While a lot of people look forward to summertime because of vacations that are planned or some time off, I’m pretty much the complete opposite. Ever since I became an Orientation Leader yeeeeears ago, I’ve worked like crazy all summer, every summer. Not much sleep, lots of miles walked across campus, thousands of questions answered, and years of wonderful memories.
OL Retreat has grown into one of my favorite parts of the summer. Again, lots of sweat and little sleep, but it is soooo worth it to get to know my amazing staff even better. These students have such varied backgrounds, interests, majors, strengths and perspectives, but they end the summer as a family. And this is where it begins. This is where those soft spots in their hearts get shared. Where they overcome fears. Where they block out the distractions of the rest of the world and focus on each other. Some of my dearest friends are those I worked with during those early orientation summers, and it warms my heart to know that these students might just end up building relationships that land them in each other’s weddings, and in their lives for years and years to come.
This is where they start to see what the summer really holds for them, and I love to be there to witness it. They learn about and from each other, and those bonds begin to form. It may sound cheesy, but it really is magical. I can’t wait to see what this summer holds for this group because y’all, they are already impressing me.
Right now I’m at retreat in the thick of things and wishing for a venti skinny vanilla latte, but I’m craving that coffee with a smile on my face. I’m smiling because I’m here with this group – my group – and we’re beginning what will be an amazing summer of not much sleep, lots of miles walked across campus, thousands of questions answered, and thousands of wonderful memories.