This past weekend we had our Spring Training Retreat for the 2011 New Directions Orientation Team. I am so excited to be part of such a diverse, thoughtful, and exciting team. I have no doubt that this upcoming summer will be a wonderful experience, as the whole team grows in a new direction. Meeting the team for the first time was almost a bit surreal at first; here was this team we had been planning for since October. It was exciting to finally meet everyone, and get to know a bit more about the team members. I wish I had been able to connect with everyone– I really value the individuals on the team, and look forward to celebrating such.
My favorite activity was probably ‘Ships and Sailors’. Mostly because it was extremely fun to watch. I also really enjoyed the “Who Are You?” activity. I was fortunate to have a great partner, Megan, and to learn a little bit more about her. I was surprised how easily I opened up to her about things; some stuff I don’t even really like to acknowledge myself. I loved Melanie’s “I am IU” discussion… I remember the impact it had on me last year during my OL Spring Retreat. I can remember feeling such a sense of pride– I felt I finally had a place in the University, and that I was more than just another student. I felt important, wanted, and a vital part of the Oteam. I hope the 2011 Oteam left the retreat with similar feelings– because each one has a special and unique part in this summer’s experience.
I’ve been thinking a lot about new directions; what it means for the team, as well as what it means for me. This past year, I have been trying to grow in new directions personally. I have been striving to be a healthier and happier person. Although physical health plays a big role, I have been focusing mostly on my own psychological health. Part of this has been changing up some of my poor stress coping mechanisms. For example, sometimes I find myself actin’ a fool in my kitchen making homemade dunk-a-roos out of a box of cookies and a tub of frosting (“Have you ever caught yourself acting crazy??” ALL THE TIME). Probably not the healthiest way to deal with a hard day… I’ve been trying to find positive outlets to stress, such as writing in my quote book, or going to the gym. I’ve been trying to grow in new directions through my interactions and relationships with others too. I have this super bad habit of talking all the time, about things that no one really cares about. I’ve been trying to listen more to others, and take the back seat in conversations more. This hasn’t really been easy, I won’t lie. But it does force me to censor the content that comes out of my mouth, and think of all the extra fluff I add to conversations– fluff that really has no importance to the conversation.
I hope not only that the team grows in new directions, but that individuals challenge themselves in new directions as well. Orientation is such a great environment for growth– you can work on your presenting skills, speaking skills, engagement skills, etc. There are so many opportunities to get to know new people– and to get to know yourself better as well!
Well, this blog post has probably gone on long enough! Looking forward to U495!