Checking in on trekkies

When first year students arrive on campus, feelings of anxiety and nervousness persist. A unique way for UVM first years to become accustomed to the college atmosphere is through the University’s program TREK. TREK is a team-building and enrichment program led by upper-class peers the week before moving to UVM. Winderness, Service and Transfer TREK programs included rock climbing, hiking, canoeing, sea kayaking, biking, Catamount crew, Montpelier crew, Habitat for Humanity Crew, Burlington Crew and State Park Crew. Hear how first-years who went on TREK felt about their experiences. Kathryn Esposito – Georgia, VT – TREK leader Burlington Crew Service TREK   The best part was just seeing all of the incoming freshmen so excited about coming here.  It just made me more excited about coming here as well. It just made me realize all of the great things about UVM that I might have overlooked. They are all super excited now; they have a little family to go to if they are ever uncomfortable.   Emily Miller – Mansfield, MA – Hiking TREK   My favorite part was hiking downhill because we had already hiked to the top of the mountain and I felt accomplished. I would recommend it to another incoming freshman.  I don’t know about the hiking one though because it is pretty hard, but definitely TREK. My least favorite part was being in the rain and not being able to take a shower. It was kind of gross, but it was all right. Bridget Pollicino – Smithtown, NY – Catamount Crew Service TREK   Each day we hiked up the mountain and we would cut down trees to clear a ski trail. The hike back was the best because you could see what you did and it was a crazy before-and-after shot. We actually ended up doing a mile and a half, it was so cool. I am physically tired, but now I am mentally ready. I don’t think I was ready when I first got on TREK — I was still in summer mode — and not nervous or excited, but now I am really stoked and I have a group of friends.   Danielle Smith – Wayland, MA – Sea Kayaking TREK   We slept out on the rocks one night and that was really fun. Everyone was really nice, and I feel like I have a good group of friends now.   Peter LaMalfa – Portland, CT – Hiking TREK   I was looking for a physical challenge as well as some time away before school starts so it was a really nice thing to do — it didn’t feel like real life. It is a great program. After one of the harder TREKs like hiking, where you carry 50 pounds on your back, moving in isn’t hard at all. I don’t have to climb mountain, I am just moving my stuff in. Sara Groshens – Chester, VT – Hiking TREK   My favorite part was just getting to know people and getting to UVM with a group you already know and feel comfortable with. In the hiking TREK you do everything together in the woods and I feel like I really have a core group of friends. The upperclassmen TREK leaders helped us with tidbits of information we really need to know — they are kind of like our mentors.