Jesse, a Trailblazer Outdoor Guide, shares his experience participating in a Trailblazer as well as Traditional Orientation.
You made it to college Orientation!
Give yourself a pat on the back you deserve it with all of your hard work thus far. Just a short year ago I was in your exact situation, dealing with graduation, sending in SO MUCH paperwork to UNE and finally trying to plan out my summer. Then on top of that, the thought of college Orientation gave me a bit of anxiety; I really had no idea what Orientation was or how it worked. So I found myself scrolling through the Orientation page on Facebook to learn all that I could. I stumbled onto the blog and after reading the posts I was a bit relieved to find the Orientation Leaders sharing their own experiences (so I am returning the favor). After reading them I thought that I had this Orientation thing in the bag and that it was going to be a blast (it was)!
I arrived at Orientation early for the Overnight Sea Kayaking and Ropes Course Trailblazer Outdoor Trip. Once on the island, our group immediately jumped into some hilarious ice breaker and name game activities. For the rest of the night we just hung out with our group members and just got to know each other. Then the next day we started working on team building activities that really brought our group even closer together and soon our group developed trust. After that we moved onto the way-more-incredibly-fun-things like sea kayaking, (my personal favorite) blindfolded rock climbing (…Yeah! blindfolded rock climbing), and finally finishing it off with zip lining across the island! My time on the Trailblazer trip was probably one the greatest times of the beginning of my college career. These memories on the trip are some of the most prominent not only because of all the incredibly fun things I got to do, but the fact that the Trailblazing group and I got to become so close in those few days. Trust me: if you are going on this trip you are going to have a blast!
Now back at school for Traditional Orientation, I was thrown right into the experience. Immediately upon returning from a few days camping on an island I had five minutes to freshen up in the bathroom for our school ID picture. . . which will stay with you until you graduate! However, to this day I have not met one person on the UNE campus that has said they like their photo they took, so don’t worry you will not be alone. Then after the photo and a quick shower we then start running through the basics: met some of the Deans, the President of UNE, the Orientation Advisors and Leader, and took the math placement exam (which is not as scary as it sounds, you will do fine). Then, finally, at night is when you get to take a load off and relax. . . NOT! That’s the time when all of the fun activities on campus happen like volleyball, movies and a dance! You just got to get out there and jump right in and in the end it just so happens that you make friends. My favorite part of Traditional Orientation was when I pulled an impromptu “all- nighter” with my new friends and we spent the night talking and getting to know each other.
Just remember, go into Orientation with a positive attitude. Don’t be afraid to talk to someone! Everyone is feeling the same anxieties you are, so try something new, get a little out of your comfort zone and I promise you will be glad you did with all the friends you will make. Just be prepared to answer what your name is, where you are from, your major and why you chose UNE!
See you this summer!!!