Now some of you might be thinking that frosh is so far away that it isn’t relevant to talk about now, but let me just tell you that (from experience) frosh time creeps up on us way faster than you would imagine. Back in high school I remember I used to dread when the calendar would strike September, but since starting university I’ve found it to be such an exciting time.
Coming back downtown and being reunited with friends, starting new courses with a fresh slate, and of course having a week where I get to show off my New College pride (while subsequently losing my voice…each year, without fail) makes September an awesome time to be a Gnu (for those of you who don’t know, the official NC mascot is a Gnu!).
Frosh is definitely my favourite New College event of the whole year. It is so exciting and I love being able to welcome the incoming froshies into our New College community.
My first year as a leader: Jungle themed Frosh 2010. My group was called Gnu Manji
This week I had the opportunity to meet up with two people who might just be more into frosh than I am (which is definitely saying something!). I did an interview with the orientation co-chairs for 2012, Laurel Chester and Sam Kohn to learn a little bit about them and also to get some insight on next year’s frosh week.
Meet your orientation chairs! Laurel on the left, and Sam on the right.
The New: What inspired you to run for orientation chair?
Sam Kohn: I knew that I would spend a lot of my summer preparing and trying to get my peers ready for frosh. I kept on going up to people I thought would make good orientation chairs and talking this big game, and I finally thought “Why don’t I just do it?” I was going to put in so much time and effort anyway, so why not formalize it and set up infrastructure for years to come.
Laurel Chester: There’s such an energy that comes from being a part of orientation. Lots of interesting developmental things happening for incoming students and those who are already here, and I really wanted to be part of shaping that process. I get a warm and fuzzy feeling knowing that people want to be part of the community. I credit orientation for a lot of my involvement here and for showing me the doorways to go and participate and get involved. I want to help other people find those doors.
TN: I know that you just finished hiring your team – what did you look for in individuals when choosing execs, leaders and troopers?
LC: Passionate people, energy, spirit. Commitment to and knowledge of the New College community.
SK: Commitment, will, role models.
TN: If you had to pick just one thing, what would you say is or has been your absolute favourite part of frosh?
LC: I think in terms of events, I like the parade. A lot of the week is spent focused on college spirit, and one of the last events is the parade and you get to participate as part of your college but also the greater U of T community. You get to feel that you are a community that’s part of a larger community. Also during orientation we’re given so many opportunities to get involved, I just like to see all those opportunities. We have over 400 clubs here, which is insane.
SK: I like to see people grow. That’s what I really like. When people are involved with frosh from year to year, it’s sort of like drawing a line on your cupboard door every Christmas to measure how tall you’ve grown, so it’s kind of like measuring your annual growth from year to year through university.
TN: What’s the best piece of advice you would give to me if I was an incoming froshie for 2012?
LC: Go to orientation. Flat out. I think there are so many opportunities to get involved and it teaches you so much about the University and the College system. It also introduces you to resources- from things like who your registrar is, to where to find good food on campus. You’re at University to learn, but the only place to learn isn’t necessarily the lecture hall. Find a club, take a dance class, it’s about the experience not just the classes, which is something that sometimes gets lost because we go to a big, competitive school.
SK: I agree wholeheartedly. I think when we say to 18 year olds that “this is a week of fun yeaaa” and they get here and realize that meeting new people is hard. No matter what, orientation is a difficult time. It’s hard to come to a new place and meet new people. Everyone is in the same boat and the orientation team understands that, and is ready to support new students through the experience. Its fun because it’s a challenge, not because it’s easy.
To all readers coming to U of T in September: I would also strongly advise you to fully participate in frosh. It was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life, and as I’m sure you can tell, this year’s orientation is in very capable hands
FYI: Frosh this year will be starting the day after Labour Day (September 4th 2012). If you have any questions, comments, concerns, or just want to talk, send an email to Sam and Laurel at email@example.com
Reppin Green&Gold since ‘09