A freshman’s guide to Boise State

Boise State students gather for Bronco Night
Photo by Claire Keener | The Arbiter

Summer is coming to an end, which means the start of another school year is on the horizon! The transition from high school to college is a tough but fun one. Here is your freshman guide to all things Boise State.

The Student Involvement and Leadership Center works hard every year to ensure that incoming freshmen feel welcomed and at home here on campus. Charlie Varland, director of Student Involvement, has been at Boise State for six years working tirelessly to meet the needs of every new student. 

“Student Involvement and Leadership is a department that is completely focused on helping students be involved on campus. We support that in a number of different ways. We advise and support all of our student organizations at Boise State. And with that, we have more than 200 clubs and student groups that are available for students to join,” Varland said. “We do campus events and activities, things that are smaller scale, weekly events that happen on campus and also some of the larger traditions at Boise State.”

Getting involved in your first year on campus is essential to building community and discovering your interests. With so much change happening all at once, you’ll want to find something that gives you some consistency.

Clubs and organizations can help you meet new friends and provide you with opportunities. They also connect you with a community of shared interests as well as provide students with leadership roles.

“Involvement is an opportunity for students to carve their own path on campus. When students get involved, they do it because they want to have fun. They do it because they want to grow and learn as people and as human beings,” Varland said. 

Student Involvement has some fun things lined up to get your 2022-23 school year started off right! 

Bronco Welcome 

Bronco Welcome has tons of fun events for new students as well as transfer students. Some activities include the Blue and Orange Splatter Party, the First Week Float and residence hall socials. There are also people in the quad all week who will be tabling and handing out things like free shirts, stickers and snacks.


Homecoming is a blast at Boise State. There are so many things going on all week, it’s hard to choose what to do! There’s the homecoming parade where all of the clubs, organizations and teams on campus ride around campus on floats. There are also a lot of events to do with your parents if they happen to be in town. At the end of the week, your Bronco football team battles on the blue turf for the W.

Service Opportunities 

“We’ll have some local service programs for students that want to get out and give their time to make a difference here in Boise and in the Treasure Valley. We’re doing some planning already for Alternative Breaks for the spring of 2023 for students that want to take some time during their spring break to go and travel outside of the Boise area and do some great work elsewhere on domestic trips,” Varland said. 

Clubs and organizations on campus also offer a ton of ways to get involved within their club as well as out in the Boise community. Check out Boise State’s clubs!

Things to do around Boise 

While it’s hard to fit everything there is to do in Boise into just one paragraph, Visit Idaho does a great job mapping out things to do around town. There is truly something for everyone here! Whether you spend your time outdoors in the sun with the birds or inside trying new shops or food, you are sure to find something that you enjoy. Boise offers so many tasty restaurants, breathtaking hiking trails, local art, botanical gardens, museums and more. 

The first year of college comes with so many new emotions and feelings which is totally normal. Meet some new people, try some new food and explore campus! Put yourself out there and don’t be afraid to try something new. Welcome to Boise State!

Boise State students gather for Bronco Night
[Boise State students gather for Bronco Night in front of the SUB.]
Photo by Claire Keener | The Arbiter

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