Orientation Summer Follow-up

Although I am still in the honeymoon stage of my relationship with Orientation, I can’t help but to be affectionately reflective on this experience. With all jokes and sappy reflections aside, I have made and solidified some of my strongest relationships that I’ve ever had this summer.

I was fortunate enough to participate in Common Ground this summer. Although my personal Common Ground experience wasn’t the most memorable, I wanted to help facilitate the experience of incoming students. Through the sweat, frustration, and aimless wandering associated with it, I enjoyed every minute of Common Ground. I was given the opportunity to meet even MORE people during each orientation session and explore the city in a way I never have before. In short, I’m pretty well voiced in the Brookline/Coolidge Corner area.

I was also fortunate enough to meet an impressive bunch of students throughout the summer. I was genuinely impressed with these incoming students because of their motivation, their willingness to participate, and their enthusiasm. Many students  already knew what they wanted to after their undergraduate work as well as how they are going to get there. The maturity and motivation associated with this decisiveness was very motivating for me as their peer.

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In addition to the students I was able to work with, I throughly enjoyed the opportunity to work with my colleagues. Initially, I thought that the competitive nature of our interviews and the selectiveness in choosing the appropriate candidates would translate to a competitive nature among the staff. I was entirely wrong. The hostility and the necessity to prove that one was more involved or better than another didn’t even exist. As an orientation family, we bonded as a unit and tackled countless hurdles that came up.

As this summer wains to a close and we reflect on our experience, our time with orientation was not long at all. Despite the abbreviated time with each other, I feel like the relationships I have formed with my colleagues are some of the strongest I have to this day. Looking back, two weeks of training of 12.5 hour days was the concentrated bubble that we needed. This concentrated time transformed us from a few individuals who vaguely knew each other into a family.

Summer staff grew together as a unit, but the growth of each and everyone one of us was also harbored. As an individual, I feel like Orientation has prepared me for professional encounters, but it has also cultivated my conversational skills and my confidence. This is worth its weight in gold. As a result of this experience, I have grown as an individual, I have become a part of a family, I have expanded my professional network, and I would do it all again at the drop of a hat.

…for my Summer Staff peeps…

Across the Pond

Despite my rekindled nationalism (as a result of the Olympics), I’ve never been more content to get out of the country. Recently, I have been accepted to Boston University’s Internship Abroad Program. On September 1st, I’ll be flying to London-Heathrow for a three month stay in South Kensington, London.

The semester in London will be filled with classes, travel, ultimate frisbee, football (soccer), a law internship, concerts and memories. A semester abroad, to me, means growth as an individual in a professional and informal way. Since there is so much in store in London and so much to digest, I will hosting a TRAVEL BLOG on this WordPress site to document everything to reflect on at a later date.


Becoming a Tough Mudder

I have described myself as “aggressively average” in many aspects of my life. In a world in which “capable” is acceptable–and impressive at that–there aren’t many times in life to test the extent of your ability. Six of us decided that the Tough Mudder was the perfect way to test our strength, agility, and mental grit.

On July 15th, we shipped out from Boston to Mt. Snow in Vermont with naive anticipation and a pack of fake mustaches. Our nervous excitement and calls of “OORAH” led us up the first black diamond ski slope with good spirits. Signs reminding us “Remember you signed a Death Waiver” seemed to have little effect on us…until we hit the first obstacle. Energy, fun, and happiness ground to a halt when we reached the Arctic Enema. A dumpster of ice-water maintained at 34 degrees awaited us just over a wooden ramp. Little did we know, a little electric surprise was lurking in the icy depths too.

SHOCK! That was the reoccurring theme of the day for us. Whether it was the shock of cold water, physical strain, or the oh-so-memorable 10,000 volts, our strength, endurance, and reserve was challenged. Titles like the Electric Eel, Arctic Enema, Dark Lightning, Mount Everest and Electro-shock Therapy were meant to intimidate, but we conquered them all with poise and composure.

My personal success in this event is of no importance without the recognition of my teammates. Our group of six split into groups of three for the race. Alex, Will and I bounded up and down the slopes of the mountain together. We helped each other scale 20-foot walls. We provided mental and emotional support for each other and that was worth its weight in gold.  Together, we completed a challenge of more than 10 miles, more than 23 obstacles, freezing water, 10,000 volts, and numerous mental tests in 2 hours and 30 minutes.

This experience was memorable in itself for the amount of trust and confidence I had to put into others. I had to trust that my teammates would look out for me and bring me up when I needed a boost. This event has brought me closer to my teammates and I consider Will and Alex to be my brothers now. When looking back on this event, I regret nothing and loved every minute of it. Will I do it again? Oh yes. You can only keep a Tough Mudder away for so long.

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