As the emails from Dean Kilpatrick have been flooding in about applying to be a Student Orientation Staff (SOS) member, I can't help but be excited for those considering the position. Applying to be a SOS member for the summer of 2016 was a great decision and led to some of my favorite memories from Lycoming so far. Through SOS, I have learned many new leadership skills, gained lifelong friends, and was able to meet mostly everyone in the class of 2020!
The main reason I applied to be a SOS member was that I wanted to ensure that all incoming students are comfortable when they first enter campus. When I was a freshman walking into Lycoming for my orientation, I was extremely nervous. I didn't know anyone at the time, and I was afraid that I would be too loud or obnoxious (because let's be honest, I'm always loud and obnoxious) and wouldn't fit into the community. But from the very beginning, the SOS leaders brought a sense of excitement and put themselves out there, not caring if people were judging them and I fell in love with that. I loved how they tried to make all of the students come out of their comfort zones and approach Lycoming with an open mind. From the moment I saw all the SOS leaders running around with smiles on their faces, I knew that one day, I wanted to be a part of the process.
Through SOS, I learned that I am not the only leader on campus and it's okay to share responsibilities. Working with other SOS members really taught me to share our abilities and work together to accomplish the goals of the day. Learning to let go and trust another person with the responsibility of guiding the new students was an eye-opening experience for me, and has helped me out with other jobs as well.
SOS is also another group of people to call your family. I met some of my closest friends through the training process (shout out to Erik Homberger for being my partner for our first training activity!). SOS is a very serious job, but in a different way. Throughout training we bonded as a group while learning new tactics for every situation to ensure that we can work as a well-oiled machine on the big days (aka each summer orientation session). Through time we became very close, to the point where we ended up getting dinner together and went to see a movie the night before our orientation (Finding Dory), even though we only got five hours of sleep. We even went to one of the staff members' house for a pool party!
SOS is an important job on campus and throughout the preparation, training, and work days, I learned a lot about my leadership skills and about new people on campus. Not only does SOS allow you to bond with the incoming freshman, but it also opens doors to learn about other people in the Lycoming Community. I am forever grateful to have participated, and I highly suggest you look into the position!
Find out what you need to do to attend your own orientation session! Or, come visit us for the day to learn more.