Belong with SEU Student Highlight — Decision Day 2023
Finding (or not finding) community can be one of the biggest fears that students face when getting ready for college. Cale Cooper ‘26, a ministerial leadership major, talked about his process of meeting people when he arrived on campus here at Southeastern University. He met his roommate on move-in day, and said, “We just clicked right off the bat!”
Having his roommate to go to events with made Welcome Week much easier for Cale, since he was already there with a friend. Cale shared that there was one event during Welcome Week that neither he nor his roommate wanted to go to at first.
“We both didn’t want to go because everything was intimidating and new,” he explained. “But, we also wanted to meet people, so we decided to give it a try.” When they got to the event, they started chatting with the other students as they were waiting in line at food trucks, and others kept coming up to them.
Cale shared, “I met so many people that day that I still know and interact with now.” He remembers playing cornhole, listening to live music, and meeting people from all over the country. “It was a super cool opportunity.”
Most freshmen and students who are new to SEU are looking for community, and upperclassmen and returning students are intentional about building relationships and making each student feel as welcome as they did when they arrived.
“Everyone wants to build relationships with each other,” Cale said, as he remembered multiple upperclassmen who got coffee with or checked in with him and his fellow freshmen. “They wanted to get to know us and make sure that we were comfortable at SEU.” Even just something as simple as walking down El Prado, the main walkway of campus, was a chance to meet someone new or greet someone you already know.
Involvement on Campus
Cale made connections in other ways by getting involved on campus. As a student leader in the Department of Spiritual Formation (DSF), Cale now facilitates the small groups where he first met new friends during his first semester.
He also plays pickleball regularly and is involved in intramural sports, including basketball and flag football. For Cale, intramurals are not as much about winning, as they are about a way to hang out with friends. “We won one game from a forfeit, and we lost every other game,” he laughed. “But it’s a blast.”
Social Life in Lakeland
Now, Cale spends time with his friends by going thrifting, walking around Lake Hollingsworth in Lakeland, or just getting dinner on campus at Tuscana Ristorante Getting involved can look different for everyone, but Cale found so many opportunities to meet and build relationships across campus during his freshman year.
“I really feel like I belong here. SEU has truly become a second home.”
Decision Day is May 1!
Want to join students like Cale and belong with SEU, too? Visit SEU.edu/withSEU to take your next steps and discover more about how you Belong with SEU.
Written and edited by SEU student Elizabeth Grainger