Thursday, August 8, 2013

Orientation: Where It All Begins

For those who keep up with my blog regularly, you already know that a fellow blogger and now my good friend, Alex, was one of the reasons I decided to come to Saint Mike's. Like myself, she was also stuck between SMC and Assumption College when she was choosing where to go. While she was helping me out, I thought "Wow.. I barely know this girl, yet she's helping me out with one of the biggest decisions about my life." She was truly representing SMC in the most honest way possible. Recently, Alex yet again inspired me and this time, it was about what to write my next post on. She wrote a fabulous blog post about her orientation experience, so I figured I would write one on my orientation experience and then write one after orientation about what it's like being an orientation leader.

So, here begins my story......

Already having a connection to Alex and some people I met in the Class of 2015 group, I felt confident about how my first day of college was going to be... well at least up until the night before. The night before, the nerves finally kicked in. I was going to be three hours away from home, which isn't really that far, but at the time, it felt a million miles away. I was worried that I wasn't going to find friends immediately. Essentially, I got inside my own head and I freaked out. I thought this was a bizarre thing to do, but if anything, it was normal. Looking back, it made sense to have these thoughts when I was doing something new and unfamiliar.

Once I got to SMC the next day, I saw these people all wearing matching shirts and holding up signs saying, "Welcome to Saint Mike's!" They all shouted out to my car and asked what my name was. They then started chanting my name really loud. Their crazy excitement immediately made me feel like a member of the SMC family right away.

After I was welcomed by all the orientation leaders, I got my keys to my room and started heading over to my new home, Ryan Hall. Once again, the orientation leaders were there for me during the move-in process. They helped me carry up my bags to the fourth floor (woo, quite the workout with so many flights of stairs back and forth!) I was finally able to meet my roommate, who I had been talking to a bit before moving in, and decorate our dorm room. The rest of the day consisted of arranging our dorm room, meeting the rest of the people on my floor, and finding out who were my orientation leaders out of the energetic bunch. 

Throughout orientation week, I got to know my orientation leaders as yes, very energetic people, but also supportive and friendly people. They led us in a lot of group ice breakers and activities and showed us what Saint Michael's was all about. I also got to know the people in my orientation group very well and I'm happy to say I'm still good friends with most of them (including blogger, Lauren Murphy-- so many Lauren's at SMC!). 

Along with our group activities, there was  also some downtime to connect with other first years around campus. We were told to keep our doors open since it's a great way of stopping by and introducing yourself to people. I kept my door open and I blasted my music (I think I went with some top 40 hits) to see if anyone would pop in and say hello. My friend Dennis, who was in my orientation group and lived on my floor, stopped in my room with some other guys who lived on my floor. He introduced me to the other guys, and just like that we were all friends. 

Orientation week is all about connections. You meet people on your floor, in your building, and in your orientation group, and from there those people introduce you to other people. It's kind of like a never-ending super fun game of telephone where you're constantly exchanging new "messages," or rather information about yourself, to other people. 

I could keep going on and on about my experience with orientation, but hey there needs to be some suspense for when orientation rolls around next week!

I'm super excited to be a part of the orientation program and meet the members of my orientation group. See everybody August 22nd! 

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