Creating a Welcoming Culture – The Orientation Moment I Won’t Forget

Hey SK family!

Sabina here, and today I am reminiscing on my Orientation at Fordham University. I was a big-eyed, unsure but excited freshman. Ready for my new adventure at my dream school, but aware of my inexperience, I remember walking into an alcohol ed session one evening of orientation. I entered the big room full of tables and new students, scanning the situation to find where I was supposed to sit. I was looking for cues of what I was supposed to be doing at all, as orientation is often a whirlwind of AM I SUPPOSED TO BE HERE AT THIS TIME?

Then, I heard someone excitedly scream my name from across the room. SABINA SABINA HERE HERE COME SIT WITH ME!

Slightly taken off guard, I looked up to see one of my orientation leaders waving like a maniac at me. I started towards her and ended up steered by someone else to sit at another table.  Not sure how that happened, it was a blur. But I know I could feel her disappointment that I wasn’t next to her instead.

I don’t remember her name, or really what she looked like. (I am awful at remembering things like that.) But I will never ever forget her enthusiasm to include me and make sure I had a place.

My OL knew something all OLs should know – the first job of the orientation team is to make the new school feel like “my school.” She did just that because I felt remembered, important, and liked.

So as you continue your journey as a community leader, don’t forget to make everyone you interact with feel like they are an integral part of the campus.

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