I remember my orientation. Here at the University of Florida, orientation is a two-day event that consists of orientation leaders, called Preview Staffers, who run around, dance a lot, tell you what classes to register for, and have a concerning amount of energy at 7 a.m. My orientation was a scary experience, and I remember turning to my close friend and saying to her "I could never, ever be a Preview Staffer".
Here I am, two years later, and my first session as a staffer is less than one month away.
Orientation is the epitome of a duck. Everything is fine on the surface, above the water, but underneath, the feet are going like crazy and it is so chaotic. So much is happening at all times, and although it seems like we are just students and this is just a normal job, we have been training and preparing for this upcoming summer for months and months.
I learned how to do the dances in January. We have been going through intensive academic training for this entire spring semester to ensure that we are able to advise students on all levels, across all spectrums and interests. We have gone to conferences, dance rehearsals, training days, and, overall, we have dedicated hours and hours on end to ensure the best possible experience for our new students. And the summer hasn't even begun.
I thought I could never be a Preview Staffer. I thought that Preview and orientation was all about high energy, all of the time. But throughout this entire process, I've learned that it isn't about who can chant the loudest or who can break it down the best. It's about the passion that each and every staffer puts into what they do. It's about the students. It's about family members. It's about making everyone feel welcomed at the University of Florida. It's about the campus partners, the professional staff at New Student and Family Programs, and the lovely people who work at Broward Dining all summer long.
Orientation is so much more than dances and registration. It is the culmination of all the passion and hard work that everyone involved has, and I cannot wait to go through my Preview summer and know that I have given my all to this experience and to this university.