Tips To Make The Most Out Of Your IC Experience

Editors’ Note: Welcome back to the fourth installment of Achshav’s IC Pump Up Week! If you haven’t registered already, don’t miss your chance to attend the biggest convention of the year! You don’t even need to memorize a link to sign up, you can just click here! For those of you joining us, especially for the first time, you may be a bit nervous about jumping into such a large, unfamiliar USY environment. Have no fear! HaNegev’s Sadie Waldbaum will be attending her FOURTH IC this year, and has just the tips you need to have the best time ever!

Throw hundreds of the coolest, friendliest, Conservative Jewish teens together in one hotel and what do you get? International Convention! IC is one of the most incredible experiences USY has to offer, but it can be overwhelming at first. In December, I will be stepping into my fourth IC, so I’m basically a pro at navigating the hectic days of convention. So here are some tips and tricks for making the most out of your IC experience.

  1. Don’t be afraid to engage with new people! Everyone in USY is super friendly and excited to meet new people. The most impactful part of my experiences at IC has probably been all of the friends I have made throughout the years, and most of these friendships started by one person randomly walking up to the other and introducing themselves! Although approaching someone new can be scary, it’s definitely worth the friendship that could stem from the interaction.
  2. Enjoy the programming! The IC Co-Chairs, International Executive Board, and International General Board all work really hard to plan amazing programs for USYers at International Convention. I have had such great experiences in programming at IC – from singing my heart out during creative minyanim, to engaging discussions in the educational programs, to meeting new people in mixers, programs at IC are always a blast!
  3. Bring your dancing shoes for Opening Session! Opening Session is probably my absolute favorite part of IC because it’s like one big dance party! It’s so much fun to go crazy dancing to popular songs, and of course, Israeli jams!
  4. Take advantage of exploring a new city! Since IC moves around every year, you’re going to get the opportunity to visit some new places! Be sure to take advantage of exploring your new surroundings as much as possible when you get free time! It is super cool to be able to travel to a new place with some of your best friends!
  5. Buy regalia! Every region will be selling really cool merchandise exclusive to their region! Be sure to purchase any regalia you think is cool because they often sell out fast!
  6. Befriend the staff! USY always has amazing staff at conventions, so be sure to get to know them! You will get to meet some truly incredible people!
  7. Visit the booths! USY and other organizations set up booths at the convention for a variety of different programs! The people running them are really fun to talk to and often give out free stuff like t-shirts and chapstick! You can find out about various opportunities within the Jewish community as well!
  8. Go out of your comfort zone! Whether it be making a new friend, participating in a program, singing and dancing your heart out, or just signing up to get on a plane to attend a convention you’ve never been to before, use IC as an opportunity to try new things!
  9. Be present! In the whoosh of excitement, it is easy to forget to take advantage of every moment. But, time will fly by in the five days we have together, so be sure to make the most of every moment!

Sadie Waldbaum is a senior from HaNegev USY. She is from COSUSY (Congregation Ohev Shalom USY) in Orlando, Florida, part of the Mercaz subregion. She is currently serving as her chapter’s Membership and Kadima VP.