Arrivals weekend is the heart of what Welcome Team is all about. I’ll bet you remember the person in pink who moved you into your University room when you first arrived. I remember being very nervous when I arrived, yet the person in pink who moved me in was the personification of calm and supportive. It made the experience of moving in so much easier and the fear went with that person in pink. I chose to do Welcome Team for the first time because of that experience alone and have now been on the team for 3 consecutive years and I’ve moved in over 250 new students. To be able to be the calming presence who welcomes new students is a truly wonderful experience and one I cannot recommend highly enough.
During my time being on Welcome Team over Arrivals weekends I have made some amazing memories I will never forget. Down in Birks Grange we became well known for our group dance routines to Abba songs, carried a car whose handbrake stuck on in the middle of the road and carried suitcases that weighed more than I do. It may not sound glamourous, but it is so much fun and I have made friends for life from the banding together to make sure as many new students get welcomed by a person in pink. I still remember the people I moved in, even three years on, and you will meet the most eclectic mix of students and parents in a short space of time.
At the end of each day of arrivals (and indeed the week as a whole) we get a free dinner at the catered halls as a team. To be able to sit down with the team at the end of the day and share some of our best stories throughout the day over some food. The camaraderie that every Welcome Team volunteer will speak of after they finish the week is bread in these spaces after the Arrivals shifts. We all band together as one big team, more so than any other voluntary team I have been involved with, and I am still good friends with many of those I volunteered alongside back in 2016. If you want to make the biggest difference to new students in Exeter next year then Welcome Team is for you.