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

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Why you should consider being an OA

It’s that time of the year, Bucknellians. The New Student Orientation (NSO) Program is looking for students to apply to be Orientation Assistants! It’s undeniable that everybody has their own view of Orientation. Here’s my take as an Orientation Leader on why YOU should apply to be an OA. 

It’s fair to assume that opinions towards Orientation are polarized. Some (like me) would do anything to go back to their first move-in day while others remember Orientation as the worst five days of their Bucknell experience. One thing we can all agree on about Orientation is the purpose. Orientation programs (at any school) serve as a device to welcome new students to their home for the next four years. Typically, older leaders aid in the transition of fearful first-year students to a new, independent life. So, whether you loathed your OAs, if you were exhausted from the nonstop activities, or even if you couldn’t care less, you can agree that Orientation is essential for all first-year students. 

I wanted to be an OA because Orientation allowed me to feel comfortable at a school I wasn’t confident was the right fit for me. I look back fondly on my first week at Bucknell, but I know that isn’t true for everyone. It should be the main goal for each OA to establish a welcoming, inclusive environment, but it isn’t for everyone. I continued to participate in NSO because I knew it would give me a role to make tangible change to the program. I’d like to graduate from Bucknell with the knowledge that I have successfully improved Orientation. 

Let me try to convince those of you who are still not sure if you want to apply. Every concern I’ve heard about not wanting to be an OA is valid. I’d love to take a second to address some of them.

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Most often, I hear, “I don’t want to wake up that early!” And frankly, neither do I. There’s an indescribable amount of camaraderie within NSO that magically makes waking up early for Orientation something I look forward to each August. I know that’s not compelling enough for the anti-morning crew, but I promise waking up early for a few days will seem so obsolete after it’s all said and done. 

“I hated my orientation experience!” As plenty of people have. We know, as OLs, that it’s difficult for OAs to provide their hall with the perfect Orientation experience. It’s one of the things we’re working on improving about OA training. If you are someone who hated Orientation during your first year, I’d argue that you have one of the best perspectives to bring to the OA role. You are probably the most capable of converting your experience to leave a positive impact on new students. We need your input on how the program can be maximized and benefit all students. 

“I’m an introvert, I couldn’t be an OA if I tried!” I understand this argument entirely. Being outgoing is not the first quality we look for in an applicant. It may help, but we really care about your thoughtful decision-making and care for the mission of Orientation. It helps to be personable, though. Here’s something you might not know. Each OA pairing is made strategically. The OLs and OCs take time to carefully assess the balance and leadership dynamic in each pair. So, even if you’re not the most outgoing person you know, you might be paired with someone who is, or with someone who compliments your style. 

As an Orientation Assistant, you’ll receive training to detect and respond to issues like homesickness and roommate conflict. The New Student Orientation program has been working tirelessly over the last few years to tweak here and there so that every archetype of student feels welcome.

So, if you want to have a chance to make this school the most embracing in such a critical transition period to college, APPLY TO BE AN OA by scanning the QR codes around campus or on our Instagram @nsobucknell !

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