Syed Owais Ali: Orientation Made Us Feel Special

The memory of almost every single event that took place during the orientation is still fresh in my mind. Every event that was organized had one thing in common: Make all the freshmen feel special and welcomed!

So before I begin my blog, I want to thank each and every person who contributed in making the orientation so special and memorable. You all did a wonderful job!


So about myself: My name is Owais and I’m a proud Northwestern Wildcat. I came from a small city known as “Fujairah” in the United Arab Emirates. I’m originally from Pakistan but lived in U.A.E. for 10 years.

I arrived in Doha on 24th August evening. The flight was of just 30 minutes and the infamous weather was exactly the same for me. No surprises there!

The RHDs, CDAs and Orientation Advisors were all very welcoming and helpful. I was given the key to the spacious apartment along with a bag of basic goodies to spend my first week conveniently. It did surprise me when I was told these apartments would be demolished. They look so new!




25th August 2012: Because I arrived late, I had missed some action already and I didn’t want to miss more. Next morning I arrived at the Student Center for the amazing HBKU race. This was one of the best and the most exhausting part of orientation. The race was about finding the clues to different parts of Education City and performing several tasks before reaching to the end.






My team came in 3rd place and each one of us won 50 QR vouchers to Virgin Megastore. More importantly, I made new friends from Cornell and CMU.

26th August 2012: This was a big day for the freshmen because we became a part of HBKU history. It was the first ever HBKU orientation.

After a few informative and inspirational speeches, we were asked to write our ambitions on a ribbon and tie it onto the door to success. This was called “Leave your mark!” activity. As I said before, every activity emphasized on making each one of us feel special.





27th August 2012: Northwestern’s Orientation begins. The main highlight of this day was, as my fellow wildcat mentioned in an earlier blog, MacBook Pros! There were happy faces all over the campus. A good strategy to start off the orientation in such a spirit!

We also had the convention in which we were welcomed by the Dean, the faculty and Student Government President.

28th August 2012: We had different sessions throughout the day, some informative and serious, while some interesting and funny. One of my personal favorites was the “True Colors” session led by NU-Q’s beloved LaKisha. Along with entertainment, I also learnt a lot about my peers and myself. We realized people have different personalities and how we can accept those differences and benefit from them in our daily lives.

To end our day with perfection, we were invited to a dinner hosted by our Dean Everette Dennis in Grand Hyatt Hotel. This was another chance for the freshmen to meet and get to know the faculty on a personal basis.

29th August 2012: Today I registered for my classes and in that process missed one of the sessions I was really excited about. That session was about the Experiential Learning, in which the freshmen were told about the NU-Q sponsored trips such as service learning trips, study abroad, Evanston experience, etc.

We were also given a briefing about the mind-blowing studio we have. We got the opportunity to make our own video blogs in the studios with the help of our peer advisors.




30th August 2012: The last day of orientation and probably the best one of them all. This day we officially became part of Northwestern as we “marched through the arch”. This event was mimicry of the tradition at the Evanston campus. Faculty and staff ring bells in purple spirit to welcome the freshmen as they walk by.

So this was my orientation experience and you would’ve probably understood by now what the title of my blog meant. Special thanks to everyone at Northwestern & HBKU, specially our orientation leaders, peer advisors, photographers, and everyone who contributed in making our orientation experience exceptional!

Photos courtesy: Penny Yi Wang, Jaser Alagha

by Syed Owais Ali  Sep 11th, 2012
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Florent , 11:11pm on Sep 11th, 2012
Great stuff! #purplepride
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