The beginning of the fall semester can always prove challenging, but APEX can serve to help everyone start off right.

APEX, or the Austin Peay Experience, hosts a variety of events meant to bring an exciting start to the school year. Whether you are thrilled by the events offered or prefer the quiet brought by emptier dorms, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

In years past and to this day, students have been able to meet people and learn fun facts with the Peaycake Breakfast & Trivia that was held on Friday night. This year also welcomes back the GOV RUN, which is celebrating its 6th annual continuation.

“APEX is the most exciting weekend we have during the first week of school,” said Amanda Torres, an incoming sophomore. “There’s a lot of fun activities to do and I’m excited for all the rides and time we get to enjoy before we start the stressful year.”

2019 Monocle Madness Carnival returns to APEX behind the library.

The rides she was referring to are part of another event that returned this year: the “Monocle Madness” Carnival. Last year, the Carnival offered rides, a t-shirt, burgers, hot dogs, and other snacks to compliment the theme.

With the success of the Carnival last year, another ride was introduced, and with it, an even longer line to enter the madness.

Of course, while many returning students were excited for the weekend, other students had no idea what the fuss was about. This isn’t just freshman either; APEX as an experience is a first for many students.

“I have no clue what APEX is,” said Daniel Perez, an incoming junior this year. As a student that lives off-campus, the events opening the fall semester were not something he was totally aware of.

However, he is “excited for a new start and meeting new people.”

Thorn Puckett, another incoming sophomore also missed the events from last year, but his friends wouldn’t forget to include him this year.

“I’ve seen the skeleton of some of the rides passing by Harvill and I’m excited to see what it’s all about,” Puckett said.

While many events returned this year, some have been lost to time. What was helpful and fun for students in the past isn’t necessarily applicable to current students.

The continued growth, expansion, and organization of APEX would be impossible without careful planning from individuals like Victor Felts, the Associate Dean of Students and Director of Student Life and Engagement.

“APEX has been around for decades,” Felts said. “Changes have occurred throughout the years to accommodate the changing needs of the students. The recent addition of the “Monocle Madness” Carnival and the GOV RUN have proven to be popular with incoming and returning students alike.”

Those two events were certainly popular, but Student Life and Engagement has organized and presented a number of other events this year as well.

Beyond the Carnival and GOV RUN, there was Game Night, Governor’s Island, the “Rock the Quad” Ice Cream Social, Sunrise Yoga, and much more. Each event aimed to make the transition back into school life that much easier.

2019 Monocle Madness Carnival returns to APEX behind the library.

Among the freshman population, however, was another demographic that hadn’t been addressed by APEX until this year. Any individual going to college is taking a brave step into their future, but that ground can be uncertain for first-generation students.

“We added much-needed programming for first-generation students. Faculty and staff who were first-generation students themselves have volunteered to mentor incoming first-generation students; what we are affectionately calling G1GOVS,” Felts said. “Students participating in the ceremony will participate in a pinning ceremony, receive valuable information regarding resources on campus, and have the opportunity to speak about concerns they have about college.”

With the new semester beginning, the help and fun APEX events can offer is welcomed by many students.