Navigating campus IRL: App State Women’s Center helps new students acclimate

Michael Lillywhite, Reporter

Orientation slams freshmen and transfer students with a great deal of information that can easily get lost in the first frantic weeks of school. To provide students information above and beyond orientation, the Women’s Center is hosting In Real Life. IRL aims to help those who want to get involved and have the best experience possible at App State.

Melanie Turner, graduate assistant for the Women’s Center, is running the event along with 45 volunteers.

“I just want it to be real information that people actually need,” Turner said.

A four-part series, IRL’s first discussion, which took place Sept. 18, helped students improve their social life.

“I wish I had all of this. My life would have been different; it would have been easier; it would have felt more connected to the community, and that is something I want to emphasize with this event,” Turner said.

From laying out the best places on the parkway, the best rivers and skiing spots, and even finding the cheapest time to grocery shop, IRL is designed to help students in every aspect of life. The event also provides a better understanding of AppalCart routes, Uber, Lyft and the Beeper system in Boone.

“Appalachian State is a community, and the quicker you can realize that there are good people that exist that want to help you and want to be there for you, the quicker you will be able to feel at home,” Turner said. 

Future IRL events will cover career advancement, financial advancement and mental health, though the dates have yet to be announced.

Emma Bancroft, a sophomore gender, women and sexuality studies and psychology double major, is a new volunteer at the Women’s Center. She said she appreciates that the Women’s Center puts on events like IRL.

“It kind of seems silly to me that you would have a university that is really trying to help you be the best you can be when you leave, and you wouldn’t take advantage of that,” Bancroft said.