Destination Kent State begins with successful first session

Incoming students and their parents walk toward Eastway during Destination Kent State on Monday, June 5, 2017.

Isabel Kiefer

Destination Kent State (DKS) may be a scary, exhilarating introduction to Kent State, but for many incoming students, it is the beginning of the next chapter in their lives. 

Monday morning marked the start of this year’s DKS, with around 216 incoming students and 150 parents registered for the first session. This session kicks off nearly six consecutive weeks of incoming freshman orientation.

Joshua Perkins, Student Success Programs assistant director, said DKS has undergone several changes since last year. The emphasis is on FlashGuides’ relationships with incoming students during their overnight stay, Perkins said.

“We try to be a lot more interesting and pick topics that are relevant to our student population,” he said.

FlashGuides host small informational sessions, which Perkins describes as “mini TEDtalks.” These sessions, held on the second day of each student’s registered session, cover issues ranging from student life to the university’s LGBTQ community.  

As the day ended, incoming students and FlashGuides felt relieved.

Isabella Bowman, first-time FlashGuide and junior fashion merchandising major, was thankful for the break.

“Making sure you’re at the right place at the right time is nerve-wracking,” she said. “It’s been a crazy morning.”

Bowman and fellow FlashGuide Erin Davis, a junior mathematics major, said a stressful aspect of the job is messing up their schedules.

Bowman and Davis were not the only ones to relax after an eventful morning. Jordan Pickrum, an incoming engineering major, said meeting new people on campus comforted him.

“I just felt like I belonged here,” Pickrum said.

Parents Tammy and Patrick Gavin felt puzzled after registration started late.

“They said registration was at 7:30 (a.m.), but it didn’t start until 8:30 (a.m.),” Tammy Gavin said. “We’re the type to show up 15 minutes early, too.”

Kody Elsayed, a sophomore public relations major, was in a lively mood despite a busy morning and a late start. Elsayed said the incoming class has great potential, and he had a positive first experience as a FlashGuide. 

“Kent is a little diamond in the rough,” he said.

For Mya Johnson, an incoming studio arts major, Kent State was a simple choice because of the academic diversity.

“I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to do so I thought I wanted to start here,” Johnson said. “I’m excited to be away from home.”

Johnson and Pickrum were both excited to meet new people, while Bowman and Davis were thankful for an afternoon break. As orientation continued, however, FlashGuides started to hear some of the same questions several times.

 “Where are the bathrooms?” laughed Bowman.

Isabel Kiefer is the dining, housing and DKS reporter, contact her at [email protected].