They say if you want to live your best life, wear clothes that make you feel good about yourself. For me, the outfit that makes me feel like I’m living my best life is a red polo and khakis. There’s just something about that “Jake from State Farm” look that really gets me going. That, and waking up at the crack of dawn to put on a red polo typically means one thing at Catholic: IT’S TIME FOR ORIENTATION!!!
After summers away from campus, there aren’t words to describe the joy of putting on that fresh, crisp new red polo to get ready for Orientation. This August will begin my third year on the Orientation staff, and even though I know I will be weeping by the end of it, I cannot wait to be back in action with my 79 best friends and favorite people on the planet, practicing our dance moves, pushing the limits of how much caffeine we can safely consume, and getting ready for the most wonderful four days of the year.
It probably sounds like I’m exaggerating. I mean, how much can someone really love Orientation? Isn’t it exhausting having to have that much energy all the time? While yes, the four days of Orientation are absolutely exhausting, they are also the most fun, and certainly the most rewarding. Being a member of the Orientation staff has become the cornerstone of my identity at Catholic. My first year of Orientation training was where I met some of my closest friends and role models on campus, discovered how awesome my school actually is, and also learned how little sleep is actually required to function! I couldn’t imagine spending late August any other way than helping first year students adjust to their new home. I refer to move-in day as “Christmas in the Summer,” because that is literally the only way I can accurately convey the excitement I feel when I see all our new friends arriving on campus.
When students pull up to CUA on their very first day of college, tensions can be high. While some students feel very excited to begin their journey at Catholic, others feel apprehensive, scared, or even apathetic to the entire ordeal. From the first time students open their car door to begin moving into their residence hall, Orientation Advisors have the potential to set the tone for how their first year at Catholic University is going to feel. Orientation Advisors have four days to make the most welcoming, enthusiastic, and over-the-top positive impression on hundreds of first year students and their families. Through every single information session, conversation in the food tent, or evening activity, the Orientation program is all about conveying one message: this is your home now, and that is the coolest thing ever! Welcoming students home is a process that transcends merely carrying their mini fridge into their residence hall. It is about conveying to them in a million different ways how thrilled we are for them to join our Cardinal family.
There is a unique kind of joy that comes from sharing something you love with others. I love being a Catholic University student, and it has been an honor to have the opportunity to share that love with new students and their families each August. And yes, some of the work is grueling; I never imagined that I would be jumping at the chance to work four consecutive 18 hour days, yet here I am, counting the minutes until I can step back into my element and put on my red polo and khakis once again.
If you want to learn more about Catholic University Orientation, check out the links below to all of our Orientation accounts. CU soon!
Katie B. is a senior psychology major from Long Island, New York. Thanks to the support of her Keurig and Dunkin Donuts, Katie lives a very caffeinated life, and can be spotted giving campus tours, helping first year students move in during Orientation, or scouring the city in search of the perfect grilled cheese sandwich.