As fall semester begins, The Flat Hat editors asked its writers to come up with the best stories from our freshman orientation experience. Here are the highlights of what I remember from those crazy few days.
My roommate and I ran into our OA, who shall remain nameless, at a party on the first night of orientation. She walked into the room where we were hanging out and stopped cold when she saw us. I tried saying hello but she wanted nothing to do with us; she covered her face and walked briskly out the other side of the room.
Regardless of whatever activities our OA was into that night, she arrived bright and early the next morning, ready to lead our hall through another day of the orientation grind. She pulled my roommate and I aside and explained how OAs weren’t supposed to be out setting a bad example for the new students, and that was why she didn’t acknowledge us at the party. We promised our discretion and kept it moving. My OA’s ability to have fun at night and fulfill her orientation duties the next day was one of my first introductions to the College of William and Mary’s work-hard-play-hard mentality. Although if I remember correctly, she kept her sunglasses on all day.
My family actually stayed in Williamsburg through the entirety of the first weekend. After move-in on Friday, they hung around and then got dinner with me before saying their goodbyes on Sunday evening. Turns out, the whole trip was just an excuse to take my little sister to Busch Gardens for a few days. Even now, she can’t be coaxed into a trip to come visit Williamsburg unless it includes a visit to the theme park.
I remember having one afternoon free during orientation. A few of my hallmates and I decided to head down to the Rec to see if we could get some pick-up basketball in before going back to orientation events. Of course, it was the afternoon of employee training at the Rec, and the whole place was closed to freshmen. We ended up playing at the half court in the cul-de-sac near Botetourt. No way is that hoop ten feet tall.
It’s impossible to remember every detail, every anecdote and every piece of much appreciated advice from the whirlwind that is Orientation. Three years later, and now that I’m an OA, my best recommendation for incoming students is to use the five days before classes to get to know your hallmates and settle in to your new environment. You can get all the advice you want from upperclassmen, but most of it won’t stick, and half of it won’t be relevant in two years anyway. Also, read all of Student Happenings. There’s always a gem or two in there.
Welcome and best of luck to the new members of the Tribe. Glad to have you aboard.