N-S-O-what? When I first applied to become a New Student Orientation Assistant, I had no idea what to expect. The stereotypical NSOA is outgoing, energetic and loud, but the responsibilities go way behind that perception.
The first two days for us NSOAs were full of training in order to facilitate group activities and discussions with the 400 new students that would be embarking upon their college journey. We learned how to become passionate about Eastern Michigan University and how to express our love to the new students. I learned so much about myself throughout training including how well I work with unique individuals, how much I truly love the school I attend, and that I can meet lots of new people if I just put forth effort.
Then, First Four begins! The campus became lively again with the sounds of excitement (from the new students) and sobbing (from the parents who must let their babies go). The night I met my new students changed me as a person. I had to be responsible for 30+ new students and their first experiences on Eastern Michigan University’s campus. With the fear of being judged in the back of my head my strategy was simple: Be myself. I was, and they accepted me as a person and as their friend.
I got to hang out with new students that I might have overlooked if I wasn’t a part of this amazing experience. I can now say I have a group of students who look up to me, come to me with questions, call me their friend, add me on Facebook, want to text/call me and want to spend time together. This, having a life-changing, self-improving, friendship-making, self-discovering and positive experience, my friends, is what college is all about.
Mine was being an NSOA. What’s yours?