Orientation is more than just a memory

By Jen Lassen

Contributing Writer

My arrival to the University on Aug. 19 can be described by many words but summed up in one: excitement. This word describes exactly how I felt on the first, second, third, fourth and fifth days of the wonderful New Student Orientation Program experienced by all first-year students.

Many of my classmates that I connected with during Orientation were as enthusiastic about the program as I was, if not more. How could you not be in love with the ever-vibrant spirit of the OAs and OLs, the complete insanity and messiness of Color Games, the variety of activities from Line Dancing to Midnight Breakfast, and the powerful wave of school spirit displayed at ‘Ray for the Orange and Blue? All activities created such pride, unity and, of course,  excitement to be a part of the University community.

Orientation allowed our class to get to know each other in the silliest, but best, ways possible. During Playfair, our entire class bonded — literally — by all holding hands and running through the football stadium as one great big “Bucknell bundle.” At Color Games we participated in relay races and competitions against one another, exposing us to people from halls other than just our own. These activities made us all step outside our comfort zones at different times and in different ways, yet in the end allowed us to be ourselves and meet people we might click with.

Some first-years may argue that such activities were awkward because they were participating with complete and total strangers. We had to do various things, like re-enact Flavor Flav, with random people who had no idea who we were. Arguably, some of the things we were asked to do probably did not make for the best first impressions.

Thinking about all of this can certainly make anyone feel uncomfortable, but Orientation to me really became what I made of it. I decided that goofing off was acceptable and many of the people around me decided to follow suit. When people started opening up, the true connections were made and, for the most part, I felt that a large majority decided to let go and be goofy at least once during Orientation. The spirit of the program eventually rubbed off on all of us.

I will never forget my Orientation experience and feel that I got acquainted to college in the best way possible. Orientation may be just a memory to us now, but we all should value the ridiculously fun five days we shared together and the excitement we felt for the Orange and the Blue that will hopefully never fade.

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