It seems like just yesterday that I was walking onto the APU campus for All-Access weekend. I was timid, shy, and confused, to say the least. I remember the feeling exactly. You feel like you look so much younger then everyone else and that you stand out like a sore thumb. It feels like yesterday, but a year seemed to fly by between then and now.
This past weekend I got the chance to host All-Access students as an Ambassador. Being an Ambassador means you get the opportunity to host All-Access students and other prospective students throughout your freshmen year. It is not a paid position or anything, just something to do if you want to get involved with the school from the get-go. It is a good way to get students hyped up for what APU is and what it has to offer.
Incase you haven’t heard of All-Access, heres a brief lo-down on what it is. Basically, All-Access Weekend takes place four times throughout the year, twice in the Fall and twice in the Spring, and lasts from Thursday afternoon to either Friday night or Saturday morning (depending on if you want to spend one or two nights on campus). You get to attend fun events, informative sessions, and stay with a Freshmen student at APU so that you can get a good feel for what a typical weekend is like. It is a good way to see the campus, meet some faculty, and begin to bond with other prospective students that might (…hopefully) will end up at APU with you. You get to go to chapel, attend a class, eat on campus, and get to know your Ambassadors.
My experience last year at All-Access was SO worthwhile and made me 100 times more excited for going to APU. I encourage you to look into All-Access weekend, and if you cannot attend any of those weekends, try and schedule a night or weekend to stay at APU in the dorms and experience it individually. I promise you its worth it.
Here are some questions I thought it would be helpful to cover that I got asked regularly by the All-Access students I hosted:
1. What is an R.A.? Each hall in the dorms, and each general living area in the apartments or Mods has an R.A. (Resident Advisor). An R.A. is an upperclassman- typically a junior or senior, sometimes a sophomore. Basically, their job is to make sure rules are followed, and even more then that make sure your experience is amazing.
2. What is an Alpha Group? The second you move into APU you are going to be placed in an Alpha Group. As a Freshmen, you are required to take a .5 Unit class called Beginnings your first semester that consists of about 300 students. The students in that class are divided into the Alpha Groups (about 8-12 people) and throughout the majority of the first semester you meet with your Alpha Group weekly to bond, talk about the class material, and have fun. This is one of the many ways that APU makes sure you do not feel alone once you step onto the campus.
3. How much homework do you get? It really depends on your major(s), if you procrastinate, and what professors you get. It varies heavily. Usually, I get roughly 2-3 hours of homework a night. Now, keep in mind this does not include procrastination. However, you can balance a social life and school for sure, you just have to be smart about it.
4. How do you like it here? Considering I am writing on the APU Blog and I am an APU Ambassador, you can infer the rest…. YES I LOVE IT HERE AND I INSIST ITS THE BEST COLLEGE ON THE PLANET.
5. Is there anything you would change about APU? Honestly, no. (And I am not just saying that because it’s on this blog.) The thing that I looked most forward to at APU was the people. In being here about two months there is not a day that goes by that I am not thankful for the community here. People genuinely CARE, the love of Christ is so evident here its mind blowing. I love that I am surrounded by these people every single day. The school aspect of it hasn’t let me down either. My classes are amazing, the professors care about students more then I have ever seen or thought was possible, and I am learning so much. I never dread school, I enjoy it. And I haven’t always been like that, thats for sure. I love both campuses and I never find myself bored here. Two months and no boredom? Its true. (No wonder why its on the list for the best first-year experience!)
6. How much financial aid can you get? If you are struggling financially, do NOT rule out APU. I know many people that cannot at all afford this college but they ended up with enough financial aid to be able to go here. APU really helps you out in finding ways to afford school here, and if you put time and effort into getting financial aid, it will prove to be hugely beneficial.
7. What is there to do around Azusa on weekends? There is always something going on on-campus or somewhere to go or someone to hang out with. Donut man is a short drive away, and is one of the most popular hangout spots for APU students. It is delicious. Likewise, Cookie Mill is a hot spot that everyone goes to, you will always find an APU student in there. The most amazing ice cream sandwiches… ever. A lot of students go to the movie theater or out to dinner at Chipotle. Girls on my hall will go running on the track frequently and there’s a lot of just hanging out in a dorm room socializing. There will never be a dull moment, that I assure you.