Starting college is often filled with a mixture of anxiety and excitement about new freedoms, new academic expectations, and a new social setting. To help students adjust before their first day of class, incoming freshmen attend Bridge Week at IUPUI.
“Bridge Week helps calm those nerves that make the start of school so hard,” says O’Neill IUPUI’s Assistant Dean of Student Services and Bridge Week coordinator Suzann Lupton. “College is not just about showing up and sitting in a classroom—it’s about engaging in your classes and on campus.”
Bridge Week is just one part of the university’s First-Year Experience—the official start of college for freshmen and an essential experience that sets students up for success throughout their college careers. First-Year Experience includes orientation, Bridge Week, Weeks of Welcome, and every student’s First-Year Seminar course.
“It’s essentially their early-entry pass to campus and everything it offers,” Lupton adds.
For the 2022–23 academic year, Bridge Week runs from August 15–19. During that time, O’Neill students get to know each other and participate in activities organized by the school and the university. They’ll meet faculty and staff, learn their way around campus and Indianapolis, and will hear about on-campus resources and organizations.
“They also have the chance to start building the social and support network that is so important to their success,” Lupton explains.
For many students, that support network was a critical takeaway from Bridge Week. O’Neill IUPUI students who attended Bridge Week in the past said that making friends from across campus was one of the highlights of the experience for them. They also said the connections they made during Bridge Week lasted well beyond their freshman year.
Make no mistake: Bridge Week is a high-energy experience, filled with activities designed to help O’Neill students transition into college life. The week includes community-building activities, student Q&A panels, faculty Q&A panels, a walking tour of City Market in Indianapolis, a mock class lecture, and sessions throughout each day on topics including:
- Academic advising
- Learning study skills and time management
- Student health and wellness
- Technology basics
- Learning empathy
- Student advocacy, traditions, rights, and opportunities to get involved on campus
To learn more about Bridge Week, visit the First-Year Experience website.