When I arrived at Laurier on the first day of Orientation week, I was scared. I was far away from home, surrounded by people I didn’t know, and living on my own for the first time. I couldn’t help feeling like I was in over my head. Fortunately, this did not last long.
My parents and I pulled up to my residence, where we were greeted by enthusiastic student volunteers, who helped us unload all my bags and boxes into my new room, and cheered when they discovered that I had been assigned to their team, the Blue Knights.
Later that afternoon, my floor-mates and I were bused to the Waterloo Recreational Centre, where our team had supper and got to know each other better. Then, after much cheering and clapping, the opening ceremonies began. This was just the beginning of what would turn out to be one of the craziest and most memorable weeks of my life.
I am so glad that Laurier has a week for first year students to get used to their new life, as opposed to some schools that have their students dive right into classes during the first week. The week helped me to feel at home at Laurier. I made new friends, had a lot of fun, and most importantly, I learned what it means to be a Laurier student.
Laurier students have endless enthusiasm and school spirit. The ‘cheer-off’’ on Friday afternoon couldn’t have exemplified this better. Each team came up with creative and entertaining cheers to show off their team spirit, like the Green Vikings’ recreation of a Viking ship, and the Blue Knights’ ‘Sword in the Stone’ cheer. In spite of the fact that I had almost completely lost my voice and couldn’t cheer very loudly, I still found myself getting into the spirit when it was the Blue Knights’ turn to cheer. When the Blue Knights won the ‘cheer-off,’ I couldn’t help but feel proud.
The Friday night talent show proved that Laurier students are creative, talented, and unique people. In just three days, each of the teams managed to throw together an exciting show. There was a wide range of different acts, from dancing, to rapping, to some disturbingly realistic impressions. I was stunned when one performer actually split an apple in half with his hands.
Shinerama showed me that Laurier students care about others, and are willing to work to make a difference. The annual fundraiser for Cystic Fibrosis was an amazing experience, despite an early wake-up call. So many students came out and worked together, shining shoes or car windows, singing songs, dancing, playing guitar, doing hula hoop tricks…ANYTHING to get donations to help cure CF. I was thrilled to find that we had actually surpassed our goal by quite a bit.
To me, Orientation week was a blur of cheers, games, new people, new experiences, early mornings, and late nights. I don’t think there’s anyone who wasn’t exhausted by the end of the week. Still, it was worth it: a once-in-a-lifetime experience that showcased what Laurier is all about.