The Perks of Being an Orientation Leader

Almost exactly two years ago, I sat through Ball State Orientation as an incoming freshman. I was ecstatic to say the least, but I wasn’t sure what all the future would hold for me. Anytime you start a new chapter in your life like that, you have hopes and expectations of what that chapter will look like, but you can never be quite sure of what your future will be.

Fast forward six months ago. I was at the first round interviews for Orientation Leader. There were so many people, awesome and super qualified people, who were also going out for the same job. With a limited number of positions, I decided I was going to try my hardest to get the job, but I wouldn’t plan for it. As I kept getting further and further along in the process, my chances were getting greater. Still, I didn’t want to jinx it. I was so anxious to find out whether or not I got the job. I checked my mailbox everyday for a week in hopes that the letter would come early, I even had my roommates checking it for me. Finally, it came. I got the job.

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My acceptance letter for the position of Orientation Leader. The long wait was definitely worth it.

Now fast forward to May. During the two week break between classes ending and Orientation training beginning, I was so antsy and excited to get started. During our training we focused on team building, case studies, and learning pretty much everything there was to know about the university. Throughout training, I sometimes doubted myself. Compared to some of the other leaders, I was quieter and more reserved. I questioned whether or not I would be able to perform to the fullest. But with the encouragement of those around me, I reminded myself that I was hired for a reason. I couldn’t wait until June 1 when we got our first students.

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The Orientation leaders with President Ferguson and the First Lady during Orientation training.

Right from the start of Orientation, everything seemed to fall into its place naturally. I found that I had no reason to be nervous for the things I was nervous about. Without those fears, I could enjoy Orientation to the fullest. I quickly found that the job was unlike any other I had ever had, and that it truly was a once in a lifetime opportunity.

With one of my groups of students during the second week of Orientation. Interacting with the incoming freshmen is definitely one of the best parts of being an Orientation Leader.

With one of my groups of students during the second week of Orientation. Interacting with the incoming freshmen is definitely one of the best parts of being an Orientation Leader.

Of course, one of the perks of being an Orientation Leader is working with the incoming freshmen. I love being able to tell them about how great Ball State is and easing their fears about college. It’s the little interactions with the students that really make the job worthwhile. Whether that be a student coming up to me after closing ceremony and thanking me for everything over the past two days, or the joy a student has when they come up to me after scheduling and say they are taking a class I recommended. I even had a student come up to me after lunch on Day 1 earlier this week and tell me I was doing a really great job.

With my team and the family team before starting a new session one week.

With my team and the family team before starting a new session one week.

The amazing leaders I get to work with everyday are also another perk about this job. From the start of training, we all quickly bonded together. I love having the opportunity to work with some of the best leaders around campus and forming friendships I know will last long after Orientation ends. We all have so much fun together and without all of them, Orientation wouldn’t be the same.

As we close week three today, I am sad to see that we are halfway done with Orientation now. With only a few sessions left, it’s hard to believe that soon enough this amazing experience will be done for the summer. To all my friends and family outside of Orientation, I’m sorry it’s the only thing I’ve been able to talk about for the past month. And to all of my Twitter and Instagram followers, I’m sorry it’s the only thing I’ve posted or tweeted about. But in all reality, I’m not sorry because Orientation has been an incredible journey so far and I’m so thankful I got this opportunity.

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