This past summer I had the opportunity of working for Florida Gulf Coast University as an orientation leader and let me tell you this: all the memes are true. I've curated the top ten things that capture what it's really like to work in orientation.
You know you're an orientation leader if...
1. Your hands are permanently stuck in a wings-up position. No, seriously. Is there any other way to pose for a photo?
2. You have no sense of embarrassment. Meaning you go crazy AND stupid during chant off, you say things like "Iggy Lit" and "Bear Nation" and jump around like an actual kangaroo - basically, there are no cool hats in orientation.
3. You're at the ready with any FGCU fun fact. Did you know that our blue emergency poles are all within 500 feet of each other? Or that FGCU is nationally ranked for student housing? Etc., etc...
4. You embody that Twitter meme about OL's at 7 a.m. You all know what meme I am referring to, and I can proudly admit that it is entirely accurate.
5. You LOVE your students. When I first started OL training I had no idea I would actually like my students. In fact, connecting with them was what I thought I would be the worst at. But as it turns out, creating those relationships with incoming Eagles was probably my favorite aspect of orientation. I cannot wait to see them all soar here at FGCU.
6. By the end of the summer, you have no voice, like, at all. Whether you were a turtle, a rabbit, or even a coyote, you know this one's true. I think my vocal cords are permanently damaged from how many times I screamed "WHO ARE WE?" at the top of my lungs.... worth it.
7. You're a karaoke GOD. Even if you have no musical talent whatsoever (*cough,* me) you went way too hard at karaoke and had a blast doing so.
8. You've basically memorized the general education program. This was another aspect of orientation I was surprised that I didn't fail miserably in. If you're a business major, then I've pretty much got the whole advising thing down. Just don't ask me to advise any health science students... I'll leave that to the crocs and the flamingos.
9. Your sleep schedule is non-existent. I've participated in camps and cheerleading and a plethora of things that take up a lot of energy, but I can genuinely say nothing has exhausted me like orientation has- I loved it, absolutely. But I cannot wait to sleep for the next two weeks straight.
10. You have an unwavering love for your university. Since I was 16 I knew I wanted to be an Eagle, but I had no idea I wanted to be an orientation leader. Here I am four years later, undoubtedly grateful for the opportunity to play such an involved role on my campus. I love this school and I loved being an OL.
Lastly, I want to thank anyone who ever worked in orientation, I want to thank my team, and I want to give a huge shout out to any student (bear nation or otherwise) who had to endure us at 7:30 a.m.
I'm grateful, I'm tired, and im_blu3