It’s been a while since I have last uploaded a blog, and to be honest, I missed this! Now that I’m a sophomore, I feel like I’ve come full circle, going from the wide-eyed, curious freshman to the experienced, advice-giving sophomore. Going from Orientation mentee to Orientation mentor.
Last year, during Orientation week, I absolutely loved my First Year Mentor (FYM) group. Some of my fondest memories are from Orientation week. During O-week, I didn’t think much of the whole set-up as I was just going along for the ride, following the group.
However, being on the other side of things, I realized how much work actually goes into Orientation. As mentors, we had to receive hours of training on different resources here on campus, as well as what to do in different situations.
At first, I felt kind of overwhelmed. How am I going to take care of 17 freshman by myself? But, as the days got closer to the freshman arriving, I slowly started to feel more prepared, even excited!
The fact that I was actually a sophomore really hit me was when we all helped them move in. I remember it like it was yesterday. My parents and I were pulling up in front of Char Mar with a car-load of luggage. In the distance, I could hear shouts and cowbells from a crowd of people wearing blue polos, welcoming us. Flashback to now, I was now part of the welcoming crowd, greeting freshman, and cheering for them.
During O-Week, it was really rewarding and a learning process for me. I had to make sure everyone in the group was present, signed in, and doing okay. Also, I had to take them to different trainings as well as lead some.
One of the best parts was getting to hear my group’s thoughts on different topics and discussions as well as getting to know each and every one of them better as the week went on. From all sitting on the field as strangers, to walking the streets of Little Italy, in the short week, we had become a tight-knit group.
All in all, as I answered questions about Hopkins and student life throughout the week, I realized two things. The first thing was that they had a lot of the same questions that I did coming in, and I was glad that I could relieve some worry for them and answer as many as I could. The second thing was I realized that the hard times and struggles I went through last year were not all for nothing. Because of them, I was better able to advise the incoming freshman and help them not make the same mistakes that I did.
Being an FYM was an absolutely amazing experience, and I got to learn a lot about what goes on behind the scenes of Orientation. I loved being able to mentor a group of freshman, as I got to return the favor for my incredible Orientation experience as a mentee.