Confessions of an Orientation Leader

Kristy Moua, Features Editor 

Many know me for being an orientation leader over the summer of 2019, but I am so much more than that. I am a student, sister, daughter, friend and the list continues to go on. My status on campus goes beyond being an orientation leader, but because of the occupation I chose, some of the student body views me as an orientation leader. I am greeted by others with a mention of the orientation work I have done and I am asked by others if I was an orientation leader. Being acknowledged for my past occupation still happens today, even though summer was eight months ago. Do not get me wrong, I am proud of the work that I have brought into the team, appreciative of the dedication my bosses have shown, and thankful that this job opportunity has allowed me to grow in ways I could not imagine. But I am done with that chapter of my life. In order to heal and move onwards, I have chosen to leave that job journey behind me, and this whole year, I have been struggling to find peace in myself.

Working for the university, and honestly working for any institution, you realize the beauty and flaws of the systems around you. Being an orientation leader comes with many responsibilities and tribulations. From waking up at 6:30am every morning for Auggie Days to always having to smile, as an orientation leader you are put to the test on how energetic, motivated, and kind you have to be. Even when the students don’t show up and or there are sudden changes to the schedule, you are always meant to move on, and sometimes there is not a chance to reflect on an incident. As an orientation leader, you have to find time to seek your own solitude. As an orientation leader, you have to make sure you are feeling your best and if you aren’t, you have to try. 

This past year, I have been reclaiming my solitude, mainly by reflecting on the incidents when I was upset about how things turned out, feeling abandoned by those I needed to help me, and how the systems of the world chaotically intersected with one another. It was very difficult to start school on an energetic, positive beat right after the intensive week-long series of events and discussions. I wondered to myself, throughout my journey of emotional healing, if this line of work was one of the reasons why I couldn’t find peace or motivation for almost the whole school year. And it is true: the burnout of being an orientation leader has been one of the aspects affecting me as a student. It was not until recently I had fully come to recognize this truth, but I am glad I have recognized it. I found healing through talking about it with my friends and family. I found healing in realizing that I could not change what happened and that all I can do is move on. I found healing in writing, crying and laughing. I am looking forward to the other opportunities that are yet to arrive in my life.