First Week Newsletter

Welcome Students!

"I am a person who believes in asking questions, in not conforming for the sake of conforming. I am deeply dissatisfied - about so many things, about injustice, about the way the world works - and in some ways, my dissatisfaction drives my storytelling." -Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Author of Americanah

This quote by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie encourages us all to remain inquisitive, to think critically, and to stay passionately engaged, as we each live out our own story.  As a new chapter begins here at Macalester, you will be challenged to make this time meaningful!

Making Your Experience Meaningful:

Integrating the core values of Macalester: multiculturalism, internationalism, academic excellence, and service to society adds significance and value to your college experience.  Here are just a few ways fellow Macalester students who have lived out these values in their own way:

Fears for my First Year Course- Ashley 17’ In the end, very few Macalester students regret the first-year course experience. It’s a chance to try something out, to get a feel for college classes, to meet people you’ll run into in the Campus Center for the next four years.”

Moving 8,000 Miles, Going to College, and Becoming an Adult- Shruthi Kamisetty “Everything I experienced my first semester was tough but many of those same things helped get me through the semesters that followed…”

Celebrating Chanukkah at Mac- Amy  “I love that my Jewish experience at Macalester is about fostering a sense of community more than anything else. I also love that plenty of my friends who aren’t Jewish feel included in that community.”

Summers of Service-Luiza Montesanti "Six years later, Davis Projects for Peace continues to fund grassroots projects designed by college students (studying at schools in the Davis UWC Scholars program), with the objective of encouraging and supporting “today’s motivated youth to create and try out their own ideas for building peace.”

Take Time to Reflect

As your college journey begins, we ask that you reflect over the next few weeks about your current experiences, and the experiences yet to come:

  • What issues are you passionate about? What makes you tick?
  • What do you hope to accomplish over the next few weeks, over the next year, and over the next four years?
  •  What are your hopes? What are your fears? What are your strengths?

But First: The Basics! 

What if my computer breaks?


"Meet as many people as you can in the first few weeks." - Alison Gerber ('15)

"Being homesick is totally fine. In fact, it's probably a good thing!" - Augusta Funk ('14)

"Remember that you are not alone. Coming to college can be overwhelming, but there are so many people going through it with you. Don't be afraid to reach out, try new things, and talk to new people--you'll be amazed by how awesome your classmates are." - Claire Runquist ('14)

"Say hi to everyone you meet at the beginning of the semester--you'll make a lot of friends that way." - Dinesh Rathakrishnan ('14)


IGCInstitute for Global Citizenship: Which houses the-

Fishbowl- link between Doty and Turck Residence Halls, which is frequently used as a pizza delivery location.

LC- Abbreviation for the Leonard Center, which houses Mac AthleticsHealth and Wellness Center, and the Deno Fitness Center.

LSC- Abbreviation for the Lealtad-Suzuki Center, located on the 1st floor of Kagin Commons

SPO- Abbreviation for the Student Post Office, this is the term commonly used for campus mail.

GRSC- Abbreviation for The Gender and Sexuality Resource Center

MAX Center- This center offers free group and individual assistance to anyone in mathematics, biology, chemistry, writing, general learning skills, and time management. Located in Kagin Commons.

CRSL- Abbreviation for the Center for Religious and Spiritual Life

The Link- The skyway between the library and Old Main, this space is also a 24 hour study space.

D-Key: The key to the Residence Hall outside doors.

ROCK- This often brightly painted object can be spotted partially buried on Old Main Lawn.

ISP- Abbreviation for International Student Program serves the educational and personal needs of Mac's diverse international student body.

DML- Abbreviation for Department of Multicultural Life works to infuse multiculturalism throughout all aspects of college life.

C-House- A residential and programming space dedicated to the promotion of cultural awareness.

AUX points- The "money" you add to your PlaidPass ID, but different from Flex dollars.

CEC- Abbreviation for the Civic Engagement Center located in the Institute for Global Citizenship.



College is a new chapter in your life and throughout your time at Macalester you will have many new experiences, make new friends and gain new perspectives. Why not share some of your experiences or even just write them down for yourself to look back on? Consider starting a blog just for your college experiences. This can be a great way to relieve stress, vent, and serve as a reflection to look back on and see how you have changed while at Macalester.

To help get you started, here are some questions for you to think about:

  • Take a minute, how are you feeling after your first week?
  • What are you most excited for and most nervous about?

SOCIAL MEDIA: Creating a profile for success.

There's no doubt that social media is an integral part of our society, however, portraying yourself in a manner that is professional is important to your success at Macalester and beyond. Here are a few initial tips for your use of social media as a college student:

  • Brand and market yourself. Decide how you want to portray yourself from the get go.
  • Don't post things on Facebook, Twitter, or your Blog that you wouldn't want a future employer to see. These spaces may seem private, but anything on the web is fair game to your future employers.
  • Think before you post - don't get caught up in the moment and post something you may regret. Utilize your friends, roommate, or classmates to complain or vent.
  • Network - utilize social media to meet new people or possibly find a job or internship.
  • Be yourself - being professional is important, but make sure you are portraying your true self in all areas of your life, including social media.


Read below each week to learn about great campus locations and resources.