The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


Mustang Corral helps excite new students

New SMU students loaded onto buses on Aug. 21 in a typical fashion – girls sitting with girls and boys sitting with boys. Then came the point for the Mustang Corral group leaders to step in and seize all awkwardness.

“Speed Dating” on the bus was group leader and SMU senior Meredith Wolff’s favorite icebreaker. “The freshman rotated around and had an opportunity to meet almost every other student, Wolff said.”

Once students arrived at camp grounds in the Texas Hill Country, they were separated into “Round-Up” groups, which consisted of 12-15 students.

Freshman Cameron Purcell, 19, said his favorite icebreaker involved his smaller “Round-Up” group as opposed to icebreakers involving the camp at large.

“The best was when we wrote on a piece of paper one fun fact about ourselves and threw it in a pile in the center. Then we each had to randomly pick from the pile of paper and guess which fact went with which group member. We learned a lot of interesting things about each other that way,” Purcell said.

Another activity involved taking a Strengths Finder assessment and then discussing which strengths out of the 34 were each student’s top five. This activity helped each student better their communication skills with those around them.

Dr. Bertice Berry, an award-winning author and educator, was the key speaker during the retreat. Dr. Berry reached out to many of the students by addressing serious topics with a sense of humor.

What Dr. Berry said really hit freshman Harriet Sokmensuer. The message I took from her speech was that your future is all up to you. “If you get out there and try, destiny will find you,” Sokmensuer said.

Character-building activities aside, some students felt that Corral was a good opportunity to make new friends.

“I recently finished the summer prelude and noticed lots of clicks had already formed. Corral was good at breaking up those clicks,” Purcell said.

Corral combined previously formed friendships with new ones, allowing for a greater network of friends.

While it can be intimidating to jump into a completely new social scene, Sokmensuer recommends going about it one-on-one.

“There are girls who travel in huge groups and get to know each other that way, which is fine, but sometimes you can meet someone but just sitting down next to them and starting a conversation,” Sokmensuer said.

Wolff said that another plus to attending Corral is the livelier atmosphere around campus.

“I think that the students will enjoy seeing so many familiar faces on their walks to class and in the dining hall that they recognized and met at Mustang Corral,” she said.

Both Purcell and Sokmensuer said they would recommend Corral to next year’s incoming students.

“I was hesitant at first because I was afraid of it being corny, but everyone does it with you so it’s not so bad,” Purcell said.

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