The sky was cloudy, the day was early, and the incoming first-year class of Loras College was somewhat less than amused about the first day of this so-called “Launch into Loras,” especially after the hectic move-in the day before. However, as the weekend went on, Launch proved to be a rewarding and liberating experience for all those involved.
Friday was split between various community service activities all over Dubuque and participating in the Four Mounds ropes courses, which focused on building teamwork skills and letting the groups bond with each other. I know our group started out with the quiet, awkward glances typical to insecure freshman, but by the end of the day we were irrefutably united.
Later that night we were mystified by the spectacular talents of mentalist Chris Carter. Though some people were avoiding eye contact like the plague in order to not get picked, those who volunteered helped put on a spectacular show. Everyone walked out of St. Joe’s Auditorium that night impressed and thoroughly bamboozled.
The following day started with an MOI group meeting, followed by a class photo artfully shaped like an “L.” The rest of the day consisted largely of free time, in which students could explore the Loras College campus and Dubuque itself further. The PA social that evening was a great opportunity to meet MOI groups other than our own. Our group ate marshmallows and ice cream, getting a good start on the “freshman fifteen.”
Comedian Buzz Sutherland performed that night. Bringing students on stage and getting the audience up and moving (some didn’t stop until they were out of the auditorium), he made it a fun night for all. Most of us were pretty exhausted by that point in the night, but many of us refused to let that show and stayed up late getting to know even more people. Remembering names was starting to get hard.
The final Launch into Loras day started out with two types of class: our last classroom session with our MOI groups and the Presidential Luncheon. The food was delicious; however, it all tasted bittersweet because we knew the real world of college was right around the corner.
At exactly 1 p.m., Launch into Loras 2015 was concluded, and many of us were surprised to find ourselves a little melancholy. It had been a fun and active weekend which proved to be an excellent bonding experience for the freshman class. We would like to personally thank all of the people who took the time to set up the weekend for us so that, by the end of it, we may all consider Loras College home.