Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Summer as an Orientation Leader


- 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.

Another great thing about working as an Orientation Leader, is we were each assigned to work with a specific college at the U of U as college experts.  It was our job to learn as much as we could about our college so we could help the students who would pick a major within that college.  I am SO happy I got to work with the College of Health.  Me and Jacob Bushman were the college experts and we honestly got the best college in my opinion.  Both of our majors are within the College of Health and our advisors were the best.  Aside from helping the students our advisors were always so encouraging and helpful to me and Jacob in giving us advice for our own paths and hooking us up with connections that will help us.  My favorite thing was to talk with the students as we took them to their advising and registration.  I loved learning about their dreams and aspirations for grad schools and med schools and just their majors in general.

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.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

I hope they call me on a mission

I remember singing that song with about 5 other kids in a primary program when I was around 6 years old...

I don't think I ever really thought that I'd actually be the one going though..

But things change.  And so quickly.

 Last week I was called to serve as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in the El Salvador Santa Ana/Belize Mission - spanish speaking.  I report to the Mexico MTC on August 21, 2013.

I could not be more humbled by the opportunity I have to serve.  Nothing has brought more happiness to my life than the gospel of Jesus Christ and I can't wait to share it with the people of El Salvador and Belize.  It is so inspiring to know that God has called me specifically to this mission to serve these people.  I am so grateful that I get to be a part of bringing God's children the truth, because there are so many out there who don't have it.  I can't wait to meet the people of El Salvador and Belize and to feel of their love; I just hope that in my time on my mission I can help them feel the love God has for each one of them.

I'm also so grateful for the opportunity I have had to prepare to serve a mission.  Never in my life have I felt closer to to my Savior, and I know I will only grow closer to him as I serve my mission.  Even before I knew that I was going to go on a mission I started stuyding Preach my Gospel and I am so thankful for how it has helped me to learn more about the gospel.  Also my mission prep teachers at institute and in sunday school have been such an inspiration to me to prepare as much as I can now, so that by the time August 21st rolls around I will be as ready as possible to serve.

Today in Mission Prep at Institue we talked about how others can just see the light in our eyes as faithful members of the church, and especially as missionaries.  I can't even imagine the joy I will feel as I start to see that light begin to shine brighter in the eyes of the people of El Salvador and Belize as they gain a testimony of the truthfulness of this gospel and as they come closer to their Savior.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Refreshing Change

I like routines.  And I like schedules.  But sometimes too much of that, becomes overwhelming.  And boring at the same time. 
Sometimes you just need a change.
Something simple.
Something refreshing.
Yesterday I rearranged my dorm room.
(since there is so much to space to rearrange)
And today it was so nice to walk into my room and have things just be a little different then the same as always.
Yeah switching around the furniture in your room isn't really a big deal at all, but it's something new.
So try it.
Are you bored of doing the same exact thing every day or every week?
-rearrange your room
-walk a different route to your classes
-sit somewhere new in your class
-change up your meals
-die your hair
-hang out with a new group of friends
-try a new hobby or activity
there are a million things you can do

Even if it is small, or even if you end up not liking it and changing it back.
I promise it will be refreshing.
Just try switching things up every once in a while.

Sunday, February 10, 2013


 Everyone has heard the phrase that
"The eyes are the window to the soul"

But how often do we take that phrase into account when talking to people on a daily basis.

Or maybe more importantly when meeting a person for the first time.

Last week in Relief Society one of the sisters in my ward made a comment that really made an impression on me.

We were discussing about ways we can work on not judging others, specifically by their outward appearance/first impressions.

I mean we all do it.

"that girl has really gorgeous hair."
"wow he has a great smile."
"she kinda talks weird."
"he walks funny"
"I love that girls outfit."
"he seems super shy"
"why are they friends with that person"
and the list could literally go on forever.

Things were said in class about trying to look at everyone's strengths instead of weaknesses, or seeing each person as a son or daughter of God.

But how can we do these things when the minute we see a person our minds are flooded with prejudging thoughts.

And this is what the sister in my ward said.

She strives to focus on people's eyes.

It seems so simple, but have you ever really thought about it?

Nothing is more pure than eyes.

There is no way you can judge a person when first meeting them if all you do is look them in the eyes.

You can see a persons emotions, their struggles, their happiness, and the light of Christ, all through their eyes.

The eyes truly are the window to the soul.

Our eyes tell so much about us.  It is simply amazing.

People may have different colors, shapes, and sizes of eyes.

But all eyes are pure.

And if you look at someone straight in the eyes you will see them how God sees them.

If you focus on their eyes, you will see them as a son or daughter of God.

"[The] special blending of our common origins and characteristics [together with] our unique attributes, experiences, and specialized challenges . . . makes each of us who and what we are."- Cecil O Samuelson Jr


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Something to think about

Did I do anything today that made a difference?
Or was today a waste of time.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

What do you wanna be when you grow up?

When I was little, I was set on being a teacher. 

But boy have things changed now.

My dreams and goals scare the heck out of me.

But I know I can do it.

I plan to graduate with an Honors Bachelor Degree in Exercise Science with a Chemistry Minor and as a Service Learning Scholar.

And how in the world am I gonna do all of that??

Well I actually think its all gonna work together nicely with all the prereqs I'm gonna need anyways for grad school.

Because I want to be a PA when I grow up.

And hopefully all of this will help me get into the PA (Physicians Assistant) grad program at the University of Utah. (duh)

But the U of U PA program...yeah ....second in the nation.


I'm not smart enough for that.

But I'm gonna do it anyways.

Well at least this is the plan for now ;)

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Change of Mindset

This picture says it all.

This seriously happens every night in my dorm room.

Now that I've decided to serve a mission it is absolutely crazy how much my mindset has changed. 

I didn't realize it would change this much.

I mean its not like before I wasn't reading my scriptures or didn't love the gospel or anything, cause trust me I did or I wouldn't be going on a mission.

But serving a mission is all I can think about these days.

For the girl who used to be so gung ho about studying and getting good grades and preparing now for grad school even though I'm just a freshman...It's just almost like I just want to forget about school.

It's actually become kind of a problem.  Like I need to stay motivated.  Cause I do want to accomplish my dreams and goals when I get back.

But dang I would be so happy if I could just spend all my time preparing for a mission by studying the scriptures and preach my gospel instead of studying for classes.

The probably 15 minutes of scripture study I used do when I was trying not to fall asleep at night after I finished all my homework has now turned into me feeling like its not enough if I don't get close to studying an hour out of my scriptures/preach my gospel each day.  And I do it before my homework now.

I feel like I have it planned out perfectly: put papers in March, finish up another great semester at the U, be an orientation leader at the U for the summer, and hopefully get to leave at the end of July and if not that than hopefully August.

But as each day goes by, I kind just wish I was just leaving now!  I'm so excited for everything going on in my life in the next 6 months, but my mindset has changed.  I just want to get out there and serve.

I know that God has a plan for me though, and there are probably reasons that I'm here at school doing what I'm doing.

I'm so beyond grateful for the opportunity to prepare for a mission though.  Already in the past month I've grown so much closer to my Savior and my testimony has grown so much just from preparing to serve.  I'm so grateful for mission prep at institute and in sunday school at church on sundays.  The spirit is always so strong as I know that we are preparing to go out and change people's lives and bring them happiness. 

Its sometimes so hard each week getting on facebook and seeing everyone get there calls, but I know soon enough it will be my turn.  I can't wait to be numbered among these sisters as well as many many others.

"We will be the Lord's missionaries, and bring the world his truth"

-future sister missionary