It was finally time to put all of our hard training to the test. Orientation began with the freshmen moving in; I guess this is what our obstacle course training was for... moving all the heavy stuff. While we waited for the cars to start driving in, the peer leaders shared one of our favorite icebreakers, the "Ride That Pony" song. We all went around singing and dancing and with that we were all in the mood to begin orientation.
Move-in began around 8 in the morning and ended around 2:30 in the afternoon. All the peer leaders and RAs were hard at work during this entire time period. All sorts of things were moved into Harborview Hall, from stuffed animals to really heavy fridges. I have to give special thanks to the bins that helped out with the heavy tasks.
I was pleased to see the reaction of the freshmen when they saw that the Wagner community was helping them move in. Their faces reflected the support we all have with one another. Once all the freshmen were moved in, it was time for a nice shower and some relaxing time.
After the president gave the welcoming speech to the freshmen and their families, it was time for the families to say goodbye and for the real fun to begin. The first big activity was the giant icebreaker. The peer leaders got the first taste of this, and I can say we all turned into little kids; it was that much fun. Once we were done with the icebreakers, it was time for the freshmen to participate. It was a priceless moment to see everyone making new friends.
Throughout the next few days, some of the activities were very formal. The freshmen needed to learn the ways of Wagner College before actually having some fun. Even though some of the activities might not have been that fun, they definitely were informative and important. In order to make up for all these informative sessions, we gave the freshmen a comedy show, a karaoke night, a movie night, a scavenger hunt in the city and a carnival.
The comedy show was very funny, and although there were some inside Wagner jokes, there were many laughs.
One of my favorite nights was definitely karaoke night at the coffeehouse. Although this activity was geared more towards the theatre majors and those who like to sing, it was a fun night. Many more friends were made this night; it did not matter if you could sing or dance. As long as you broke the ice everything was fine.
The scavenger hunt was probably the freshmen's favorite part because they got to experience the city. My LC was supposed to go to the East Village, but the R train was not running so we got a little lost. We ended up in Union Square and did the scavenger hunt for that one instead. It's always a nice experience to go to the city with a big group of people, and I think my LC bonded over this.
The final event was the carnival night. This was perhaps the most successful event, since everyone had an amazing time. Some of the activities were the dunk tank, a mechanical bull, mini golf, an inflatable, and the silent disco.
Since it is part of my bucket list, I volunteered for the dunk tank. I can now say I have experienced this and my only regret is that the water was freezing.
The silent disco was perhaps the most successful activity at the carnival. Everyone wore headphones and would dance to whatever station they tuned into. All types of music played on different stations, but at times everyone would tune into the same station and dance to the same song.
Orientation came and went so fast, it was definitely an unforgettable experience. None of this would have been possible without the amazing team behind it. I would like to take a moment to thank one of our peer coordinators who passed away just days after orientation, Justin Stevens. Thank you for everything, Justin. Know that you will always be in the hearts of all of us.