Orientation Week 2013

Reason #28 why I love Franklin:
An orientation week that puts any other university's orientation to shame.

Seriously! How many incoming college freshmen can say that as part of their orientation they went hiking in the Swiss mountainside, jumped into a glacial river, explored castles and ate copious amounts of delicious fondue/gelato/pizza? It just doesn't get much better than this.

And I was lucky enough to attend orientation for the second time in 2 years! No, I didn't flunk my Freshmen year. I applied and was selected to be an Orientation Mentor aka OM. Basically the job of an OM is to help design and facilitate all things orientation! We are assigned small groups of about ten incoming students whom we get to know on a personal level and spend a lot of time with during orientation. Within these orientation groups we lead campus tours, have group discussions on safety, time management, academics, Swiss culture, travel etc. After orientation week we primarily are a willing resource for them and a friend. Best job ever! (read more about this years OMs here) Plus, I got to come back to Lugano in early August for a week of leadership training prior to orientation week. I've got to be honest, it was a LOT of work. Long days, long meetings and lots of prep to be done for the week. But it was so worth it! We pulled off an incredibly well organized, informative, and fun orientation!

Highlights of Training:
-- an afternoon at the ropes course that emphasized leadership, friendship, and fun!
-- a fabulous group of individuals which I get the privilege of calling my fellow OMs (and friends!)
-- plus hanging with the RAs (Residence Assistants) and AMs (Academic Mentors) who also joined us at the ropes course.
photo credit for ropes course images ↕ goes to the talented Pierre Garcia (franklin photographer)
And then all of the sudden Orientation Week was upon us!
Highlights of Orientation:
-- getting up at 5am to ride a bus to Zurich so that I (and three other OMs) could greet the incoming students off the group flight with posters + help load their luggage!
-- giving a 3+ hour long tour of downtown Lugano. This year we included so much information that I wish I would have received my freshmen year about things like banks, phones, buses, grocery store etiquette, etc. And just in case you missed it, I will be sure to blog about some of this info soon.
-- leading a group of 25+ students to Bellinzona to spend the day exploring castles (not to mention the kebabs + gelato which were consumed as well)
-- having the best orientation group ever! Shout out to whoever in my group reads the blog! If you mention this post I will give you an extra cookie at our meeting on Sunday ;)
-- and of course our Valle Verzasca excursion!

PS want to see more photos of orientation week? check out the Franklin College Facebook page and look at this album.


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