Sunday, July 5, 2015

A Peak Inside Orientation at BSU

After six exciting yet exhausting weeks, Orientation 2015 has come to a close. Orientation at BSU consists of months of preparation, two weeks of training for our Orientation Leaders (OLs - student staff memebers), and 3 weeks of sessions. Each session is a two-day overnight experience, so it toatals out to six sessions, each with about 250 new students (give or take) in attendence. As a graduate intern, I came in on the last week of preparation with the professional staff before the OLs arrived. It's a long and grueling process, but there's always a ton of fun moments along the way!

This year, I drank so much Marylou's that I'm pretty sure I gained a solid 15 pounds. We would buy our coffees in rounds, meaning that when one of us went, we were buying coffee for everyone on the pro staff (10-12 coffees per trip). The girls who worked there pretty much hated us, and you could hear the tone of dread in their voices when someone in a black polo approached. (Sorry!)

The photo on the left pretty much described our entire June.

There's an Orientation tradition of exchanging decorated clipboards to be used throughout the program. This year, my clipboard was made by the lovely Beth (who has her own blog here)! I love how it came out and how it reflects a bit of her own style while showcasing my interests! Thanks, Beth!

One of my favorite parts about working Orientation is getting to spend time with the OL staff. They are always so funny and keep me entertained through the long 18-hour days. It's a good reminder of why I'm in this field! I also really enjoyed hanging out with my new friend Kacie, who was a fellow graduate intern for the program. We laughed all the way through training and all six sessions!

When the OLs selfie-bomb your phone, you post the photos online as payback. :)

One of the OLs, Jake, after a long day of sessions.

There is always an end-of-year banquet to celebrate the hard work of the month of June. It's always a good way to remember everything we've accomplished and an opportunity to say goodbye. This year was particularly tough because I won't be returning to campus in the fall so it was really goodbye for me! :( 

Traditional selfie with the OL staff!

THRILLED to be at the banquet.

We also started a new tradition at the banquet. Each OL had the opportunity to leave their mark on the history of Orientation at BSU by stamping their thumbprint on a staff picture. It was a fun craft project that the entire staff could contribute to. The picture will be hung in the New Student and Family Programs office for a long time, and it is so cool to be a part of that!

Orientation is always a challenge, and it literally takes over your entire life for the 6 weeks that you're a part of it, but you come out with so many new learned skills, lessons, and memories that it truly makes it all worthwhile. I'm going to miss BSU so much, but I'm so happy that I was able to end my time as a Bear with this program. Thank you to everyone who had a hand in making this program so great!

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