My name is Hanna and I am currently the Orientation Advisor for the Trailblazers in the Community (TBC) program. I will be a junior this coming fall, studying Marine Science with a minor in Education. If you are anything like me, you are equally as excited and nervous choosing an Orientation session and attending it. I want to give you a little explanation on why I do what I do and why choosing a Trailblazer can be one of the most rewarding experiences you can make in an effort to prepare yourself for this upcoming academic year.
I can still remember the day my mom handed me my postcard from the university telling me how to sign up for Orientation. It had listed all the traditional dates and had this little blurb about Trailblazers. Intrigued, I looked it up online and decided that it’d be fun. I had chosen the One Day River Kayak. While at Orientation I met so many great people. My Orientation Leaders were awesome. They were resourceful, great advice givers, eased my worries, and just plain out fun. They were also great support, already having gone through the transition into college life. The other students in my group were awesome too. We had a blast kayaking down the Saco River and enjoying the sights, as well as an occasional seal or two. It was then that I finally realized that I had made the right decision to come to UNE!
Trailblazers in the Community (TBC)
Through my experiences at Orientation and my experiences being a first year student I decided to become an Orientation Leader. I applied and was selected as a Trailblazers in the Community Orientation Leader, something that had caught me off guard. I had originally applied to be a traditional summer Orientation Leader, but after giving it some thought, my selection had made sense. I have had a strong foundation in community service through high school. TBC has changed me for the better. Last summer was my first year being a part of New Student Orientation as an Orientation leader. Not only had I connected really well with other team members, I connected with new students.
Trailblazers in the Community offers many opportunities for new students to meet fellow peers, upperclassmen, professional staff, and our many community partners. TBC has smaller groups that really help to develop a level of comfort among new students. You won’t believe how sad some students who participated in TBC are to leave at the end of Orientation! It’s a chance to go out into Biddeford, Saco, Kennebunk, and Portland, to name a few, and familiarize yourself with the community you will be living in for the next chapter of your life. It also feels great at the end of the day to know you made a difference!
I’ve had such an incredible experience with my time participating in Trailblazers. From being a current student who participated in Orientation and a TBC Orientation Leader I can say that without participating in Trailblazers, I wouldn’t have made some of the connections I have made today. I can say for all of us here at New Student Orientation that we are excited for our summer orientations kick-off in June. We look forward to having you all here! Whatever you do in preparation for Orientation, all I ask of you is to be yourself but step out of your comfort zone. You will be glad you did!