- Campus Life
Several weeks ago, American International College hosted an overnight summer orientation for the incoming class of 2016. There were two sessions throughout the week, each with around 85 students.
This was my second year as an orientation leader and it turned out to be one of the most successful and rewarding experiences I've had at AIC. There were seven orientation leaders, including myself, and we went through a five-day training period with Erin Underwood, the director of student activities, to prepare us before the students arrived.
During both orientation sessions, I was lucky to have two completely different (but amazing!) groups of students. For me, one of the greatest parts of orientation is seeing the interactions between the students at the second day breakfast in the dining commons. The day before, I watched them check in at registration - mostly reserved, shy, and nervous. But by the next morning, all of the students looked more comfortable and had found other students that they could relate to. I got to watch friendships being built right in front of me and, as many people say, college is where you find your life-long friends.
As an orientation leader, it was extremely rewarding to me to watch students adapt to the College and realize how successful they can be here. Summer orientation gives them the time to see how many opportunities they can pursue when they get here in the fall.
Of course, finding a roommate is very important for new students. So…if students do find someone they want to live with during those two days of orientation on campus, we can make it happen. This was my absolute favorite part: when a student comes to me and asks for a roommate request form. That's when I truly feel I have done my job; I've made them feel comfortable enough to live with someone they just met. Really, orientation is something you can only understand by experiencing it.
Through the summer orientation program, I have realized where my future might lie. It has given me the realization that higher education is the place for me to be. I have found something I am extremely passionate about and really love to do. I loved last summer's orientation, loved this year, and plan to love next year just as much!