A Day in My Life as an Orientation Assistant

My experience as an orientation assistant (OA) is something that I will cherish forever. As a future educator, I strive for opportunities to work with students, and this happened to be the perfect job for that. During FOCUS days, I would wake up at 6 a.m. and be ready to go by 6:30 a.m. We would all meet in the lounge and get ready to start the day by going outside and doing two icebreakers to get excited.

After that, we would all walk over to the Harre Union and get our sheets of how many students we would have in our group that day, and get assigned our partners for the tours. Soon after we got assigned our partner for the day, we would go out to our designated spots and guide traffic from about 7:30-9:30 a.m. I personally liked to listen to music and have a jam session while guiding the cars, and I believe the parents liked it too. When it was time to go inside, all the OAs would get together and start cheering the parents and students into the ballrooms to get the day started.

When it reached 10 a.m. we would go in the back and get ready for the song and dance performance we had created for the freshmen. The first time we performed I was nervous that I would mess up. Thankfully I never did, and after a couple of times, my nerves faded. After the performance, Ryan Bye would introduce us one by one and we would get to meet our group for the rest of the day. Since I was OA #1, I got my group first and we would walk to Urschel Hall,and gather in a classroom, and get to know each other.

I always liked the game where the students would say their first name and then an animal that starts with the same letter. After everyone went around and introduced themselves, I would have them pull out their schedule for the day and walk them through it to see if they had any questions or concerns. We had about 30 minutes together before we had to go to our first stop at the VUCA, where we played a Valpo Kahoot to see how much they did or didn’t know about the school. After that, we would set up their volunteer accounts and then head to lunch.

I always sat at the long, rectangle table on the podium. That way we could all sit together and get to know each other even more. After lunch, we would go to our five stations for about 20-25 minutes and learn more about the buildings, resources, and opportunities that are offered at Valpo. When the stations were over, we had about 45 minutes of bonding time where I was able to have one-on-one conversations with my group and go over the Honor Code.

Since we had so much time, we were able to play more icebreakers and talk about the questions they had about college. This was my favorite part of the day because I was able to reassure them and have some time to debrief before scheduling. After scheduling we had the chapel, dinner, and social hour. Being an OA has really opened my eyes and has made me even more excited about being a teacher.

Written By
Piper Logan
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