Building community in your first-year


It’s time to own your Gettysburg experience. Your elected co-curricular activities will enhance your quest for academic excellence, allowing you to find personal and professional distinction.

Set yourself apart by challenging yourself. Take advantage of opportunities to get involved by participating in upcoming pre-Orientation activities and finding your own path through exploration.

Engulf yourself in Gettysburg traditions—you will walk the same steps former President Abraham Lincoln, students, and townspeople took on Nov. 19, 1863, to the Soldiers’ National Cemetery to hear his Gettysburg Address—and extend your academic pursuits by becoming an active member in campus life.

Grow into a leader by joining one of the 120-plus clubs and organizations, from campus publications and student government to community service and sports. If there isn’t a club to match your interest, start a new one! We’re here to help you through the process.

Explore campus life

Students in the center of town on the First-Year Walk

Gettysburg traditions

Students become part of rich traditions that serve to motivate and inspire. They connect us all.

In the beginning of your college career, you will take part in Opening Convocation, the formal welcoming ceremony for students and families, as well as the First-Year Walk, a tradition tied to our history and unique location.

When health sciences major Thia Anyaoku ’23, a United Kingdom resident originally from Nigeria, embarked on the First-Year Walk, she was enthusiastic to experience the College community she envisioned since her early—and firm—decision to become a Gettysburgian.

“It’s such a big tradition that you’re already a family, even if you haven’t met everyone in the family yet. You know when there’s just so much energy you can’t contain the energy? If there were walls—metaphorical walls—everyone was bouncing off the walls.”
— Thia Anyaoku ’23

The First-Year Walk is just one of several traditions that will become an integral part of your experience. Gettysburgians share unique moments rich in history that inspire pride in our community and encourage our enduring support of the College.

Learn more about all of our beloved traditions

Student playing basketball

Campus life

When you arrive on campus, be confident in your direction, asking questions along the way to ensure the best fit for you. Be driven to become an influencer in your field and community, contributing to the greater good of Gettysburg College and beyond. Be willing to take a chance on something new to refine your skills and discover your potential.

A myriad of clubs, organizations, and leadership and service opportunities exist on campus to do just that.

“The reason I feel the need to get involved is because this community has helped me grow so much that I want to give back as much as possible too. Being at a small liberal arts college, I have been presented with a multitude of different opportunities in a variety of fields. I just want to take full advantage of it on a day-to-day basis.”
— Chris Jack ’21

Gettysburg College is committed to engaging students in a manner that inspires them to enact purposeful change. A diverse, inclusive campus community is essential in that pursuit.

Thus, mentorship opportunities and resources are made readily available to all students through various departments on campus, such as the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center, the Office of Religious & Spiritual Life, and more.

Plus, Gettysburg boasts 24 varsity teams that compete in the Centennial Conference at the NCAA Division III intercollegiate level, as well as a robust campus recreation and intramural program.

Jumping into the college experience could seem like a daunting task, but not for mathematical economics major Chris Jack ’21, who plays for the Bullets basketball team. A Luxembourg native, he quickly found a home at Gettysburg and pursued a range of interests across the campus.

Learn how you can make your journey yours

Students walking in Washington, D.C.

Career engagement

The moment you arrive on campus is your first step in laying a foundation for your future. With the assistance of the Center for Career Engagement, you will place one brick at a time by cultivating connections and capitalizing on your education.

From your first year to your senior year, you will gain insight into various career paths that interest you through unique experiential learning opportunities offered by partnered employees. Options include internships, externships, job shadowing, immersion trips, and networking events.

You will leave each experience with a greater understanding of yourself and your goals, as well as the start of a strong professional network with which you can engage to develop your own career.

During your first few weeks as a Gettysburgian, schedule a time to meet one-on-one with a career counselor. You can receive advice on selecting a major, as well as crafting your resume and cover letter for graduate school or future employers.

Through the Gettysburg Network and our new mentoring network platform, connectGettysburg, you can help reach your potential by connecting with alumni, students, parents, and friends.

Read how Daniel Willever ’12 sparked the imagination of Melanie Greenberg ’20 to change the trajectory of her academic journey