[Editor's Note: Most Drew University freshmen received a full guided tour of Madison. The original version of this story did not report this. This updated version reflects this additional information.]
Despite inclement weather about 470 incoming freshmen got a close-up look at the borough on the annual guided tour of Madison on Thursday morning.
The freshmen were shown around the Rose City in groups led by Drew upperclassmen and volunteers from local businesses.
The rain and lightning forced at least one group of students to skip the tour; they were instead treated to lunch at Soho 33 on Main Street.
"Yeah, [I'm] kinda [disappointed] because I wanted to go in [to town]," said freshman Kelsey Gray of Livermore Falls, Maine. "I can always just go in [with friends]."
Tour guide Anna Kasperowitz, a senior from Long Valley, said that even though her group's tour was put on the shelf she is confident the students will be able to find their way in Madison.
"It would definitely help them to know where things are but I have no doubt that they'll figure it out by themselves," Kasperowitz said.
"There isn't a lot you can do, but there are certain places [to have fun]," she added. "We love the  diner, midnight diner runs are like the thing to do here; Goodman Pool [is fun] when it gets really hot out; a lot of my friends like , that yarn store, because they knit and crochet; there's also some restaurants and bars when you get to be 21; I actually teach a dance class down at , which is directly across from the ; the museum is also very interesting."
Gray said that she has already seen some of the sites Madison has to offer, as the freshman class arrived on campus on Wednesday.
"I really like it, it's really small and central," she said. "There are fun shops, the stores are really close and it's easy to walk around. It's a really home-y feeling. I haven't been to many stores but the ones I have been to I like.
"In my hometown it's small but there's not many things to do, there aren't many stores so it's definitely a good change."
Another freshman, Amy Benedict of Howell, concurred with Gray about the cozy confines of their new home away from home.
"I think it's really nice and I like the way everything is set up," Benedict said. "There's a lot of stores and things around. It's very different because I kind of live in the woods, so to me this is more city-like and I like it."
Benedict added that she has enjoyed her brief time on campus so far, saying of her classmates that "everyone seems nice, everyone is talking and getting along."
Volunteer Carol Baumgartner, the dance and family program director at the , always looks forward to the students coming around each year. She said that it helps local businesses build a rapport with the young men and women who will soon be frequenting their establishments.
"We're a community organization and we welcome Drew students to the Y to work out and take classes," she said. "In fact, some of the students actually become volunteers and teachers at the Y; they also attend events and classes."
Tour or not, the students will soon be learning the ins and outs of Rose City while enjoying the best four years of their lives.
"(Madison) is a fun place to be," Kasperowitz said. "It's very close by and you can walk to whenever you want."