The Bear Beginnings program is designed to help first-year students transition both academically and socially to life at Mercer. During Bear Beginnings, students finalize their fall course schedule, learn of various campus resources, gain an understanding of Mercer’s academic expectations, and attend social events. First-year students experience Bear Beginnings alongside their Peer Advisor (PA), orientation group (O-Group), and academic advisor. Once Bear Beginnings in complete, students remain connected with their PA, O-Group, and academic advisor through the University 101 (UNV 101) classroom experience.
Bear Beginnings Schedule
- First-year students and families are encouraged to attend the Opening Day festivities of Refreshments with Toby and the welcome ceremony held in the University Center. Following the welcome ceremony, students, families, and guests say farewell so students can attend the Bear Beginnings Kick-Off.
- Residential first-year students join their PA and O-Group at the Bear Beginnings Kick-Off. The O-Group, led by a PA, consists of other members of the first-year class who all share the same UNV 101 course. During the three days of Bear Beginnings, the PA helps students to prepare for the upcoming school year by building O-Group community, facilitating orientation workshops, and sharing important information about Mercer resources and student services. It is to the students' benefit to attend all Bear Beginnings activities.
- Commuter students and families are invited to attend both Refreshments with Toby and the welcome ceremony. Commuter students and families attend the Commuter Student Program where they have the opportunity to learn more about the commuter student transition to Mercer. Families depart from campus at 5:00 p.m. as students continue their program, have dinner together, and check-in for Bear Beginnings.
- International students work with Ms. Liz Dille within the Office of International Programs>> to plan for arrival to campus. F-1 and J-1 international students arrive on Thursday, August 16 and participate in International Student Orientation on Friday, August 17 and Saturday, August 18. Other international students are encouraged to participate as well before attending the larger, first-year student fall orientation program, Bear Beginnings, from Saturday, August 18-Monday, August 20.