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.
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.
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.
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?!