The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

The weekly student newspaper of Bucknell University

The Bucknellian

2024 Commencement Student Speaker: Lea Tarzy
Alexandra Slofkiss: 2024 Commencement Soloist
Outstanding Senior Award: Bernadette Maramis
Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion: Gloria Sporea

Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion: Gloria Sporea

May 10, 2024

Excellence in Athletics Award: Meghan Quinn

Excellence in Athletics Award: Meghan Quinn

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Excellence in the Arts Award: Joselyn Busato

Excellence in the Arts Award: Joselyn Busato

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Pre-Orientation is (buck)wild

My parents didn’t want me to go to college. Now that I’m here, they keep telling me that there’s no shame in dropping out. I can’t even complain to them over the phone because they just offer to come pick me up.

That being said, you can imagine their excitement when I told them about Bucknell’s BuckWild Pre-Orientation Program. Not only would they have to say goodbye to me a week early, but I’d be in the woods backpacking for five days without any means of communication whatsoever. I’ve never actually seen someone’s heart stop until I dropped that bombshell on them. 

Nevertheless, I arrived on Bucknell’s campus on Aug. 11, five days before other first-years. A few hours later, I was thrown onto a bus and dropped off in the middle of nowhere, ready to partake in BuckWild’s backpacking and climbing Pre-Orientation Program.

The first night was rough, I’ll admit it. I missed my mommy. But the second night I couldn’t have cared less where she was: I was trapped in a downpour after nine hours of hiking with one eye swollen shut. And if I could have gone back in time, I would not have changed a thing. Except maybe the swollen eye, that really did suck. 

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Despite there being several amazing Pre-Orientation opportunities, I specifically chose BuckWild in order to set the bar very, very low for dorm life. I’m the youngest child with a great deal of years between both of my siblings (there are three of us, and my parents only wanted two… guess who the surprise was). For the past five years, I was basically an only child with her own bathroom, room and space as a result of my brother and sister’s absence.

How the hell was I supposed to adjust happily to a twin bed, roommate and communal bathrooms? Being thrown into the woods, that’s how. Now I’ll take the twin bed over the cold tent any day. I’ve been sleeping like a princess ever since night the night I got back.

As stated before, I have no regrets concerning Pre-Orientation Programs, specifically BuckWild. Backpacking not only got me out of my comfort zone, but it allowed me to form lifelong friendships through trauma bonds. You become a lot closer with the people you stand in a lightning storm with than those you meet playing the picnic game on the quad. We still laugh about it.

Being in touch with nature not only truly centered me but provided an immense sense of relief and reassurance. Come Orientation, I knew that if I could manage wearing the same clothes for five days and bathing in a freezing lake, I could go to an 8 a.m. class three times a week.

And if that’s still not enough to convince you, you move in with about 200 kids on campus as opposed to thousands. Trust me, you want that. 

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