For those of you who don’t know this already, I love social media. So #lethnso (like #jtl11) was the hashtag used on Twitter by students, parents, spouses, volunteers, and ULeth staff alike to link all the tweets about this year’s New Student Orientation!!
I was lucky enough to volunteer this year, mostly with registration – though I did get to videotape the last little bit of the speeches on Thursday. I got to see so many smiling faces, and the excitement was contagious. I couldn’t help but soak up the energy of all the incredible first years who came out to NSO this year – all 800 of them! I got to meet some incredible people, answer some questions, steal some awesome bandannas and generally bum around in my (awesome) bright yellow ULeth “Volunteer” shirt.
I’m not sure how NSO has worked in the past (this being my very first NSO), but I thought it was phenomenally well done. Students coming in chose one of six registration lines, mostly for speed. But depending on the line chosen, they were assigned a different colour bandanna and two unique NSO mentors, veteran students with a passion for the U who cracked me up throughout the whole day. Once the students were in smaller groups of about 100-130, it was easier to meet people and get to know your mentor. I thought this was just a great idea, because all 12 of the mentors were unreal amounts of fun. They led the students through nightly activities, to dinner and through the next day’s events. The whole thing was so well planned and so much fun.
So whether you’re new or not, I recommend getting out to any of these events in the future, whether as a participant or a volunteer. NSO my first year (about a hundred years ago, it feels like) was very different from the way it’s set up now. I didn’t go, and though I don’t regret it, I very much wish it had been as epic as it was this year! So don’t miss out! I promise you, whether you’re a fresh-faced newbie or an old, jaded fifth year, you will have an absolute ball. You’ll get excited, you’ll learn new things, meet new people and get ready for what the next however-many years will bring you!!