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First Year Orientation fosters friendship, camaraderie

| Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Sunday marked the end of first-year orientation (Frosh-O) events for the class of 2018. Throughout the weekend, the first years participated in various activities within their dorms and with other dorms, carefully planned to introduce the new students to the Notre Dame family and to make students comfortable at their new home under the dome.

“I really didn’t know what to expect going into Frosh-O, and I didn’t know anyone, either, but the Frosh-O leaders in Ryan were amazing, so sweet, friendly and fun right from the start,” freshman Kerry McCarter said. “They knew exactly how to make everyone feel welcome and a part of something,”

Activities such as ice-skating and karaoke with other dorms helped break the ice and make friendships with students outside of their dorm, Gavin Chamberlain, a freshman in Keenan Hall, said.

“I think that the activities helped me feel more comfortable … The purpose of the activities was to make us feel at home, and I think they succeeded as much as they could in doing that,” Chamberlain said. “After participating in Frosh-O it’s obvious how much hard work these guys put into it. Their efforts have helped me better transition into college life.”

The Frosh-O staffs worked tirelessly to make sure that the first year-students felt at home with their surroundings, junior Kelly Marous, the Frosh-O commissioner of Badin Hall, said.

“One of the most memorable moments from the weekend was during our finger-painting activity with St. Edward’s Hall,” Marous said. “While first years began their activity, the two staffs decided to have a dance-off, and towards the end of the battle all of the first years in Badin joined in with our staff to show St. Edward’s who really won.

“I think moments like this one showed us how successful the weekend was. When first years feel comfortable and confident enough to do things like this after only a few days on campus, then you know you’re doing something right,” she said.

The Frosh-O staffs made sure their new students knew the Notre Dame community would welcome them, junior Caroline Corsones, assistant Frosh-O commissioner for Farley Hall, said.

“The Frosh-O staff explained to the girls just how excited we were to have them in the Farley community, and how they should feel they should come to us for anything, because they were now a part of our family,” Corsones said.

The activities, while at times awkward, facilitated new friendships between new dorms, Ariana Zlioba, a freshman from Pasquerilla West Hall, said.

“We had a great Frosh-O because our staff was super enthusiastic… Some people were annoyed by the forced mingling, but I personally liked that we got to meet as many people as possible as quickly as possible,” Zlioba said. “I think I’ll be thankful for that as the year goes on.”

By the end of the weekend, the freshmen had begun to think of Notre Dame as their home, junior Grady Schmidt, Frosh-O commissioner of Siegfried Hall, said.

“Overall, everything went really well, better than expected really, and it was fun to see them embrace Notre Dame and Siegfried throughout the weekend … We were really happy with the participation that we received, from not only the new students but also varsity athletes who are new to Siegfried this year, and made it to events working around a busy practice schedule,” Schmidt said.

The weekend was a huge success, and the new freshmen enjoyed getting to know their classmates and the Notre Dame community, Schmidt said.

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About Kayla Mullen

Kayla is a senior political science major and the Managing Editor of The Observer. She hails from Philadelphia, PA and was previously a resident of Howard Hall.

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