Wednesday, September 10, 2008
My second Orientation
My summer went by pretty quickly. I saw old friends in Arkansas, took some classes, and got a tan working at a local Aquatics Park. The month of August seemed to speed by excepionally fast because I returned to Calvin a little early this year due to my job as an Orientation Leader. Being an OL is kind of like being a theological cheerleader addicted to Red Bull, you alternate between times of energetic talks about the Christian faith to leading energetic games designed to make freshmen more comfortable. If the pope had a mascot, he or she would have probably been an OL at some time or another!
I’m not going to lie, I was a little nervous on the first day of Orientation. Here I was in charge of twenty brand-spankin-new college students who were my same age. I had learned a lot at the OL training camp the week before (including how to do a backflip, very unrelated, but pretty cool) and that did help assuage some of my anxieties, but needless to say the butterflies were still there. Well, the time to welcome came, and all forty-seven of us Ol’s ran out onto the Commons lawn and began to gather our students. To break the ice, I had my group play numerous games that were almost as awkward as they were silly. Ice successfully broken, we then proceeded to the Fine Arts Center for an opening ceremony and then to a classroom for the official and small group welcome. After we dispersed, I thought I had screwed up big time. I gave convuluted group game instructions that led to chaotic times and totally forgot to hand out their schedules! I was bummed out. Then, at random I got a text from a friend saying that I had done a good job that day. For some reason, that little text made all the difference. I showed up the next day with a renewed vigor and things started to mesh together much more beneficially. My students bonded together, became friends, and engaged in conversation during our small talks. The next day they were positive and energetic during Streetfest, Calvin’s community-service project. By the time the closing ceremony rolled around things were good.
There wasn’t much of a buffer zone between Quest and when classes started, so I’m still catching up on much needed sleep, but I’m glad I was an Orientation Leader. It was as beneficial to me as it was to the incoming freshmen.