Nearly 2,100 prospective students visit Liberty University for first 2019 College for a Weekend Feb 21-24
Nearly 2,100 prospective students fought off rainy weather at Liberty University over the weekend, marking the first 2019 College for A Weekend (CFAW) Feb. 21-24.
For Liberty freshman Elisa Sitarz, CFAW was the experience she needed to make the decision to come to Liberty. Sitarz attended CFAW twice as a high school student — once in February 2017 and again in February 2018. While she looked at other schools closer to her home in Birmingham, Alabama, she always found herself considering Liberty.
“I looked at a lot of different schools, but none of their departments or (any) of the tours stood out as much,” Sitarz said. “I would always compare them back to Liberty.”
Students attending CFAW have the option to attend a number of events and activities and visit many places on Liberty’s campus. Over this CFAW weekend, prospective students were able to engage in a variety of events, including attending department open houses, going to classes, taking campus tours and experiencing Convocation.
CFAW attendees also had the opportunity to check out Hydaway Outdoor Recreation Center and SnowFlex, watch a hockey game at the LaHaye Ice Center and even see Bethel Music in concert Saturday night.
Many students attending CFAW come accompanied by a friend or members of their youth group. When Sitarz came for the first time, she was joined by her twin sister, Lauren. When she attended her second CFAW, Sitarz came without her sister.
Coming by herself, she was able to catch a glimpse of what it would be like to come to Liberty without her twin. During her weekend at CFAW, Sitarz sought guidance from her host and from the professors in the School of Education. Attending CFAW ultimately led Sitarz to make the decision go to Liberty, while her twin sister chose to enroll at Mississippi College.
“I came here without my sister, and that was definitely a big step for me just to trust God,” Sitarz said.
For the first time, the Sitarz twins have been separated and have coped with navigating their new college lives separately. While this has come with a unique set of challenges, Sitarz explained attending different colleges has given them room to grow separately and has ultimately strengthened their relationship.
“It’s definitely been such a God thing,” Sitarz said. “He’s taught both of us how to rely on him and not rely on each other because we’re so used to doing that. Also, we’ve grown as best friends because we are able to sort of intentionally talk to each other.”
While many use CFAW as a time to decide if Liberty is the right fit, some students come to CFAW with their minds set on Liberty. High school senior Rachel Matos is one of these students.
Matos began making plans to attend Liberty in the fall 2019 semester after visiting the school in early October. However, she wanted to attend CFAW to get a better idea of college life at Liberty.
“I wanted to come and meet people (and) get a feel for the campus, (while) actually being here,” Matos said.
Matos looked forward to participating in some of the weekend events to meet other future Liberty students. Going into the fall semester, she is looking forward to engaging in Liberty’s community.
“Everyone I’ve met is so nice, and everyone is so welcoming,” Matos said. “It almost calms those nerves down, like you don’t really have to be nervous because everyone is so nice.”
Diversity Coordinator of National Recruitment Josh Brown welcomed CFAWs in a number of orientations Thursday night, Feb. 21. According to Brown, his team works to welcome CFAWs to campus in order to give them the best shot at a successful experience.
“(My team) is intentional by making sure that everyone’s feeling welcome (and) that we have enough information here at the beginning to feel adequate,” Brown said. “We do want to prepare students as best we can with what to expect (during the weekend).
As many students leave CFAW with new experiences and big decisions to make about choosing a college, Sitarz encouraged the CFAWs she hosted to let God write the story and to not be afraid of stretching outside their comfort zones. For Sitarz, Liberty is far from home, but she has grown through the distance.
“Don’t be afraid to take that step and go farther than you think you would go to school because in the long run, that’s how God can shape you and change you into the person he wants you to be,” Sitarz said.