Students living at Tech this summer might have started seeing a few new faces around campus this past week.
On Monday, June 21, the first batch of incoming freshmen moved onto campus through the iGniTe summer launch program.
iGniTe is designed to acclimate freshmen to college life by starting their time at Tech during the five-week late summer semester. Many students were chosen for the program with their Institute acceptance letter choosing this track for them, while others actively chose to participate in the program.
Overall, 750 students began their Tech careers on June 23 when their classes started. This introduced over 20% of the Class of 2025 to Tech.
One member of this student body is Vicente Miranda, a first-year CS major. Miranda was one of the students who was chosen to participate in iGniTe, and he was initially disappointed by the idea of summer classes.
“I was a little skeptical. I wasn’t sure how many people were going through the summer program,” Miranda said. “I started looking into it a little more. There’s a website about it, and I joined a GroupMe and a Discord server and a Snapchat group, and all of the students in those places seemed to have similar skepticism about iGniTe. Taking three classes in five weeks [wasn’t what we wanted] to do with our summer.”
However, once he started talking to people in the different online chats, Miranda’s outlook quickly changed.
“It was a little challenging trying to fit everything together, but it was made very smooth by everyone helping out,” he said.
The team aiding Miranda and his peers in their transitions into college includes third-year LMC major, Lily Arnold, who works as an intern in the Summer Session office.
“[The Summer Sessions team has] been planning events, we’ve been preparing for all of [the incoming students’] questions, we’ve been making sure everyone on campus is aware they’re starting,” Arnold said.
But that is only a fraction of what Arnold does for Summer Sessions.
“My job changes everyday,” she said “This week I’m doing graphics, next week I’m doing more events. “I’m [a Team Leader (TL) for the] GT 1000 for Analyzing Atlanta.”
Arnold herself was an iGniTe student in 2019 and is excited to pass along her positive experiences.
“This is the future of campus, and it’s cool that I’m one of the first faces they see and that I get to shape their experience going into Georgia Tech as much as I can,” she said. “They’re paying a lot of money to be here, so I want them to at least enjoy their weird little summer semester in college.”
One thing that stands out about the Class of 2025 is that as they adjust into their new lives as college students, their older peers are also readjusting to life as in-person experiences make their return.
This transition for both groups is made easier through the slow introduction of incoming students to campus, and while summer classes may not necessarily be every graduating high school student’s idea of the perfect senior summer, they certainly have shown this year’s iGniTe students what the Institute is all about.
“I wasn’t necessarily stoked for [iGniTe], but it surprised me,” Miranda said. “You just meet so many people, and you have so many great opportunities to talk to your classmates. It gives you an edge compared to the students who are starting in the Fall, because all of a sudden you know a good amount of professors and the faculty and a lot of students. If there’s any students who are considering taking iGniTe next year or in the years following, just know that it might seem a little [annoying], but you can’t go wrong starting college just a little bit earlier.”
Prospective Tech students can learn more about applying to the Institute at admission.gatech.edu, and they too can participate in iGniTe in the years to come.