Convocation welcomes class of 2023
Jessica Guerrucci–Managing Editor
With the values of the university in mind and a newfound knowledge of what it means to be a part of Southern’s community, the class of 2023 left New Student Convocation ready to begin their collegiate journey.
The 1,545 registered freshmen that make up the class of 2023 walked through Founder’s Gate on Monday, Aug. 26, marking the beginning of their undergraduate experience. Convocation was a formal welcome for the new students and offered them advice on how to make the best of their college experience, including remarks from President Joe Bertolino.
“You are not alone. We are all here to support you, to help you, to ensure that you leave here successful, with a degree in hand and ready to take on the world,” said Bertolino.
Additional advice Bertolino gave to new students in his speech was to take the time to get involved in Southern’s community, as well as reminded them about the university’s commitment to social justice.
“Show up,” said Bertolino. “Get involved, meet new friends, connect with your faculty and staff and peers, and if you pay attention, you’ll learn how to interact with people whose ideas and values may be completely opposite to yours and to see the world from their point of view.”
Psychology major Esmeldy Hernandez, a freshman, said the advice that stuck with her the most after going through convocation was to try new things.
“I think coming into college, I was kind of afraid of trying and going for sports or anything like that,” said Hernandez. “So, that kind of, like, prepped me up to try out for, like, cheer and just try out new things.”
After walking through the gate, Hernandez said it made the fact that she is now in college seem more real She said she is ready to build her future and already feels like she is part of Southern’s community.
“I hope that I can stay true to myself, and I work hard every single day,” said Hernandez. “I know I’m going to make mistakes, but I just hope I’m able to pick myself up and rely on other people here and all the peer mentors.”
After going through convocation, healthcare science major Katerina Corbeil, a freshman, said convocation made her feel like she was a part of Southern’s family and that “it felt more inclusive.” She said her expectations are to get a degree, meet new people and have fun experiences.
“Definitely get involved and meet the faculty and just make relationships with as many people as possible,” said Corbeil.
Sociology major Jalen Elliot, a freshman, said convocation was both an informative and eye- opening experience. He said what he took away from convocation was to complete assignments on time.
“Yeah, like hopping on your work early so you don’t get left behind, because, like, every aspect of life is always going to be like that,” said Elliot. “Like, you’d rather be on it now than settle. Wait it out.”
As for his expectations for his time at Southern, Elliot said he wants to earn his degree and have a great college experience that he can brag about.
“This is the day that you wait for when you’re younger,” said Elliot. “Then when you’re actually there, and it’s like, wow.”
Photo Credit: Jessica Guerrucci