I won’t lie. When I heard about the orientation week back in June I started thinking about how boring it would be. I was expecting to arrive at Carnegie Mellon meet the new students and walk into several different lecture halls to hear about how student life at Carnegie Mellon is and hours hearing the professors talking about what would be required of the students. But I was wrong.
Carnegie Mellon certainly knows its way around the new students. They definitely showed me something far beyond my expectations. As a matter of fact, when I think about how I imagined the orientation week before it happened I feel embarrassed.
Firstly I must give it to the whole orientation team for coming up with the theme of Pirates. Seriously, who would’ve imagined walking into Carnegie Mellon whilst hearing the sound Pirates of The Caribbean theme song? And then, to make it even more interesting, the HOC’s and OC’s where all dressed in pirates theme and we also and eye patch and a maps which with the schedule for the day. There is just no way to not love your university like this.
Secondly, I believe that the way the HOC’s and OC’s arranged the activities for the day was simply perfect. For starters we would always gather in the Tartan Portal, which is a room with incredibly comfortable seats and an amazing sound system, yup, amazing sound system. Then the OC’s would perform a simple skit that would represent some of the core values of Carnegie Mellon, such as responsibility and honesty. This would then be the theme for the day. An idea for all students digests while going through the rest of the day.
Now, all freshmen would be separated into several different “ships”. I was lucky to be in the ship SOLDADO. Each ship was under command of two OC’s. In my case, the ship was under the order of Hamsa Al-Massri and Mohammed Alhadhrami. I will take my hat off for them. They simply did the best job I’ve ever seen in keeping the team morale and making sure that no one would feel excluded. And we had the best cheer: PRONTO! VAMOS SOLDADES!!! ARRRRGGGHHHH!!!!
There were several team activities. All in which team would compete with each other. And off course, these activities had the purpose of encouraging team work and they definitely succeeded in all of them. From designing your own ship flag to building a balloon tower around a team member to making a team skit that should finish with the line “And that’s how the pirates saved the mermaid”, all activities manage to create a powerful team spirit in which students would bond together for the sake of victory.
And the competitive spirit would not stop there. CMU and Northwestern would compete every day to see who had the loudest cheer. It would always be a very intense battle in which, fortunately, the outnumbered Wildcats ended in utter defeat. Yes, CMU has a very loud cheer.
Now, what impressed me the most was the fact that I was injured throughout the whole orientation period and yet I felt no pain during any of the activities. As many know, a week and a half before orientation I had a surgery in my knee. I was still relying on my crutches to move around the building and the HOC’s and OC’s did EVERYTHING they could to help me. I must say, I never felt so cared in my life and it is definitely all thanks to the work that the Orientation team put for this week.
Lastly, the Orientation team had a huge surprise for all the students in which we were all brought to Four Season Hotel to have Iftar together and celebrate the week. All the work that the HOC’s put for that night and the week simply blew me away.
Now, I know I should’ve have just talked about my favorite part of the orientation week but unfortunately I just couldn’t simply talk about one single point for the whole week was definitely a huge blast, an experience to never be forgotten.
TARTANS, WE LOVE YOU HOC’S AND OC’S!!!!