By Kat Kaderabek
More than 1200 prospective students and their parents attended Odyssey Day, a day-long opportunity for explore Catholic University as they make decisions about their college futures.
The event lasted the entire day and included a myriad of activities for current high school students and their families, offering info sessions personalized to specific majors, group tours, and meet-and-greets with admission counselors and distinguished faculty.
While the Admissions officers plan the majority of Odyssey Day, the event would not be possible without the volunteer work of the Cardinal Ambassadors, who regularly provide tours of campus. Odyssey Day increases their responsibilities to include assessing Admissions counselors, and responding to further questions of prospective students.
“There is so much excitement and hope,” said sophomore Sarah Beretich. “You can feel the energy in the air. My favorite part is that you get to see all these students who were in the same place as you were one or two years ago.” Beretich is excited to have become the person who helps the students begin a new journey just as the Cardinal Ambassadors did for her during his decision process.
One Cardinal Ambassador elaborated on the excitement surrounding Odyssey Day. “I am always thrilled to meet another potential biology major,” said Sam McGrath, a first-year Cardinal Ambassador. “It’s awesome to meet students who you could possibly be working with in the coming years. I give them as many tips as I can and I love raving about the program I’m so passionate about.”
Odyssey Day is a crucial day for the admissions staff, as many of the attendees are usually deciding between two or three schools. Since Odyssey Day is so close to the May 1 National Decision Day, it is critical that the campus is a welcoming and vibrant place. While there were short rain showers during this past Odyssey Day, the storms held up for the new families, with the sun making several appearances to highlight the cherry blossom trees on campus.
In addition to Odyssey Day, the Honors Overnight program provides a real student perspective of campus life for future Cardinals. Students admitted into the University Honors Program were able to participate in Honors Overnight, preceding Odyssey Day, and allowed students to stay in the dorms with current honors students. The night was packed with activities such as painting, a spa station, a movie showing, and video game competitions; there was even a ball pit located in the upstairs McDonald study bubble for students to relax in.
Honors Overnight was planned by current freshman Monica Wallace and Mike Staresinic.
“With regards to planning the overnight, it was really a taxing but good time,” Staresinic explained. “Lots of items had to be accounted for like the food and materials for different events but it was really overall an awesome experience. Monica and I put in a bunch of hours and some great people helped us out with buying things and executing.” Overall, the coordinators believed the event to be a huge success; the excitement of Honors Overnight flowed directly into the thrill of Odyssey Day.