There’s Nothing Like Southern Hospitality

by Hollie Daniels
@HESAHollie

Part of my NODA Internship at the University of Alabama includes a “grad swap” (think the TV show Wife Swap but with Graduate Assistants and Interns) with the graduate staff members of Camp War Eagle (Freshmen Orientation) at Auburn University. While the Auburn Grads came to Tuscaloosa back in June, our visit to Auburn happened this past week over Camp War Eagle’s tenth and final session of the summer. This also happened to be their largest session yet, so it was exciting to see them adapt accordingly.

Being a neutral party on the division between Auburn and Alabama, I was really excited for the swap and the opportunity to learn more about a great orientation program. My colleagues and I were welcomed with warm smiles and great energy from the entire Camp War Eagle staff, which reinforced that there truly is nothing like southern hospitality (regardless of the deep-seeded rivalry between Alabama and Auburn dating back to the 1800s!).

Over two days I quickly learned that Camp War Eagle was very different from the University of Alabama’s orientation, Bama Bound, but that was the beauty of it. After observing the session, my colleagues and I were able to sit down with one of the Assistant Directors and pick her brain, which was a great way to close out the session. An hour and a half later, we had asked questions about everything from recruitment and interviews, to training and logistics, and the group dynamics that comes with employing 50+ students.

For me, the swap reinforced the fact that I LOVE learning. I love learning about different institutions, I love learning about the field of Student Affairs, and I love learning about the amazing programs, resources, and opportunities that students can get involved with. This summer has been the perfect opportunity for me to ask questions, talk with others, and most importantly, learn from others.

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Student Affairs - the First Years

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