Orientation is Here

During this past week on campus, orientation has commenced! There is a buzz in the Student Union as parents and new students are learning about resources, registering for classes, and completing paper work. Welcoming the newest members of the Panther family is always an exciting moment for me. Students are nervous, but excited about this new journey. Their parents are full of energy (propelled by worry), but are nevertheless enjoying being supportive to their son or daughter. It’s the hype of the season in the world of Student Affairs, and I couldn’t be more excited over this (and this is only the first few sessions of the summer).

The other aspect I enjoy about Orientation is getting to see my colleagues from around campus more often. We convene together for the Student Services Fair to speak with incoming freshmen and transfer students about what each of our departments do. The only time when a large group of Student Affairs staff are in a room together is at Division lunches that happen 3 times a year. Being together for Orientation is a special moment because that way we can catch up on life. I love walking around at the beginning of Orientation just to see what other departments are working on, what new services are they offering, and if there are new staff joining us. My colleagues and I need to get together more often (maybe I should start scheduling more lunches with them…)

In addition to all the fun and excitement, I’m just happy to have human interaction. Although my department is open during the summer, we are mostly finalizing contracts for guest speakers and performers for next semester. I don’t have any evening meetings or weekend retreats with the students. Not to mention, a good portion of the multicultural students are from out of town and only a handful stay over the summer to complete classes online or at their local community college. It gets so quiet in the building, and sometimes staring into the computer screen for hours on end isn’t so fun. The minute my secretary says “You have a student here to see you” my eyes grow with joy. “I have a visitor?! A Human?!” OK, I know that sounds weird…but seriously, an extrovert comes alive at the sight of interacting with others.

How is life during the summer months in your department? Are you working orientation? Do you have the summer off? Share your stories with me on Twitter @tabatha_cruz. 

Tabatha Cruz

Student Affairs - the First Years

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