You’ve probably gotten an email encouraging you to apply for the position of Orientation Leader, claiming it will be the best decision you’ve ever made. And while you may or may not believe that to be the case, I want to tell you that, for me, becoming an OL was hands-down the greatest thing I’ve done while at Brandeis.
It gives you a sense of community.
I have only been an OL for Midyear Orientation, so there are substantially fewer OLs, and it can be easier to become close with everyone. Regardless, becoming an Orientation Leader allows you to meet so many amazing people who are some of the kindest, funniest, and most genuine individuals on this campus. I am so lucky to call these people my friends, and we have become so close through hours of dancing, cheering, and sleep deprivation that they almost feel like a family. In addition to the other OLs, I’ve also been lucky to bond with many of my grouplets, and that has given me other great friendships I may have otherwise never had.
It strengthens your connection to Brandeis.
Spending at least a week orienting new students to Brandeis has made me feel more connected and at home on campus than ever. It reminds me of all the amazing people and resources we have on this campus, and all the opportunities that are available to us as Brandeis students. From the spirit rally to This is Our House, orientation has the ability to remind you why you love Brandeis and are lucky to be here, even in the most stressful times.
It teaches you new skills.
Orientation pushes you to step outside of your comfort zone in a variety of ways. I have learned how to facilitate difficult conversations on important topics. I have gained public speaking skills through speaking on panels for new students, and even through seemingly unimportant things like standing in front of 100 midyears and getting their attention. Even participating in the choreographed group dances has increased my confidence and ability to let go and not worry about what other people may think or how I silly I may look.
I laugh the hardest, smile the most, and dance the craziest during orientation. I get to participate in fun activities, hang out with some of the best people, and make great memories. It feels kind of like camp on campus, and I’m lucky to have been a part of it for the past two years. So if you are at all interested in becoming an OL, I say you should go for it. It might even become the best part of your Brandeis experience, just like it has been for me.