If I told you that over the past ten days, I've only gotten about twenty hours of sleep in total, have a swollen ankle, and several bruises inflicted by pushing carts up a six-story parking structure, would you still want to participate in what I just did?
How about if I told you that over the last ten days, I've met hundreds of new people, solidified new friendships with people who used to just get a smile when I saw them on campus, ate lots of caf cookies, and gained a new level of self confidence? Are you onboard now?
It's hard to believe that O-Week is over and classes are now in session when it feels like just yesterday orientation leaders were on our way to our retreat to kick off ten of the most rewarding days of my college experience.
I've wanted to be and Orientation Leader ever since I met one of the most influential people in my life (my Big) during my own O-Week and I was inspired to hopefully be that person for someone else. This year, I finally got the chance and it was one of the best decisions I've ever made. Spring semester was really hard for me. I was adjusting to being back from my time abroad, I was dealing with the stress of balancing being a working college student and holding a leadership position that came with a little more baggage than I expected, and I was spending a lot of time alone simply because it was easier than having to explain what I was dealing with. I was hesitant about my senior year because of how much I struggled in the past five months.
I couldn't have asked for a better way to kick off my senior year. I got to meet Chapman's finest, most enthusiastic students and work with them for ten days to make our freshmen and transfer students' experiences as enriching as possible in their first week on campus. I got to eat caf cookies again (It's the little things, people.) I got to participate in incredible important diversity and Title IX training that will help me make my campus a safer and more inclusive place. I talked to boys (again, the little things.) I learned to be more comfortable alone. I learned to be a better leader.
If you're not a senior, please consider applying to be an Orientation Leader next year. It's not always the most glamorous job, especially when the only elevator in a six-story parking structure breaks down on move-in day. But it's worth every hour I didn't sleep, every minute spent outside in the heat, every random bruise on my body. It is so worth it. You'll meet incredible people. You'll learn to love yourself and care for yourself a little bit more. You'll get to make an impact on young students. It is the best job I've ever had, and I'll be reaping the benefits of its paycheck for the rest of the year.