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A spirit that is not afraid

COLUMN | Making the most of "The First 56"

Samford Hall clock tower 8/8/22
Samford Hall clock tower 8/8/22

The buzz of move-in and syllabus week has come and gone, but Auburn University is still welcoming its first-year students. “The First 56” is a new tradition extending “Welcome Week” and enhancing students' first 56 days back in Auburn. 

In addition to overhauling the AUInvolve website, Student Involvement has made notable changes that serve the student body at a greater capacity. Living through a pandemic has made everyone realize the necessity for community — it has probably sparked a desire to get involved in that community as well. 

Whatever the reason for this conviviality, first year and fifth year students alike are enjoying events that entertain and help them during the start of the fall 2022 semester. 

The title for this new tradition is a nod to Auburn’s establishment in 1856. Since then, the university has experienced countless historical events, societal changes and administrative decisions and grown into the family it is today. 

Now, over 150 years later, class schedule tours, concerts, organization retreats and opportunities for free food draw new students into the timeless “Auburn Family.” 

These events provide countless opportunities to meet people with similar interests and find friends. The purpose of college is education, but everyone knows that it’s a formative time for every sphere of one’s life. 

So if you’re a freshman, go to the events and find that special, supportive, life-giving community. If you’re a senior, go to the events with your friends and soak up the time you have left. If you’re anything in between, the message is still the same: invest in the Auburn family. 

College is a fluid experience. Majors change. Friendships come and go. Hobbies, involvements, settings — it all changes, all the time. It is important to put down roots, even if you eventually replant. 

Auburn is a far-reaching, deeply-encompassing community, even outside the excitement of “The First 56.” With over 550 student clubs and organizations — nearly all experiencing the influx of new members — there is a place for you, no matter who you are. 

The first 56 days of one’s college experience are vital to plugging in, putting down roots, feeling welcome and creating a new community. Auburn University is positively supporting this concept with its welcome events each day. 

The choice comes down to the student — open your eyes and step into the community. 

The opinions expressed in columns and letters represent the views and opinions of their individual authors. 

These opinions do not necessarily reflect the Auburn University student body, faculty, administration or Board of Trustees. 

Sami Grace Donnelly | Columnist

Sami Grace Donnelly, sophomore in journalism, is a columnist at The Auburn Plainsman.


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