Kickoff Concert

The Band Concord performs at the Welcome Back Kickoff Concert on August 28, 2015.

When arriving at Virginia Tech, many students discover that they have access to more amenities than they could have possibly imagined. One of these is access to ample outdoor space that comprises a sizeable amount of the residential side of campus and facilitates new friendships as the semester begins.

One of the first events of your time as a campus resident at Virginia Tech will be Kickoff, which takes place on the Dietrick quad. A date has yet to be finalized for the event, but it has typically taken place around the last day of move-in in years past.

Students are served free pizza and are left to roam around many of the student activity tables set up in the quad. Kickoff serves as a mini-Gobblerfest, but also features lots of fun activities meant to spur new friendships. During my freshman year, I bonded with some of my hallmates while taking a Zumba class on the Dietrick Quad during Kickoff.

A landmark feature of college life that has an enormous presence at Virginia Tech is outdoor volleyball. During your first few days, you will notice marathon games of pick-up volleyball taking place at every court on campus. Not only is use of these courts free, it’s also a fantastic way to meet people and make new friends. So make sure to pack a volleyball when you come to Virginia Tech — your new friends will appreciate it.

Another popular pastime at Virginia Tech that completely surprised me when arriving as a freshman is the use of ENO hammocks. During the warm weather months, you will find yourself walking outside to a sea of colorful ENOs wherever there are trees. And while they aren’t terribly expensive (they usually go for around $60), I opted to save a little money and borrow ENOs from friends. ENOs are a great way to relax after a long day, and who knows — maybe someone will set up their ENO next to yours and start a conversation.

Perhaps my favorite way to enjoy Virginia Tech’s beautiful campus is picnicking. One of my favorite memories from the beginning of my freshman year was eating dinner outside on the Prairie Quad with my hallmates after a long day. All of Virginia Tech’s dining halls (with the exception of D2) allow students to get food in to-go boxes, so grab your new friends, grab some dinner and go enjoy the outdoors. Blacksburg is known for having beautiful sunsets, so maybe you’ll even luck out and have dinner with a view.

With a campus as beautiful as Virginia Tech’s, students have so many ways to get outside and enjoy the nice weather before the colder months approach. College is a time for starting over, so even if you’ve never been a big outdoorsy person yourself, there’s no better time to start than your freshman year.

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Social media editor

Meg Connors is a social media editor for the Collegiate Times. She studies political science at Virginia Tech and is a native of Northern Virginia. She previously served as managing editor and copy editor.