Here is Eric's perspective on "Balancing First Years and Fraternity Life"
Being an Orientation Leader is the best decision I have made at Lehigh thus far. It is an experience like no other on campus, and one that I will cherish for the rest of my life. It strongly mirrors the experiences I have shared with brothers of my fraternity, which is another aspect of my campus life that I deeply cherish. The camaraderie between me and my fellow staff members is something that closely parallels that inside the Theta Chi house.
One concept that immediately became apparent to me in orientation that mirrors that of Greek life is being a part of something greater than yourself. Orientation gave me the opportunity to step back and really see what sort of people make up Lehigh’s campus. Whether it be in the lens of major, class year, Greek vs. non-Greek, or even where someone came from originally, we all had to come together to make the orientation experience the best it could be. All barriers of campus life were dropped at the door, which gave all staff members an equal opportunity to freely participate, contribute ideas, and ultimately grow as individuals. This sort of “open to being open” mentality is something I see benefiting our Greek community on a large scale. There is so much that we can learn from one another, and the letters on our houses don’t have to be a divide for intellectual or charismatic growth.
Once the brothers in my house started to move back in during the orientation training period, I quickly remembered how special the bonds I share with my brothers really are. I took that idea to heart, and applied it as much as I could throughout the orientation experience. To my benefit, I was able to make deep and personal connections with several staff members, and they are now some of my closest friends who I can say hello to anywhere on campus.
Orientation was a very fulfilling experience, and I would highly recommend doing it to anyone who is even remotely considering it. It showcases some of the best personalities Lehigh has to offer and offers the ability to effectively grow as a student, a leader among the community, and a better person on the whole. I look forward to applying as a returner in the near future.