Posts Tagged ‘Best in Parade’

Here We Go Back, This Is the Moment

Posted By lindsey on June 27th, 2013
My 45 new Facebook (and real life) friends!

My 45 new Facebook (and real life) friends!

Four weeks ago, I packed up my white Toyota and went on my way to orientation for the second time. (Secretly paraphrasing our awesome motivational speaker right there) Pulling onto campus, I found myself heading into a place different than what I had left a week prior. The entire student body had left, leaving 45 students behind in Willow eager to train and prepare to introduce around 1,200 students and their families to their new home away from home. Not knowing what to expect, and wondering if this summer could live up to the experience I had prior, I was quick to sit back and observe the new staff dynamic. Immediately I noticed that our staff had done a 180-degree shift from the year before to this one, and honestly I was a little overwhelmed. Though people rarely believe me when I say this, I am naturally introverted. Walking into a room with 45 peers, many of whom I had never met prior made me nervous, even as a returning orientation advisor who was expected to know what they were doing.

However, I quickly learned that there was nothing wrong with the experience being different, in fact the opportunity given to us as a team to motivate, challenge and form connections with 45 diverse individuals was extremely valuable!! Slowly I got to know each orientation advisor, and it was one of the best decisions ever. So I sit here a month later, becoming less shy day by day and realizing that I will walk away from this experience next week with 45 more students on campus that are more than just Facebook friends. Orientation is hands down one of the best, most rewarding experiences I have had at RWU!!

Rockin' our new Orientation gear

Rockin’ our new Orientation gear

 

I say all of this because I think it is important to know that college is an opportunity to encounter differences, learn from them and step out of your comfort zone. Without obstacles to overcome it seems impossible to gain enough experience to grow. Your time at RWU will rapidly become the most challenging, exciting and best four years of your educational career — and I can comfortably say that after just two. The challenges end up being the best experiences without a doubt. The university not only gives you endless opportunities to challenge yourself, but to do absolutely anything you want to do before graduating. It’s amazing.

 

Though orientation definitely keeps us going, even after we have welcomed all of the members of the class of 2017, our o-team is still busy. With just one week until Bristol’s infamous 4th of July parade (and their celebrations are already underway!) we are busily working on the float, ready to defend our Best in Parade title for the third year. *Fingers Crossed* Though, I am not at liberty to discuss what our theme is, come check it out next week when it is unveiled to the public! I know I can speak for our entire team when I say we are thrilled at how it has come out, but there is still a lot of work to be done. Third time’s a charm!
As if orientation isn’t busy enough, my CEN co-chair and I are busily working on opening weekend. It’s difficult because she is experiencing an amazing opportunity in Africa, so contact is limited, but we are both preparing to make this one of the best 1,2,3 weekends the campus has seen. Shoot for the stars, right?! This new position is difficult, and I still have a lot to learn, but I have been working towards this since I was a freshman, so to finally have this opportunity is amazing. And, I hear I have an amazing committee to help create extraordinary events for us every step of the way.

Sneak peek at our float...

Sneak peek at our float…

Happy summer!!!!!!!!

Posted in Summer 2013
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It’s Not “Goodbye”… Just “See You Later”

Posted By lindsey on July 12th, 2012

First, please accept my apologies for not writing as soon as orientation was over. The last week of orientation was without a doubt a memorable one, and since I have been home I have found myself missing 45 of my new best friends or trying to catch up on my lack of sleep. I haven’t been 100% sure about what I want to write about, but the more I wait the more I forget the little details of that week, so here it goes!

On June 24th, six OAs and two professional staff members ventured with Swoop to Fenway Park! It was Rhode Island appreciation day and Swoop, along with the Salve Regina mascot were invited to go to the Red Sox game and also go onto the field with Wally the Green Monster. Even though I have lived in New England my entire life, I had never been to a Red Sox get let alone gone on the actual field! Without a doubt, that was the best first Red Sox game at Fenway that I could have possibly experienced. Go Sox!

