Last spring I was asked to be part of the Freshman Orientation panel by Rochelle Mason, Associate Dean of Students. I was asked to be on campus by the 25th of August, and after talking to my parents I was able to change my flight tickets to make it happen. What I did not expect was the floods that happened the week of my leaving for the United States. My passport was still being processed, and the airports had flooded – I eventually emailed Rochelle and Bethany Grubbs, Student Life Specialist, saying that I might not make it in time for the orientation panel. Luckily my dad was able to work miracles and I got my passport back the night before I left. I arrived past midnight on August 25, Sunday. My flight from the Philippines had arrived in LA at 8am, and my original LA > Colorado Springs flight was scheduled for 4pm. Obviously, United Airlines was delayed several times, and we ended up leaving after 8pm – this delay included transferring back and forth between three different gates. In the end, I arrived on campus and slept on my rolled up towel and jacket because it was too late to get my stuff from storage.
I woke up early that Monday morning (August 26th) for the 10am prep meeting with Bethany and my fellow panel members – sophomores Alyssa Ortega and Thabiso Ratalane, fellow junior Emily Spiegel, and seniors Isaac Green and Doron Mitchell. We introduced ourselves and spoke of our involvement on campus in order to determine who would be the best speaker for certain subjects – we only had an hour or so to answer questions, and we didn’t want all six of us to answer each question because we would end up answering just two questions in the end. After the prep meeting we were given a choice between white or black CC polos – we all ended up choosing black, and some of us chose to grab a pair of khaki shorts as well.
I immediately headed off to the Campus Activities fair to find the Honor Council table, and spent roughly an hour answering questions with Mollie Hayden and Mia Buckmiller. Mollie even gave us the official Honor Council t-shirt, which is a royal blue tee with the phrase “Ask me about the Honor Code” written in black on the back.
After an enjoyable lunch with Mollie I spent the rest of the day unpacking and relaxing in my room. It was still swelteringly hot, but my roommate had a desk fan that ended up being a lifesaver. I decided to order some Jimmy John’s sandwiches for dinner, and used my Jimmy John’s iPhone app (I know, I am the the epitome of laziness) to order my favorite: Ham and Cheese Slim with salt & vinegar chips. The order arrived within 20 minutes, and after a delicious meal I decided to watch some YouTube episodes before sleeping early.
I woke up today at 8am to grab some breakfast before heading off to Armstrong Hall. Bethany had asked us to be in the theater by 8:45 for some last minute prep before the 9am panel, so I made sure to bring a bottle of water – I definitely didn’t want to be dehydrated in this heat! We were each given a mike and bottles of water, plus a gift card for King Soopers as a thank you gift from Rochelle. Right before 9am freshmen started trickling in, and I saw many NSO trip leaders with their trippies, probably making sure that everyone attended. Right at 9:05 Bethany gave a short introduction before leaving the theater, making it just us panel representatives, several NSO trip leaders and the class of 2017. After a rapid fire introduction lead by Isaac Green, with details including name, class, hometown, major, favorite fruit, and spirit animal, the 2013 New Student Panel: “How to Succeed at CC: What I Wish I Had Known” was ready to begin!
It took a few false starts before the freshmen were comfortable enough to just yell out questions, but overall it was a great experience. I really enjoyed hearing the answers of other panel members, and we had a variety of questions to answer, from music on campus, to working at The Farm, and even to departments and their professors. By the time 10:15 rolled around, it was time for them to head to the steps of Palmer Hall for their class of 2017 photo, but I’m pretty sure there were at least 3 people who wanted to ask questions before leaving. My favorite question was probably “what is one thing you regret doing while at CC?” because our answers definitely showed how much fun you can have at this college, without the need for alcohol. After the panel I thanked Bethany and Rochelle for the opportunity and headed back to my room in order to spend the last few days of summer relaxing and catching up on my tv shows. It was really fun, but I’m definitely not going to miss waking up early during the summer!