July 8, 2019 by

It’s your first night on campus for Getting Started Weekend, and you may not know a soul here. You’re almost settled into your dorm room, and it doesn’t feel as small as you thought it would (hopefully). Pretty soon it’ll be time to head to the new student party — Jacket Fest, where a group of people will welcome you. 

That group is what we call a STING group. Each STING group has about 10 new Yellow Jackets and two or three returning students. You’ll get to know your STING group throughout the evening while playing yard games, archery tag, jumping off a 20-foot inflatable, or just chilling in Stinger’s. 

Below is a picture of last year’s Jacket Fest. (We had to move inside due to rain, but I think it was my favorite year yet!)

Hopefully, when you’re with your STING group you can destress from the craziness of move-in day and have a great time. Each new student will be experiencing the same unique mix of excitement and anxiety that comes with starting something new, so don’t be afraid to relax and be yourself!

I had so much fun with my STING group during Jacket Fest. They were some of the first names I learned, some of the first friends I made, and some of the first faces I would recognize and smile at on the way to classes that first week. We were all from different majors and interested in different things, so it was cool to make friends who I probably wouldn’t have gotten to interact with much otherwise.

We hope that you and your STING group hang out even after Getting Started Weekend is over. Some groups keep the group chat alive and get meals together on a weekly basis. There’s something really special about staying connected to a group that was there with you at the very beginning! 

Although I’m not close friends with my STING group to this day, I still give STING the credit for creating my core group of friends. I became close with a girl in my Printy unit my freshman year, and she became close with people in her STING group, and that’s how my friend group came to be. Below is a picture of us at Elliv our freshman year!

Together over the years, we’ve celebrated success and leaned on each other through trials. We’ve spent hours studying for finals, and we’ve gone on many donut runs (like, so many donuts). Through this friend group, I’ve witnessed the value in close community with fellow believers. 

I hope and pray that you’ll feel that sense of community even while waiting to get your dorm key or in your very first interactions with your STING group. I believe the community here is what makes Cedarville feel like home — and I cannot wait to welcome you here in a few weeks! 

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