…More Than Sweet Potatoes

How To Not Be an Effective Orientation Leader – The Story of How I Failed at Being Responsible

My Sophomore year of college I signed up to be an orientation leader.  This meant that I was on campus a week or two early, received my very own group of 10 little kids* to show around the campus and help them feel a little bit more at home before the start of classes.

The “Kids” in this situation were ALL older than me due to my skipping kindergarten and being doomed to always being younger than the people in my grade in school…plus, a June birthday…

In a weird turn of events I was assigned a group of kids from Wiley dorm – an all boys dorm.  So I got 10 boys to follow me around like puppies; like a very defiant group of puppies being let out of their cages for the very first time.

This was the dorm.  I don’t even know if this is still there.
I certainly hope this has been updated since 2003.
Not the prettiest thing about my college campus.
After a couple days of group ordered cheers, convocations, organized walks around the campus, and speakers, I lost many of the guys along the way.  I tried to call and convince them to come with, but some people just aren’t cut out for orientations.  Sometimes they’re just too cool or something.  I kept 3 (sometimes 4) the entire time.  These boys LOVED me and verbally let everyone know every chance they could.

When the scheduled events were all officially over, I made it a point to reward these boys for being so loyal and good to me over the course of the last week.  The best way to do that?  Invite them to frat parties with frat guys I trust so they can go crazy but be supervised by me.  I thought this was a good idea.  Here’s why I was wrong.  I was so so very wrong.

This is generic, but this is pretty much what I thought
would be considered a reward for being my loyal followers.

First story:  I lost Bobby
I had taken Bobby and a couple of his friends (from home, I think, who also went to school with us) to a frat party.  When Bobby ended up a little too drunk for his own good, I half carried his stumbling tall (over 6 feet) self to my apartment because it was across the street from the frat house.  We put his keys, phone, wallet and shoes on the coffee table, covered him in a blanket and then gave him a wastebasket for vomit (if need be) and a bottle of water.

I woke up in the morning and he was gone.

His keys, phone, wallet and shoes were all on my coffee table, but Bobby was gone.

I panicked.  I called the other guys I had taken out with me.  I went to the frat to see if he was there.  I drove to his dorm to see if he had drunkenly walked back all the while looking for him along the way in case he never fully made it there.  He was nowhere.  All the worst things ran through my head: he got arrested for public intoxication; he is passed out on the side of the road somewhere; he’s dead.

Later that afternoon, I found Bobby.  Or rather, Bobby found himself.  I got a knock at the door and there he was sheepishly looking at his shoe-less feet in the hallway.  It turns out that he had gotten up to pee in the middle of the night but didn’t know where the bathroom was.  Not wanting to go around opening doors (I lived in a 4 bedroom, 2 bath place) he went outside and peed on the hallway wall.  The problem was he couldn’t remember which door was my apartment from outside in the hallway…so he went in the one he thought was mine, curled up on the couch and went to bed.  When he woke up he was surrounded by a group of guys he had never met – my neighbors.  They were nice enough to let him sleep and then direct him back to my apartment.  So he wasn’t dead, but I did lose him…

Story two: I thanked Greg for a good time…
I can’t remember which of these two stories happened first, but another night right after orientation ended, I took the same group of guys to a frat house party near their dorm.  I had never been in this frat and wasn’t friends with any of the guys.  I had obviously drank more than I should have because at some point I got VERY sleepy.  I never had that “woo girl” phase of getting drunk.  I just slammed straight into “I need a bed, NOW!”  I walked around the entire party in an attempt to find any of my freshman boys but I couldn’t.  I finally gave up and sat on the steps outside of the frat, where I promptly decided to fall asleep (read: pass out.)  Yes, I was that pathetic girl sleeping on the steps of a fraternity all by herself.

Like this, but somehow less graceful

Sometime later Greg (one of my freshman boys) found me and woke me up.  He helped me up and walked me to their all-boys dorm.  There is security at the dorms – you have to come in and leave with the person you are visiting and sign in and show your ID (for after hours… during the day just like, go in…).  The security guy knew who I was from the week of being an orientation leader in that dorm, so he just laughed and waved us on through.  Greg put me on his futon where I passed out for I don’t know how long.  I woke up to a key and a note.  “Hey.  When you leave just use this key to lock the room and slide the key back under the door.  My roommate is moving in this afternoon.”

It was 11 o’clock!  I needed to get out of there before the roommate and his family showed up.  I grabbed my wedge Rocket Dogs, keys, wallet and the key.  I locked the door and slid the key under the frame as instructed.  I wrote a note on the dry erase board before I left. “Greg.  Thank you.  You’re wonderful. – Debbie”

I miss college dorms…

I recall my outfit perfectly – a white/floral mini-skirt, a blue tank top and those rocket dog wedges – because I had the pleasure of being at the receiving end of disdainful looks and shaken heads as parents non-verbally accosted me for being the kind of girl who was still wearing clothes from the night before.  I could have gotten away with the outfit as being my “Saturday outfit” had my shoe not fucking broken while I was walking…so I made the I’m-such-a-hot-mess-that-I’m-carrying-the-shoes-from-last-nights-outfit walk of shame while disapproving parents silently (and sometimes not silently) judged me.

These are the impractical, super
2000s Rocket Dogs I was wearing,
except mine were all tan and more
pathetic, if possible.

I stayed friends with Greg for a while.  I ended up meeting (and making out with) his roommate eventually in the course of my collegiate career.  I later found out from the roommate that he (and his poor poor parents) thought Greg and I had had sex the night before when he moved in and saw the note on the dry erase board.

And that, my dear reader(s) is how to be a horrible orientation leader.  Or maybe it’s why a girl should not be an orientation leader to a group of horny, recently free from parents, boys who are all older than her…



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