Phat Do spent last summer as an Orientation Leader, welcoming all of our incoming freshmen to TCU. These are his hilarious and unexpected
perks of being an Orientation Leader:
- You’ll never be late for your 8AM again
I’ll admit it. I have a love-hate relationship with my 8AM class (assuming my 8AM loves me). But fear not, for I’ll no longer be late for my 8AM again. Orientation always starts at 7AM, and believe it or not, after two months of crawling out of bed (sometimes falling out of bed, on purpose of course), I now already master the art of waking up at 6:30 even without an alarm.
- You can lost longer through lectures
I used to have an attention deficit problem. And I used to complain that my two-hour chemistry lecture was brutal. Now I chuckle at my own naivety. After Orientations, no way can I fall asleep to long lectures anymore. I’ve been trained to open my eyes when my soul left me after 12 sessions of the same (SAME!!!) lecture materials in just one month. Even better, I have to stay awake to walk around and pat the shoulders of equally struggling people in the ballroom. And if you ever receive a pat from me, don’t be embarrassed, because I totally feel you. And if you feel overwhelmed, trust me; your OL was feeling the same way too. But however tired we may feel or however repetitive the lectures may be, we were putting on a brave face, just for you!
- You’ll get free musical theater lessons
For artistically UNinclined people like me, I’ll never dare to put my face on the stage. I’m scared of anything to do with art, from drawing to dancing. Even my little nephew told
me my stick figures looked ugly, and my chicken dance was as confused as Psyduck. Yes, I am that bad, and now, I had to perform on stage, to a group of more than 200 people, not once but twelve times?! I am more than prepared to play a role in the skit, to sing my guts out, and to stand tall and proud as my name was introduced to the students and their family. Because of Orientation, I can finally put stage fright behind me.
- You can lose some extra pounds
Being on the Orientation Staff is like winning an Unlimited Pass to the Rec Center. If you are still finding it hard to believe, I’ll show you our daily workouts. Like a routine, the staff always started off the day with a cardio exercise called “Smash It.” It’s a signature dance aka workout move invented by some genius Horned Frogs who felt the need of destruction: “I say we smash it, and flip it and rub it down…”
(Watch the crazy cheer here: https://www.facebook.com/TCUTexasChristianUniversity/videos/10156966899205065/)
Honestly, I still have no idea what the lyrics mean or why there’s a destruction song in the first place, but hey, bouncing around did get my blood pumping in the early mornings. And as a complement to the cardio, long-distance walks to various buildings on campus helps trim down the excess fat. I can guarantee you from personal experience, the fastest way to lose some pounds, beside Brexit, is joining Orientation. After just one month, I lost 2 lbs, an incredible and unprecedented feat that has never occurred before. It’s like magic.
- You’ll learn how to always wear a smile
An OL is always smiling, like a Disney character. An OL’s role is making everyone happy, and that process begins with a smile. Admittedly, it is very hard to smile 24/7 every hour every day. So I thought of a personal way to inspire me to smile everyday however the circumstances: I always assume myself a Disney character each of my Orientation session. For example, on the day I overslept, I thought I was Goofy, with his typical “lost” expression, head-scratch, and dreamy eyes. Thinking of myself a fictional character who is lovable despite his goofiness lets me forgive myself and my mistakes and start my day anew! In the rainy days, smiling to lost students can be harder. So in one particular downpour, I looked to a lost student, thinking myself a Nemo showing Dory on where to go. For the other parts of my summer, I was Jimmy Cricks, the rock star version of Jiminy Crickets. Like Crickets, I walked around the campus singing, whistling and smiling to everyone I walked by. Whatever weather conditions, the entire Orientation staff including myself tries our best to welcome you on this amazing campus we call home.
I hope through this blog post, you get a glimpse of your Orientation Leaders’ daily life. I hope you will love Orientation as much as we do, and I so look forward to seeing y’all on campus this Fall semester, Class of 2021!
Phat Do is a sophomore biochemistry major from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. In addition to being an Orientation Leader, he is the President of the GO Center, a member of the Chancellor’s Leadership Program, a peer writing consultant, and a member of the Vietnamese Student Association.