UTM does a tremendous job of making first-year students feel welcome and comfortable to the campus upon arrival.
The campus is designed in a way that allows more reserved people to feel easily at home, and there are plenty of organizations and clubs that students of any class can get involved in. Also, UTM has an incredible and very friendly staff and professors.
However, one gripe comes from the required events that are included in Welcome Weekend such as Recreation Rampage, Friday Night Flights, the first home football game and Org Fair. While the intentions here were good and made for an easy attendance grade, requiring students to attend these events is not the best way to go, especially if you do not know anyone around. Not all students will enjoy these events, especially those that are more reserved.
Having these events, along with some others, feels like the school is holding your hand through the beginning. The intentions here are noble and it is a positive mark on UTM, as it is plain as day that the college is eager and glad to have you here. However, being young adults, students should not be made to attend recreational events that should be optional. It is socially isolating to those who are not from around Martin and likely do not know anyone.
Credit is due for the PEP group system and freshman studies classes, however. These classes vary by major, but from my personal experience, PEP groups are a good way of making friends in your own major in a smaller and closer environment. They are also good at providing essential information about classes, majors, college affairs and procedures and events.
College students will more than likely already have the initiative to get involved on campus and be independent. While the enthusiasm by UTM is very appreciated, it is important to let new students have more independence when they get here.