This year I decided to become a team leader for the freshman orientation for Duquesne. Although orientation was awkward and nerve-racking as I’m sure it is for every freshman, I had a lot of fun at orientation and the team leaders did such a good job getting me excited about being a part of Duquesne that I really wanted to try to do that for someone else.
So, I did all my paperwork and interviews, got accepted as a team leader, hitched up the wagons a week early and headed back to help this years freshmen get acquainted with the university.
Being a team leader is great. Its high energy, its fun, and its rewarding. You get to go to all the orientation events, like the comedians and dances, you get to move in when no one else is, and you get to be the first one to make an impression on all the new faces of Duquesne.
That is, after you get them all moved in first. All 1500 or so.
I don’t think freshmen move in is fun for anyone. Orientation chair people spend the day dealing with traffic, road rage, and broken items. Team leaders deal with pushing around an endless number of carts, waiting in long lines, and cramming into tiny elevators. Parents deal with their own emotions or losing their child and their strange expectations that they are paying all this money to send their kid here, so they should get special treatment (we all pay almost the same!) and freshmen deal with awkwardly meeting roommates, their parents blowing up, their own emotions of leaving their family and staying in a strange place, and their disappointment with a tiny dorm. It’s an emotionally charged day and we are in the middle of it.
As team leaders, we are instructed to keep things as light as possible. Do chants, cheers, smile, hob knob with the freshmen and over all try to keep things exciting and happy for the new student. At the beginning of the day, its easy. We’re amped and excited, charged on caffeine and adrenaline from bogging. But after 5 hours of countless cars, countless comforters, and smelling bad, it started to get old. I also, however, started noticing some trends about people.
- girls never pack less than 2 carts full of things.
- boys never pack more than 1 cart full of things
- mothers never stay at the car to help pack the 2nd cart, even though they will be right behind us in the elevator line
- girls really don’t want their fathers around on move in day
- mothers really don’t want their husbands around on move in day
- poor fathers/husbands don’t know what to do on move in day. They break down boxes and sit in the lounge congratulating each other on their daughters going to Duquesne
- mothers are more pissed about St. Martin’s tiny rooms than the kids are
- the parents set up the freshmen’s dorm room. The kids have no say until after they leave
- The kids really aren’t thinking about the classes that start in a week. So a parent asking what the best strategy for classes are and trying to force their kid into listening is hitting a brick wall.
- The elevator is my friend. I’d rather be his friend than be on HL crew (heavy lifting! Don’t laugh, its our elevator cheer!)
By the end, I started getting text messages from Lance saying he was down at school and wanting to hang out. Of course then I was agnsting to get out. I’ve been waiting for him to be down here for so long, but now suddenly I’ve started getting nervous too. Our whole relationship he has been in high school, with the same people, and I’m not a real fan of change, so I have a million crazy insecurities flying through my head. Better yet, his parents were extremely strict in school (read: controlling) so I haven’t exactly seen any of his own decisions. And honestly, for you mothers of boys, I’ve yet met a good, well-behaved freshmen boy. Most go through their first year in a drunken stupor, waking up in the hall way or in some random girls bed. Needless to say, this is the make it or break it year for us, and although he’s never given me any reason to doubt him, I’m still nervous.
Today is another fun-filled day of, you guessed it, moving in freshman from 11-4. Let’s go Dukes!