Wednesday, August 1, 2012

le orientate me

I can still remember the time when my OGLs first knocked on my door. It was four years ago, and I was still like a blur sheep, having just arrived in a foreign place to pursue my studies for the next four years. I remember being called as a freshmen and having to attend my hall's orientation camp during that period. 

The details are vague now, but I remember not really enjoying myself during the hall orientation as compared to the one organized by the Malaysian Student League (MSL). Maybe it's because of the people, maybe it's because of the clash of culture, but one thing was certain, I can't wait for it to end. In fact, I skipped a lot of the activities because I was afraid of attending.


one of the very few pictures taken of me during my first year orientation. i think this was during SP


Come second year, I somehow ended in the programmes team, the people who are supposed to organize Eusoff Hall orientation. I don't remember the exact reasons but I think it was because I wanted to do something fun during vacation but I didn't wanted to join RAG. Besides I enjoyed organizing stuff.

The experience was bittersweet though. I remember feeling out of place, because there was already an established clique inside and because I'm socially awkward, and there were times where I felt like just quitting the team. I think it's because my mood swings were still terrible then and I didn't really had any friends when I first joined the team. Nevertheless, I managed to pull it through and ended up knowing some awesome people through the experience. Awesome people who continues to inspire me even til this day.


not the best experience, but still i learned a lot of stuff and got to know quite awesome people from it


When my third year came, despite all of my friends working as interns, I ended up back in the programmes team again, this time with a really good friend of mine, Nisha. I remembered not wanting to just waste my holiday away doing boring stuff like internships (trust me when I say 70-80% of internships are boring) and doing something fun instead. Besides, because of all the not-so-good stuff that happened last year in programmes, I want to make up for it. I even promised myself that no matter how bad my mood swing got, I would stick to it til the very end. No tantrums, no giving up.

In the end, everything turned out better than I had originally imagined it to be. Although there's still the same socially awkward problem. the orientation still turned out great in the end and I thoroughly enjoyed it.


le awesome programmes team of 10/11


This year, I was back in orientation again, making it the fourth year in a row that I'm attending Eusoff Orientation. Not as a freshman nor programmer though, but rather as an OGL (orientation group leader).

To be honest, I had not initially wanted to join the orientation this year. After being a part of orientation for three years already, I thought it was high time to take a rest. Besides, the only role open for me is as a group leader and being the introvert as I am, I can never picture myself leading a bunch of freshmen trying to cheer them up and get them to enjoy hall life. I am the type of person who will always prefer behind the scenes work rather than being at the front.

However, responsibility demands that I sign up as a OGL so reluctantly, I took up the job, secretly hoping that I could stick to behind the scenes OGL-ing rather than having to inspire the group. You see, from how I see it, the work of an OGL is always tougher than the programmers. One has to think of cheers, ice-breakers and a whole load of stuff to prevent the freshmen of your group from feeling awkward. And if you're not much of a conversationalist, there's a high chance that a majority of your freshmen would disappear the next day.

I still remember the feeling of dread the first time when I got my freshmen to sit down together in a circle for the first day. I didn't know what to say, what to do and looked around in desperation for my fellow OGLs to help me. And out of fear, I grabbed every chance I could to hide in the EW room to finish up on the website work that doesn't require me to interact with people. That was how uncomfortable I am.


le games session of my group. one should always brush up on ice-breakers before becoming a ogl


The thought of just disappearing did cross my mind a few times, after all, it's like a tradition in Eusoff for OGLs to disappear during orientation but after a few hours contemplating alone in EW room, and after one of my fellow OGL gave me the death stare, I realized that it was very childish for me to keep wanting to run away from things that I don't like. It does not accomplish anything at all and it would only serve to worsen the situation. Besides, I was not there because of myself, I was there representing something bigger as a whole, so running away was not an option.

So I stuck through it til the very end, even though I cannot maintain a conversation of more than a minute with any of my freshmen, even though I am quiet most of the time, I still stuck through it til the very end, no matter how much my scumbag brain tried to tempt me to just hide


viridian, that's our group's name, during eusoff challenge


fun time at the pool


Life has a funny way of surprising you sometimes. In the end, our group emerged as the top champion of this year's orientation, winning almost everything in our path, which was really not expected because we weren't one of the most bonded groups after all, thanks to this socially awkward OGL. But somehow we managed to pull through.

Looking at the past four days of orientation, I am just very grateful for how things turned out in the end. I'm grateful for having three other very awesome fellow OGLs, Eugene, Xinling and Pamela who kept the group going. Eugene with his awesomely funny cheers, Xinling with her cheerful personality and Pamela with her responsible attitude helped to gel our group together. And I'm grateful for the bunch of freshmen too, as they were very accommodating and didn't complain much even though we definitely did not do our very best for them, me especially.

All in all, it was a very humbling experience this year. I learned a lot about myself, about how orientation works and about how important it is for the OGL to really "orientate" the freshmen who are new and still finding their way. And that I still have a lot to learn when it comes to leadership and orientation.

Like my previous orientation experiences, this was also a bittersweet one, in another kind of way. Bitter because I wasn't really OGL material, that I wasn't really prepared and had to depend on my fellow OGLs most of the time. Sweet because despite all that, my freshies still bonded, had fun, made friends and even won the best OG award. Good things do happen, don't they? Viridian sui! 


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