July 24, 2012 by Sofia Chabolla
To all incoming students – Freshmen & Transfers:
By now you have all received your housing assignments and roommates. I hope you are all gearing up for college and Move-in on August 24th! As a current member of the Tribe and one of the Orientation Aides (OAs) for this fall (get ready Jefferson Hall – it’s going to be EPIC), I want to welcome you to the William & Mary community and let you know how excited we ALL are to meet you.
Since my own freshman Move-in to Yates in 2010, Orientation has become my favorite time of year. I now wait for Move-in with excitement and anticipation along with all the other yellow-shirt clad OAs. But let me tell you, I did not always have the urge to dance and cheer when I heard any reference to Orientation. Before my time in Williamsburg started, I was nervous about taking the next big step in my life. I was worried about meeting the girls on my hall, saying goodbye to my family, and living in a dorm room with some random. I had heard from my sister about her summer orientation at UNC Chapel Hill, and from my friends at UF and FSU back home, but the 5 day orientation at W&M was an altogether different beast. It was daunting and I was scared.
So to all incoming students, I want to let you know that the beginning of your college experience is going to be incredible. Yes, there will be a little bit of nerves on your first day, but that is normal, and everything will work itself out. We Orientation Aides, as well as the entire William & Mary community, will be here for you- welcoming you into our Tribe family. We are so excited to meet the students who will continue the legacy of W&M and will be your support, guides, and friends for the next 4 years. And for the record, I had no need to be scared my freshmen year. The girls that were on my hall are the absolute sweetest, and my random roommate is now my best friend – roomz, you know who you are.
So what exactly happens during Orientation – secret rituals and rites of passage? Obviously. We all dress in black capes and chant in Latin for a week. With candles. And incense.
No, I’ll be serious. The analogy that I have heard a lot – and is really the only thing that fits – is that Orientation is basically a 5 day summer camp. Though with a few less Lindsey Lohans, ear piercing sessions, and isolation cabins than you would see in The Parent Trap. We start off on the 24th with Move-in day. You, your parents, and hundreds of student volunteers in “We Sweat for You” t-shirts have a few hours in the lovely Williamsburg humidity to make your new dorm room your home. Then, once everything is in your room, the fun begins! Hall Cheers are rife, President (T-Reves) Reveley becomes your new idol, and you have over 26 new hall mates and best friends. But I don’t want to spoil all the details. Let’s just say that the Orientation staff has packed your schedule with a balance of information sessions, mixers with other halls, Tribe traditions, and free stuff! We will make sure that class registration runs smoothly, that you sign up for way too many clubs at the Activities Fair, and that you know your Tribe lingo. We’re big on the abbreviations here.
So with that little Orientation teaser (I wish I could get a man with a deep voice to read this aloud to you like in some action-packed Summer Blockbuster trailer. “IN A WORLD…” Maybe my next blog post?) – get ready for college!! William & Mary is awaiting your arrival. I can’t wait to meet you all on the 24th. I’ll be the one in the highlighter yellow t-shirt.
Please let me know if you have any questions about the move-in process, Orientation, or freshman year! Ask anything in the comments below (or send me an email!) and I will share all of W&M’s deep, dark secrets. That’s what I’m here for.
One Tribe, One Family,
P.S. If you noticed my really cool Game of Thrones reference in this blog title, you will fit in well at W&M. I keep it classy.