You Are Viewing Summer 2012

It’s Not “Goodbye”… Just “See You Later”

Posted By on July 12th, 2012

First, please accept my apologies for not writing as soon as orientation was over. The last week of orientation was without a doubt a memorable one, and since I have been home I have found myself missing 45 of my new best friends or trying to catch up on my lack of sleep. I haven’t been 100% sure about what I want to write about, but the more I wait the more I forget the little details of that week, so here it goes!

On June 24th, six OAs and two professional staff members ventured with Swoop to Fenway Park! It was Rhode Island appreciation day and Swoop, along with the Salve Regina mascot were invited to go to the Red Sox game and also go onto the field with Wally the Green Monster. Even though I have lived in New England my entire life, I had never been to a Red Sox get let alone gone on the actual field! Without a doubt, that was the best first Red Sox game at Fenway that I could have possibly experienced. Go Sox!

Me & Swoop at Fenway Park

Me & Swoop at Fenway Park

RWU at Fenway

RWU at Fenway

Thursday of that week was our last themed dinner. The last dinner we all have together is formal, and this year we were lucky enough to have it at Leo’s. The evening was full of harmless mischief (if you ever meet Sean Thompson, ask what we did to him when he gave a speech… here’s a hint “#swag”), laughter, tears and an OA version of “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion.

523438_10150952959061785_813397572_nLater that week, after all of our orientations were over, we took the trolley (yes…. I do mean the trolley) and a shuttle up to the Wrentham outlets and then continued on to our vice presidents house for a pool party. I am happy to say that 45 of us got in and out of there without breaking anything (or stealing the adorable dog…)! To top off an eventful day, everyone piled back in the trolley and shuttle and started the drive back to RWU, with a much needed pit stop at Eskimo King. :)

We spent our last weekend on campus working on our Fourth of July float. In 2011 it won Best in Parade and considering Bristol has the oldest Fourth of July celebrations in the country, there was no pressure to win it again. Ha. Though sometimes working on the float seemed tedious, and there was always a desire to do everything perfectly, the end result was phenomenal.

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The float outside of Cedar Hall

What do I mean by phenomenal? I mean that we were all outside the float and ready to go by 5:45 in the morning that way we could get to Colt State Park in time to be considered for judging. Even though that didn’t start for another couple of hours, we were anxiously awaiting the arrival of the judges and most importantly the results. And then the time came…

The judges finished analyzing every float and came to decisions on awards. At this point we were all standing around our float watching to see what everyone else was winning since the judges just “skipped” over us making it seem like we didn’t win anything. Rumor has it they just happened to “skip” over the float last year as well. We didn’t want to get our hopes up, but after hours of working on the float all we wanted to do was bring back Best in Parade to the university for a second year. And guess what….? WE DID IT!!!! I am pretty convinced that our excitement was so loud that we woke up anyone in the area who wasn’t awake yet, and made every one around us think we were crazy… but that’s okay, right?! :)

BEST IN PARADE!

BEST IN PARADE!

522152_10151257380694689_194582530_nAfter that we walked in the parade with 125,000 people lining the streets, which is one of the coolest things that I have ever done. 3.1 miles later and it was over, which meant that orientation was also over and once we took apart the float we were “free to move about the cabin…” All that there was left to do was pack…

However, we needed to get one last adventure in before going our separate ways. I don’t actually know exactly where the nine of us went, so I suppose it’s a good thing that I trusted who we were following. All I do know is that it involved wandering through the woods at night and cliffs. Yes, I know none of what I just said sounded like a good idea, but it turned into one of the best nights of my summer. These cliffs had at least a 180 degree view of the bay, but probably even more than that. It was pretty warm out on the fourth, so as we sat on the cliffs we saw so many beautiful sights. On one side of the bay was heat lightning that was so intense you could see more than just flashes, but streaks of lightning that reflected onto the bay. Across from the heat lightning on the other side of the bay was an orange rising moon that was moving at such a fast pace that it almost seemed like you could actually see it in motion. Between Tiverton, RI and the power plant in Fall River, MA (so all around the bay) were multiple fireworks shows. At one point we could pinpoint at least seven different shows going on at once in different towns, along with random fireworks here and there. Heat lightning, fireworks and an orange moon all reflecting on the bay at once… there is no other way I could have imagined ending the Fourth of July and my five weeks in Rhode Island. It’s times like these that I wish I had a camera that took pictures of exactly what I saw, that way I could show just how unbelievable it really was.

Overall, yes I was at school because it was my job. And yes my job was to make incoming freshmen and their families feel welcome and comfortable coming to our university. That itself was rewarding, but I didn’t originally expect my summer to be so much more than that. Everyday was a new adventure, and there were always surprises hidden around every corner. I finally understood what every past Orientation Advisor had told me about what it was like being an OA. It meant that I was going to have the best summer of my life, and that I was going to leave the experience with 45 best friends and more connections to the university than ever before. And you know what, being an OA was just that… the time of my life.

Have an amazing summer and I’ll be back soon!

Think BIG!

Posted By on July 2nd, 2012

Hello again!