Me & Swoop at Fenway Park

Me & Swoop at Fenway Park

RWU at Fenway

RWU at Fenway

Thursday of that week was our last themed dinner. The last dinner we all have together is formal, and this year we were lucky enough to have it at Leo’s. The evening was full of harmless mischief (if you ever meet Sean Thompson, ask what we did to him when he gave a speech… here’s a hint “#swag”), laughter, tears and an OA version of “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion.

523438_10150952959061785_813397572_nLater that week, after all of our orientations were over, we took the trolley (yes…. I do mean the trolley) and a shuttle up to the Wrentham outlets and then continued on to our vice presidents house for a pool party. I am happy to say that 45 of us got in and out of there without breaking anything (or stealing the adorable dog…)! To top off an eventful day, everyone piled back in the trolley and shuttle and started the drive back to RWU, with a much needed pit stop at Eskimo King. :)

We spent our last weekend on campus working on our Fourth of July float. In 2011 it won Best in Parade and considering Bristol has the oldest Fourth of July celebrations in the country, there was no pressure to win it again. Ha. Though sometimes working on the float seemed tedious, and there was always a desire to do everything perfectly, the end result was phenomenal.

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The float outside of Cedar Hall

What do I mean by phenomenal? I mean that we were all outside the float and ready to go by 5:45 in the morning that way we could get to Colt State Park in time to be considered for judging. Even though that didn’t start for another couple of hours, we were anxiously awaiting the arrival of the judges and most importantly the results. And then the time came…

The judges finished analyzing every float and came to decisions on awards. At this point we were all standing around our float watching to see what everyone else was winning since the judges just “skipped” over us making it seem like we didn’t win anything. Rumor has it they just happened to “skip” over the float last year as well. We didn’t want to get our hopes up, but after hours of working on the float all we wanted to do was bring back Best in Parade to the university for a second year. And guess what….? WE DID IT!!!! I am pretty convinced that our excitement was so loud that we woke up anyone in the area who wasn’t awake yet, and made every one around us think we were crazy… but that’s okay, right?! :)

BEST IN PARADE!

BEST IN PARADE!

522152_10151257380694689_194582530_nAfter that we walked in the parade with 125,000 people lining the streets, which is one of the coolest things that I have ever done. 3.1 miles later and it was over, which meant that orientation was also over and once we took apart the float we were “free to move about the cabin…” All that there was left to do was pack…

However, we needed to get one last adventure in before going our separate ways. I don’t actually know exactly where the nine of us went, so I suppose it’s a good thing that I trusted who we were following. All I do know is that it involved wandering through the woods at night and cliffs. Yes, I know none of what I just said sounded like a good idea, but it turned into one of the best nights of my summer. These cliffs had at least a 180 degree view of the bay, but probably even more than that. It was pretty warm out on the fourth, so as we sat on the cliffs we saw so many beautiful sights. On one side of the bay was heat lightning that was so intense you could see more than just flashes, but streaks of lightning that reflected onto the bay. Across from the heat lightning on the other side of the bay was an orange rising moon that was moving at such a fast pace that it almost seemed like you could actually see it in motion. Between Tiverton, RI and the power plant in Fall River, MA (so all around the bay) were multiple fireworks shows. At one point we could pinpoint at least seven different shows going on at once in different towns, along with random fireworks here and there. Heat lightning, fireworks and an orange moon all reflecting on the bay at once… there is no other way I could have imagined ending the Fourth of July and my five weeks in Rhode Island. It’s times like these that I wish I had a camera that took pictures of exactly what I saw, that way I could show just how unbelievable it really was.

Overall, yes I was at school because it was my job. And yes my job was to make incoming freshmen and their families feel welcome and comfortable coming to our university. That itself was rewarding, but I didn’t originally expect my summer to be so much more than that. Everyday was a new adventure, and there were always surprises hidden around every corner. I finally understood what every past Orientation Advisor had told me about what it was like being an OA. It meant that I was going to have the best summer of my life, and that I was going to leave the experience with 45 best friends and more connections to the university than ever before. And you know what, being an OA was just that… the time of my life.

Have an amazing summer and I’ll be back soon!

Posted in Summer 2012
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