Crowd gathered at Hillsdale College's “The Source” event.

Gateway to Hillsdale

Why I Love the Source

By Ellen Sweet

This weekend I’ll be making a poster, and I won’t be alone. The Source is upon us, and returning students all over campus will leave their rooms halfway unpacked and get to work turning blank poster boards into works of art—or at least engaging advertisements—for Tuesday’s big event.

When I was a freshman, The Source was just another thing on my list of orientation events to attend. I dutifully headed up the hill to check it out, trying to do everything I could to prepare for my new life as a college student. The quad was milling with people when I arrived. There were rows of tables stretched out underneath big white tents, covered in posters and signup sheets, manned by eager, chatty students.

I had one goal in mind: find the soccer table. The beauty of The Source is that you can find that one club that you know you want to sign up for and on the way stumble across a hundred other great things you didn’t know existed. Publications, sports teams, volunteer opportunities, religious groups, political organizations…. I wandered through the crowd for a while, checking out different tables, picking up a T-shirt, some flowers, and plenty of flyers. By the time I found the soccer club, I was laden with free stuff. I chatted with the girls there for a while, signed up for tryouts, headed back to my dorm, and put my flowers in a water bottle before sitting down to eat the chocolate they had given me.

I’ve spent some quality time at the soccer table since freshman year. That’s where I’ll be this year, wearing a Hillsdale College Women’s Soccer Club T-shirt and trying to convince freshmen and friends alike to join the team. But the real reason I still love The Source—that I’m still excited to wander through the tables for the fourth year in a row—is the energy and enthusiasm of my fellow students.

I love seeing people in animated conversation about the things they’ve chosen to spend time on. I love seeing the incredible variety of things to be passionate about. Maybe I’ll find something new to sign up for, even as a senior. Or maybe I’ll just grab a free T-shirt.

Ellen SweetEllen Sweet, ’17, is an English major and French minor from the beautiful state of Oregon, where the grass is always green. She is the President of the Hillsdale College Women’s Soccer Club, a member of both the Honors Program and Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority, and a firm believer in the power of a good book.