I am excited to write this blog as we have been keeping busy and having a lot of fun since training commenced. I recently went home for the weekend for a graduation, and it’s still really weird to think that this time last year that I was in those shoes. So many things have happened in my life since then whether expected or not, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

On the weekends when we are not working on the float, we are free to do whatever we please… like sleep… on the beach. Last Sunday a group of us went down to Newport and relaxed on the beach, in the ocean and walked the cliff walk. Though there was a red tide, that didn’t stop us from diving into the water to cool off, and surprisingly enough it wasn’t that cold. There is really nothing better than spending the day on a sandy beach with some of your closest friends, especially in Newport.

Newport

Newport

The Saturday before that we decided to go up to WaterFire Providence. There was also a Portuguese festival going on the same night with a concert and dancing. WaterFire was really neat, and attracted a huge crowd. We discovered that you can rent a gondola and roast marshmallows by the fire as long as you bring your own equipment, but we’re college students and didn’t have $160 to do so… Instead we took crazy pictures, sat on the edge of the water and listened to people yell at us to not fall in, and danced at the Portuguese festival even though none of us were Portuguese. That night still sticks out in my mind as one of my favorite nights of orientation.

Concert

Concert

Two weeks ago our Traditions committee decorated the commons for our jungle themed dinner. There were many of us who dressed up in cheetah print, and those who went all out by actually wearing a costume that looked as if they were riding on top of a stuffed tiger. Even though we probably looked ridiculous, motivational dinners are one of the most fun activities that we do.

Jungle Dinner!

Jungle Dinner!

Tuesday began our orientations, starting with transfer. I will admit I was really nervous to work with students for the first time, especially knowing that most of them were probably the same age as me if not older than I was. And on top of that, they have all already had some sort of college experience. Luckily it went well and I felt prepared to work with a larger group of incoming students the next day. However, I was assigned to family staff the next day and my nerves resurfaced. I was so worried about working my first orientation ever and having to interact with parents, and I was nervous that I may have an answer that a family member didn’t want to hear. Every returner told me that it wasn’t as bad as I was making it out to be, and in the end it was actually a of fun. If anything, the parents seemed to be just as nervous about college as I was when I was an incoming freshman, and all they wanted to hear about were my experiences and how my family and I got through. In the end I just had to trust in my training and understand that I was in fact capable of representing the university. After session 1, I would gladly work with families any day. They all seemed truly understanding and grateful to have students to help put their minds at ease.

Session 1 was tiring and I was so happy to be able to get some rest before going home for a graduation. Last week was a busy one as we had 4 days full of orientation. I had the opportunity to work with students both sessions, all of whom were enthusiastic about being here at RWU. It’s kind of a cool feeling to think that the first glimpse of life at school is at orientations, and we as OAs are responsible for making the incoming freshmen feel welcome.

Tomorrow I am going to a Red Sox game to represent RWU with some fellow OAs, and Monday/Tuesday is our last orientation. Where did the time go?!

Hanging around

Hanging around

“On Your Own But Not Alone”- Orientation 2012

Posted By on June 14th, 2012

Hi everyone!!

I am sorry that it has been a month since I wrote my last blog. I took a couple of weeks off for summer, I had a little bump in the road and orientation training has been keeping me busy. But I’m back now!

Like I said, orientation training has been keeping me on my toes whether we’re in sessions learning about every last inch of the University or working on our float for the Bristol 4th of July parade. Apparently our float won “Best in Parade” last year, but no pressure for this year, right?! For the past two weeks we have been busily preparing for the first arrival of the incoming class of 2016. It’s exciting being on the other side of a place where I was just a year ago. What’s interesting is that when I was at orientation last year I didn’t enjoy myself much, and now I am an Orientation Advisor myself. But here’s my reasoning…

As an incoming freshman who had only graduated high school 24 hours prior to the first day of orientation, I was still extremely shy and perfectly content not playing icebreakers with fellow freshmen that I hadn’t met before. My OAs were great, however I was still completely out of my comfort zone. Orientation was all about meeting new people and having fun, and I basically shut myself out of that. However, somehow within a year I stopped being so shy, and now in fact when I tell people that I was always really shy no one believes me which is sort of amusing. That being said, one of the things that I am looking forward to the most in being an Orientation Advisor is to be able to work with those students who were just like me because I hope that I will understand where they are coming from and be able to use my past experience to help them adjust.

Anyway, we moved in May 28th, spend one night on campus and then went camping. Funny story about that- I am from NH…surrounded by nature… and yet my version of camping is staying in a cabin with running water, heat, electricity, cable, etc. Our cabins however had no electricity, heat, water or anything and we had to walk to the “bath house”. Oh, and it rained and we had a tornado watch… no big deal. Basically, I was completely out of my element yet enjoying it. We spent both days outside getting sunburned, but honestly it was a great experience even if nature was all over me. We Orientation Advisors have three “families” that we are broken up into, and those families were who we spent our two days with. Through crazy activities, high ropes, and summer camp meals our OA staff bonded with each other within a matter of 48 hours. In a nutshell, it was a lot of fun.

The high ropes

The high ropes

The gang!

The gang!

The following week was our last full week of training. It was still full of sessions from different departments at RWU, that way we were more than prepared to answer questions that will be coming at us in the next few days.

That’s all for now. I know it’s short but I just wanted to check in and let everyone know that I didn’t forget to write! Stay tuned for the next one! (I promise it will be more detailed and fun)

Sneak Peek:

  • Jungle Themed Dinner
  • Newport Beach
  • Transfer Orientation and Orientation Session 1
  • Water Fire
  • Other surprises!!