Bright lights, exhilarating screams and the sweet smell of funnel cake filled the air as Tech students, friends and family members arrived at SCPC’s Georgia Tech Night at Six Flags. With perks like free bus transportation, discounted admission rates and extended hours of operation specifically for Tech students, this event was not one to be missed.
Second-year CS major Niki Wells believes that it is important for colleges to organize community events like Georgia Tech Night at Six Flags for their students.
“I just think it’s one of those things that I guess you’d expect the college to do,” Wells said.
“Like one of the benefits of going to college is being able to hang out with people in certain situations, maybe [colleges are] not expected to rent out an entire theme park, but colleges should be expected to put on community events,” Wells continued.
For several out-of-state students, participating in the event was a great way to strengthen newfound relationships and build community in the first few weeks of classes.
“Just being an out-of-state student, coming here and being with all these new people from various backgrounds on a fun night where I could take a break from studying all night is really awesome,” said Ethan Li, first-year CS.
Fourth-year CS Valeria Palacios enjoyed attending the event with her close friends after having attended her freshman year as well.
“Having these moments outside academics to also have fun has been really nice. It’s nice to be here as a senior because I came with the same people [freshman year] and [I remember] how they used to not ride the rollercoasters and now they’re riding them,” Palacios said.
On the other hand, CS graduate student Manikandan Lapasi was able to meet and form connentions with new people.
“I have met three new people that I haven’t seen on campus before through a mutual connection. We just started hanging out and going on rides together,” said Lapasi.
Many international students, such as AE graduate student Aparna Ravi, took this as an opportunity to visit one of Georgia’s most popular theme parks for the first time.
“It’s more of like a community-building event and it’s also a great way for people to feel in place because there’s a lot of international students and maybe they haven’t been exposed to the city as much,” Ravi said.
“This will be a great way for them to explore, especially with Georgia Tech organizing it and the transportation.”
Other students used the event as a way to unwind after a stressful week.
“[Being here] is a way for people to cool down and get more comfortable,” said Lapasi. “Because everybody likes theme parks, it makes them feel like we don’t have to be so serious anymore. We can relax and chill for a little while. You see a lot of your colleagues also do that and it keeps you at ease.”
Li agrees that the event’s main purpose was to encourage students to work hard and play hard during their time at Tech.
“I think it’s just kind of like an idea that it’s not all about work. You’ve got to have fun. You’ve got to let loose sometimes and just be with a great community of people. Just remembering to have fun while also working hard is really important in a college experience,” said Li.
For more events put on by the Student Center Programs Council, be sure to keep an eye out on studentcenter.gatech.edu.