May 26, 2021
“How am I going to make friends? I don’t know anyone here.”
That was one of the thoughts running through Helen Green’s mind when she attended Summer Welcome in 2017.
Now a senior at the University of Missouri, Green helps incoming students make friends and feel more comfortable with the transition to college life through her work as a Summer Welcome leader.
In the coming weeks, Green and 28 other Tigers will guide new Mizzou students through Summer Welcome — a program that teaches incoming freshmen and transfer students about on-campus services, helps them register for classes, invites them to attend academic division orientations and otherwise prepare for their time at MU.
While the pandemic pushed last year’s Summer Welcome entirely virtual, this year, students had the option to sign up for in-person or virtual sessions. Green said that — regardless of the program format — humor is her go-to for fostering student interaction. “If you can get people laughing, that’s just a great way to break the ice,” she said. She’s excited to head into her second year as a Summer Welcome leader and to connect with more students. “A complete life for me is knowing that I impacted other people in a positive way,” she said.
Summer Welcome leader Jacob Hall is also looking on the bright side.
“I want to provide students with an opportunity to see the positive things in life,” the sophomore said, adding that he hopes new students spend their Summer Welcome at Mizzou “falling in love with the place.”
Hall plans to encourage his students to take advantage of their leaders’ advice and insight, interact with others and get involved. “Realizing that everyone has a different story than I do and not everyone got here on the same track will be really valuable to meeting students where they’re at,” he said.
Most of all, Hall said he looks forward to giving new students recommendations for involvement. “There’s tons and tons of different communities of people,” he said. “I’m really excited to help people find their place.”