YOU MIGHT BE AN ORIENATION LEADER IF...
- you send out mass snapchats of you being lazy at work
- you are able to sit through a presentation that you have heard 17+ times and still stay awake (well mostly stay awake)
- you understand how painful mingling can be
- you know what a matrix is
- you survived two weeks of intensive training.
- you have received free stuff/perks from campus partners
- you would never dare let a student enter the building without giving them a lovely greeting ;)
- you roll your eyes every time a students tells you they are majoring in premed
- you only have two shirts in your whole wardrobe. Black polo & Red polo
- 585-COPS will forever be ingrained in your memory
- you know what September means
- you spent your days at work betting with people which orientation leaders would end up dating
- you played matchmaker in your small groups
- you are constantly threatening students that they won't be able to sign up for classes
- you have a binder full of lists of freshman's phone numbers
- you constantly are noticing when your friends use exclusive language
- you are an expert at SOLER
- you've memorized every presentation in orientation
- you have mixed up building names on a campus tour before
- you have sat at a computer with one student for a whole hour helping them register for classes
- you have led a group of 300 students across legacy bridge
- you still wake up at 6:30am even though orientation is over
- you understand what it is like to take off the nametag at the end of day
- you jump for joy when asked to stuff bags
- you jump for joy when you are assigned to parking
- you cringe at the sight of pizza, specifically papa johns
- you know the game bunny-bunny or yee-haw
- you pray that the PC's will let you leave the labs first
- you are guilty of clumping
- you've ever been given the job to stand guard at the doors
- you've ever felt like someone else owned all of your personal time/life
- you have ever stolen a chocolate chip cookie
- you have a secret hide out in the union
- you feel a sense of power or authority by telling a student to stay off their phone
- you have ever told someone where a good café was on campus, but you have never actually been there
- you have to stop yourself when your with your friends from cracking orientation skit jokes
and that is only a small list!
Summer of 2013 will forever be known as my summer working as an Orientation Leader at the University of Utah.
What did I get myself into?
That is the question I sometimes asked myself. Especially during Intensive Training before Orientation programs even started.
In no way is working as an Orientation Leader an easy job. Working long hours - 7am-10:30pm for the first day of the programs and 7am-4pm for the second day of the program. 5 days a week most weeks. You are expected to stay positive and excited all day long, all summer long. You are expected to know basically everything about the university. You deal with frustrating students and angry parents. Not to mention you get to sit through the same presentations every single day. You get asked the same questions over and over again. Oh and have I mentioned food yet? Yeah you get to eat pizza every other day for lunch and barbeque chicken every other night for dinner. Yummy right? no
I mean honestly I could go on and on complaining about all of the little things that sucked about work, and when I applied for the job I had no idea what I was really getting into.
I also had no idea how much it would all be worth it and how much I would actually love being an orientation leader.
I love the University of Utah and I had thee most amazing first year. Being an Orientation leader I only hoped that I could share with the incoming new students my love for the U and hopefully give them some tips for their first year of college. We had all sorts of students (and also parents who came along) come through Orientation. We had the students that really didn't want to be there. We had students who were super nervous about college. We had students who thought they already were prepared and knew everything about college. Students from out of state and students from in state. We had students who were excited to meet new people. Students excited to get signed up for their classes. Students who knew exactly what they want to major in and students who had no idea. And sometimes students were a combination of a few emotions. But what I loved most were students who were excited for college.
What made working as an Orientation leader fun was to see their excitement as they take their first step into college life. College is exciting and new and different! You have no idea what to really expect, but you hope that it is going to be good. I hope that the students I worked with will enjoy their first year at the U as much as I did and hopefully I was able to help them in some way with their transition to college.
The absolute best thing about being an Orientation Leader though, was the people I got to work with. The other OL's on the team have become such close friends. We first all met as we took a Leadership class together during the Spring Semester and then we all got really close when we moved in together. So not only did we work all day long together, but we also lived together! And surprisingly we didn't get too sick of each other ;) We lived in the Benchmark Apartments on the U of U campus from the beginning of Intensive Training until our last orientation program. Not gonna lie, we are all so different from each other, but we get along so well. It seriously was the great friendships, compliments, funny jokes, and everything else that got me through each day of work. I am so so so grateful to have met these people and they have all each impacted my life in so many different ways. I miss them so much. It is so weird not to be able to walk out of my apartment and go next door and have someone to hang out with. I am especially sad that I won't see them for so long since I'll be leaving here soon. But really I am so grateful to have met such wonderful people who have helped me to be a better leader, friend, and person.