly more prepared and secure for my first semester.”

Tyler Wheelwright, a senior history and secondary education major who transferred to the College in 2019, discussed his experience in an interview with the Signal.

“[The campus shut-down] was actually pretty awful. I had so much fun my first semester, then online learning was tough,” Wheelwright said. “I missed going to class in person, playing frisbee and socializing. I feel like I got cheated out of my college experience, and I think very one in college right now did as well.”

However, he praised the atmosphere and the overall experience. “On the other hand, transferring here was great because I got to live on my own for the first time and make new friends,” he said.

He spoke on his mindset after learning his campus life would be cut short. “I feel like I was always positive about it. I knew there was nothing I could control with Covid. I was lucky enough to get some sort of college experience as I was able to live off campus in the frisbee house last semester and this semester. But in the back of my mind I felt upset because I felt like I was missing out on so many things.”

Wheelwright offered advice to incoming transfer students. “Make sure you get an idea of what classes will transfer and what classes won’t…Thoroughly check out the program you plan on applying for so you know exactly what you are getting into.”

“Lastly,” he said, “have fun. Enjoy your time in college the most you can and get involved. College can be one of the best times of your life, so make the most of it!”

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