38 things to do in your first year at Goshen College

We asked our alumni and current students about some of the “must do” activities to do in your first year at GC. Here are some answers.


  •  14_5MerryLea32_bys
    “Participate wholeheartedly in whatever silly get-to-know-you games they may ask you to do. I met some of my best friends for life in those first few hours of college.” – Dan Koop Liechty ’88

  • 15_May_FF1_bys

    Goshen First Fridays

  • 15_0515_ColorDance03web_hs“Get a job on campus – you’ll get to meet so many people that way! Things have changed a bit since I was there, but I’m sure there are still dances, coffeehouses, floor dates and other crazy activities to get you involved! Off campus, explore the city! There’s a lot of good in Goshen – seek it out!” – Jessica Purdue Rep ’01

  • 15_May_FF_bysGrab a bite to eat at one of Downtown Goshen’s many great restaurants.

  • 15_0410_CoffeeConvos01_mkGet to be close friends with students whose country, language or religion of origin are not your own.

  • 15_0611_MillRace_Bikes11web_bysBike, bike, bike! (There are 50+ miles of nearby bike paths on the Millrace Trail, Pumpkinvine Trail, Winona Interurban Trail and more)

  • CAC_201416Attend Club Day! It’s a great way to see the awesome variety of student-run clubs that GC has to offer.

  • DIG2011051601-0779“Bike to the farmers market early on a Saturday morning, eat at Anna’s Bread and pick up some fresh produce to cook in the Connector kitchen with your friends! Bring a big blanket outside and hang out with friends or do homework on the grass outside of the dorms! Some of the best memories come from the simple things – cherish all of it!” – Allyson (Uhey) Wolf ’11

  • sMake lots of inside jokes with your room/dorm mates.

  • 15_0418_DanceShowcase08_mk“Find out about what is going on to be involved in. Find a hobby and stick with it even though school work might feel overwhelming, having a hobby provides balance.” – Angie Troyer ’14

  • FlipFlop_Mails“Send campus mail. Maybe something goofy like a flip flop.” – Sawyer Biddle ’18

  • DIG2011051601-0878Share a meal with a professor.

  • 15_webSandVolleyball_mk-1Play Ultimate Frisbee.

  • 15_0411_Earthtones07_hsGo to your friends’ musical/theatrical/other performances.

  • gc.fall.2014.2.561“Study, read, think and participate in class (it was a shock when I got to graduate school to realize how few other students participated in their undergrad education).” – Kristina Everingham ’02

  • 15_webSandVolleyball_mk-9Participate in intramural sports.

  • art-house-mainSee an independent movie at Art House Cinema.

  • winter2013.0809“Frequent Java Junction! You will never find such coffee at an affordable price anywhere else in your life! Not being able to go to Java Junction made me feel sad about graduation. Even better, get a job there for a least one semester to help support your coffee habit.” – April Eileen ’13

  • Enchanted ForestVolunteer to be part of Merry Lea’s Enchanted Forest cast around Halloween!

  • 15_0220_PurplePepRally09_bysBe an activist!

  • gc.fall.2014.277“In the first few weeks, sit with as many people at lunch and dinner as possible! Take your roommate with you, and remember, everyone is looking for new friends!” – Katie Miller ’14

  • 70701579Take a walk or run along the Millrace and the dam.

  • winter2013.1553Host prospective students! Meeting you might be the determining factor in someone’s choice to come to Goshen.

  • College Mennonite Church
    Plug into a local church. There’s a great variety of congregations who will fill your heart, soul, mind and strength (think regular potlucks) as they join with you in faith formation.

  • 15_0124_Kickoff13_mkParticipate in (or at least attend) Kick Off. Get dressed up and get dessert with your floor mates beforehand.

  • ba-stoltzfus-cleary“Come on out and enjoy a Maple Leafs baseball game on a sunny day. Maybe even sit on blankets beyond the outfield fence. Have a picnic and sunflower seeds and support your fellow classmates in action…” – Justin Grubbs, assistant baseball coach

  • Screen Shot 2015-08-17 at 2.29.25 PMGo to The Chief for ice cream.

  • BradLehman_Organ_za“Either play the organ in Rieth Recital Hall yourself, or go up to the balcony with someone who will demonstrate it to you.” – Bradley Lehman ’86

  • Hymnsinging_bysSing out loud at hymn sings.

  • gc.fall.2013.454Go canoeing in the Dam Pond from the College Cabin.

  • FunniesWitWoods_sbmt_CMYK1-1024x682Explore Witmer Woods.

  • gc.fall.2014.377“Don’t overload your schedule with classes unless you have a major that requires it. Allow yourself time to learn about yourself and have time for out of class experiences. Also, don’t be afraid to make friends with upperclassmen! They can be the ones who seek out new leaders on campus upon their departure.” – Natasha Weisenbeck ’14

  • mlac-golf-newCampus golf! (real golf on the high-line 3-hole course or creative golf with tennis balls all around campus)

  • “Stop by the Leafraker Cafe for some good food & ‘mom love’ from Angie and Jodi!!” – Jodi Wood-West, AVI staff

  • IgnitionGo to a concert at Ignition Garage.

  • gc.fall.2014.636“Keep in mind that you are not alone! Everyone is nervous to some extent; this nervous energy can be channeled for good. Do your part in building a healthy community; you’ll be amazed at the rich connections and deep friendships in which you can celebrate the good and rise to the challenges of college life together. Also remember you are bathed in prayer. May you find courage as Christ’s peace and joy fills each of you in taking your next steps. Embrace the journey!” – Holly Hollenberg Liechty ’88

  • 15_0410_Karaoke13_mk_1webKaraoke in the Connector!

  • gc.fall.2014.2.273“Look around you and let the amazing realization set in that these people you barely know will be with you as your closest friendships for the rest of your life.” – Kristina Everingham ’02