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Honors Retreat 2010

by Michael West

Everyone knows the first week of college can be the toughest. Where is this building? Will I make any friends? And what do I do about this mountain of Human Sit reading? Fortunately, you won’t be going it alone in The Honors College. You’ll be able to meet your incoming classmates, the Honors professors, and many current students at the Honors College Retreat, August 19-20.

Held on the Thursday and Friday before classes begin, retreat is a two-day event at Camp Allen, an hour from Houston. Whether you’re intimidated, excited, apathetic, or any emotion in between about beginning your time in The Honors College, you’ll want to be at retreat. “You get to know other people before the start of the semester, and professors give you lots of good tips,” says Amy Demmler, Honors College senior and student in the Bauer Professional Program in Accountancy.

Gabriela Pita, a senior majoring in Hotel and Restaurant Management, agrees. “It’s important to be there so that on the first Monday of classes, you’re not lost.”

At retreat, you’ll also meet the upperclassmen retreat leaders, including those in your own major, so you can learn what it’s really like to study in The Honors College.

And because a little friendly competition is a quick way to make friends, there will be lots of games—from volleyball, swimming, ultimate Frisbee, football, soccer, and basketball to the more indoorsy games, like College Bowl. You can also play in the faculty-student softball game, and watch the faculty go at each other in the Faculty Roundhouse trivia game. 

Retreat also features the “Honors Follies” talent show, showcasing student performances in music, joke-telling, acting, or anything else worthy of display. “We use the term ‘talent’ very loosely,” laughs Amy. “When I went, one guy sang the theme song from Mulan, and another guy whistled the Mario Brothers’ song.”

Andrew Thomas, a just-graduated English major, admits that he was a bit intimidated by the prospect of a college classroom. But the current students and professors at retreat helped him get a better understanding of what the expectations were. He also met some of his first—and best—friends there. “The thing I most enjoyed was meeting the professors,” he says. “It helped to set the tone for my time in The Honors College, and I got to meet some people that I’m still friends with today.”

Even if you aren’t feeling much of anything about college this summer, retreat is still for you. “Before I went to retreat, I was honestly a bit apathetic about coming to UH,” admits Krystafer Redden, a junior seeking dual degrees in Political Science and History, with minors in English Literature and Politics and Ethics. “But at retreat I was introduced to the Honors community, which is what retreat is all about. You get to meet your Human Sit professors, and I met my best friend that I would sit next do every day in Human Sit for the next year.” 

If you haven’t made reservations yet, do so as soon as possible, but no later than July 30. It’s the beginning of your Honors College experience, and we’re looking forward to seeing you there!