The start of the week usually brings dread for freshman not wanting to hop back into school work, but for those who attend Auburn Christian Fellowship, Monday is a time to look forward to.
“Freshman Throwdown is a way for new students at Auburn University to break the ice with each other and just do crazy, stupid stuff that has no point," says Emmy Njaaga, a freshman in pre-Business. Playing games like human battleship, paint war, battle of the sexes and speed dating bring a lively energy that aren't typical to the Monday blues.
Perry Rubin, minister at Auburn Christian Fellowship
“I’ve often thought, ‘These are college kids now, they don’t want to make cake with their mouth,’" said Perry Rubin, the campus minister of ACF, "but every year since 2007 when we started Throwdown, the kids have loved it.”
“It’s so quick to bond," said Patrick Murphy, a senior in industrial design and leader at Freshman Throwdown, "You come the first time and there’s a dance competition where you compete and choreograph moves with all of these people you've never met. By the end of the night you are friends with everyone there.”
ACF is a campus ministry that communicates the necessity of community, and Freshman Throwdown, held every Monday night at 7 p.m., serves to accomplish that. “I remember it was fun because you’re getting to know each other and you’re acting crazy. It's where I met my best friends," said Murphy.
“It builds community without trying," said Njaaga, "plus it's a stress reliever. A time where no one has to worry about it being cliquey."
Each year, anywhere from 4,000 to 6,000 new freshman arrive on Auburn's campus. They are each coming from a school with at most 2,000 and from a place where they know almost everyone. "It's a hard transition for most," said Rubin, " they need community and Freshman Throwdown is a jumping off point that is important to finding community and ultimately feeling accepted and loved by those around you."
"They are in a time of newfound independence," Rubin continued,"a time where maybe they have to make serious decisions for the first time. This is a critical time to realize you are not alone."
Freshman are welcome each Monday night as Freshman Throwdown occurs, or to any other event ACF holds throughout the week. Free dinner is served on Tuesday nights at 6 p.m. and Bible study is on Thursday nights beginning at 8 p.m. "Even if you wouldn't come to ACF or Freshman Throwdown," said Murphy, "I encourage everyone to find a community, especially freshman. That is what got me through my first year."
“This isn’t for everybody," said Rubin,"but I believe it can be for everyone if they give it a shot. It’s a lot of fun.”
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