Welcome to the first edition of #ThursdayThoughts! My goal through this post is to share my own personal reflection as director regarding collegiate life, New Student Orientation, and Idaho State University. Perhaps the best place to begin this series is with my own personal story. It is indeed my own story of college transition which led me to the career I have established for myself within New Student Orientation and First Year Experience.
I will never forget the moment I arrived to my undergraduate alma mater on a humid August day in 1998. The warmth and reception of the orientation leaders at that university truly transformed my new student experience. My family and I still talk about the “team of students in the yellow shirts” who greeted us, encouraged me, and facilitated my move-in day and orientation weekend. At the end of four days, rather than being overly focused on my homesickness and fears, I felt comfortable entering that fall semester both academically and socially. As a sophomore, I enjoyed taking part in the experience as an orientation leader. It was a joy to lead a small group of students and to assist in making their transition one that was positive and encouraging.
I have now had the privilege of overseeing New Student Orientation as a staff member at various institutions of higher education for nearly a decade. There is truly a sense of “magic” in the air surrounding New Student Orientation, as it is the kick-off to the new academic year. It is poignant to watch the fearful/excited expressions of students and proud/joyous/bittersweet expressions of family members on that day. There is a high-level of responsibility we feel as the event organizers to ensure that we provide students with high-impact programs. We do not take this lightly. Every student we hire as Orientation Leaders has demonstrated their love of Idaho State and dedication to welcoming new students. Every activity is designed to assist the new student transition, whether it is Slip N Slide at Bartz Field (designed for new students to develop friendships) or Lunch with the Colleges (designed to introduce new students to their academic dean and faculty members).
We hope that you and your family will save the dates, now, for August 2016. Our “team of students in black shirts” are eager and excited to meet you!
Director of Orientation, Leadership and Service