This is just a little post about why I love New Student Orientation week, or NSO. I wanted to show the other side of an NSO experience, and why six years later, I still love Stanford and want to thank the NSO coordinators and volunteers for all their hard work and energy.
NSO Volunteers looking exhausted.
Hang in there NSO Volunteers! You are what makes NSO great!
A sea of frosh and parents at Opening Convocation today.
When I was a freshmen, back in 2002 (yeah, I’m getting dated…’06!), I remember vividly driving up University Avenue for the first time with my dad in his big truck. All my things were piled in the back and spilling over into my lap. I anxiously held onto my orientation materials, and just to be sure of things, I quickly reviewed my housing info as we drove closer and closer to Palm Drive. Suddenly I realized — I had forgotten to accept my housing agreement over the summer! An important looking paper stared back at me without a signature and an overdue return date. I started crying. I was so stressed out. I thought, maybe I won’t have a place to live! Maybe my first week at school will just fall to pieces in a logistical nightmare! (I had no idea how anything worked… I was a freshman, for God’s sake!)
117th Opening Convocation Ceremony in the Main Quad.
So, my dad and I went (to the best of our knowledge) to the dorm I THOUGHT I was going to live in. Finding Burbank (my frosh dorm) was incredibly hard for first time campus visitors, and it was probably the most stressful and achingly painful half-hour of driving, getting lost, and finally parking in Wilbur lot (which, btw is currently a big hole in the ground…). By the time I sighted my dorm, I was in tears and disheartened to the core.
Yet, when I stepped out of the truck and began timidly walking toward the table of RAs, I was greeted with a huge yell and scream: “MEGAN!!! Welcome to Stanford!!!” In a flash, all my anxiety was transformed. They knew me! They expected me! I was so happy I could explode. (I guess that housing agreement form wasn’t all that important anyway…)
From then on, my first week at Stanford was the best week of my life. I met my best friend, Ryan, I met my future (and current) musical collaborator and band-mate, Carlos, I ran gleefully with the LSJUMB on band-run, forged friendly rivalries with neighboring dorms, threw paper at FLiCKS, got joyfully lost on many occasions, and overall, fell madly in love with Stanford.
As you can see, almost six years later, I’m still here – that’s how much I love it. I currently work with the Stanford Arts Initiative and the Stanford Institute for Creativity and the Arts (SICA), coordinating, creating, and supporting arts programs across the university for Stanford students (one cool program I coordinate is here). I love my job, especially because it allows me to give back to the community that changed my life, and because I get to help students in the arts make things happen. In high school, I was that kid that wore the opposite color on school-spirit day, and when I hit Stanford-land, it was NSO week, and the amazing people at this university above all that transformed me into a proud Stanfordite (I’ll even go to a football game now and then in my full Cardinal Regalia.)
Props to you, NSO, for forging my deep and profound love of this amazing university, faults, blessings and all.