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Terp Traditions: Finding Your People at the First Look Fair

Terp Traditions: Finding Your People at the First Look Fair

Charter Day 03

By Shannon Cleary ‘22

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If you turn on your favorite college movie, I guarantee there will be some mention or scene of a club fair of some kind. My personal favorite is from “Pitch Perfect” where Anna Kendrick’s character meets The Bellas (a cappella group) for the first time. Joining campus organizations is a quintessential part of the college experience and the best way to find out about all of the opportunities at the University of Maryland (UMD) is through the First Look Fair.

Guaranteed to occur on one of the hottest days of fall semester, the First Look Fair hosts nearly 600 student organizations, campus services and local vendors on McKeldin Mall in the heart of campus. This annual event gives students an opportunity to connect with people who have similar interests. With organizations ranging from improv troupes to the quidditch team, there is literally a club for everyone to join! 

As a first-year student, the First Look Fair was one of the most memorable days of my fall semester. It was the most full I have ever seen McKeldin Mall; everywhere you turned there was another table with another club handing you a flyer, a free pen or free candy. It is a bit overwhelming having everyone yelling about their club while you sweat in the Maryland sun (as a southern California native, I’m still not used to the humidity), but it really allowed me to find some amazing student organizations to join. At my first First Look Fair I put my email on about 30 different club sign ups and I left with dozens of flyers and coupons, two new cups, a couple of pens and a Vera Bradley backpack which I won after standing in a long line and playing a Plinko-type game. The backpack was definitely the most prized take home item! 

It was also at the First Look Fair where I learned about the Student Alumni Leadership Council (aka SALC), one of my most favorite student organizations on campus. SALC aims to connect Terps across generations while instilling lifelong loyalty to our alma mater. Not only did  join the group, but I found my people through SALC. It was all thanks to the First Look Fair.Whether you’re a first-year student trying to make new friends and get involved in clubs or a senior in need of a new phone wallet, the First Look Fair is a great tradition to take part in every fall!

Click here to learn more, and be sure to come by and say hello at the SALC table.



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