Coming to St. Thomas Aquinas College, I knew from the very start that I wanted to be highly involved in the campus life community. After attending my summer 2014 Orientation and having the chance to connect with several Orientation leaders who made me feel welcome and extended a hand for help and advice, I quickly decided this was an opportunity I would surely like to embark on myself.
Deciding to apply to be a 2015 Orientation Leader was a no-brainer. I have a passion for working with people and helping them to succeed and feel welcome in all aspects. If I could provide to a set of students what my Orientation leaders gave to me, I felt like I would be doing something great.
After being accepted as an Orientation Leader, I was excited for the journey that I knew was ahead of me. Before engaging with students, I knew there was a whole slew of training and preparation days. Orientation training was a great experience. The team was really able to bond and learn how to work together collectively. One of my favorite points of OL training was our “Warm and Fuzzies” activity. We each had a paper bag that we decorated and we would leave each other notes with compliments and positive feedback and it was just a fun way to make our bond stronger.
It seemed like our Orientation Team bonded almost instantaneously. I think that is part of the reason that as a first-year Orientation Leader, I felt pretty confident in my ability to take on the tasks at hand. I also felt that since I had just experienced Orientation not too long ago and I had such a wonderful experience, I had an advantage. Despite my confidence, I felt some nerves as well. Would I be able to work with a large team? How much actually goes into an Orientation day? Would the new students be receptive to advice like I was? These worries were quickly met in a positive light by an eager freshmen class.
The members of the 2015 Orientation Team have become some of my best friends. We worked incredibly well together and I am happy to have had the chance to work with all of them. I learned quickly how much goes into Orientation, with our long and tiring prep days of packing folders and making presentations. But in the end it was all worth it when I had a group of students each time that was engaged and not afraid to ask questions or be involved.
Being a part of the Orientation Team at STAC has been one of the best experiences of my college career thus far. I am so happy for the skills I have learned, the bonds I have created and the opportunity to be a campus leader. I encourage all students to get involved in some sort of activity on campus; you will not regret it! Who know’s? Maybe we will see some of you as an Orientation Leader next year!