This project investigates the mechanisms that allow January admissions students at Hamilton College – colloquially referred to as “Jans” – to become fully integrated members of the college community. In this paper, I work to understand the role of student-led groups and non-organized opportunities for socialization and how they affect new students’ sense of belonging on campus. This research supplements gaps in existing literature on mid-year admissions students by providing a student-driven understanding of what it means to begin college as a first-year student in the spring semester and the effects of this alternative schedule on the first-year socialization processes. Over the course of the research period, I completed 24 semi-structured in-depth interviews with six participants, chronicling Jans’ experience adjusting to college over the course of their first few weeks on campus. This data demonstrated that academic success and small-group membership were key factors in student satisfaction and that members of small groups were more confident than other Jans when imagining their future at the college. Throughout the interviews, Jans expressed a strong sentiment of belonging on campus and reported tremendous confidence in their ability to become fully integrated members of the college community.

Type of Work

Thesis - Limited Access

Department or Program



Hamilton College


Bachelor of Arts

Date of Graduation


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.