That was the GCal reminder that popped up at 8:30am on August 28th. And that is exactly what it was.
Last year, I was a manic ball of excitement, barreling from dorm to dorm, popping into as many rooms as possible to welcome our new Obies to campus. This year, I was moving a bit more slowly. One, I've been hit in the face with some serious August allergies (I don't even know, it's truly terrible), two, I really wanted to focus our efforts of bringing in the rest of the Oberlin community into our on-campus happenings, and three, the glorious addition of Will as a knowledgeable and enthusiastic social media user and manager for the conservatory's online presences into our office meant more eyes and more updating in more places this year.
As a teaser for Tuesday's mass arrival to campus, a group of new and returning Obies helped create the short welcome video I posted about earlier this week. It was a great introduction and parable for the work we were planning to do for orientation: fun, enlightening, and transcending the campus experience.
We had two goals: the first of which was to tell the story of orientation through our magical teleportation powers and mobile devices, but also open it up for others to be a part of it all. We encouraged the use of the #welcomeobies hashtag on Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram, for students and parents in the thick of things and for returning and recently graduated Obies to send along some well-wishes to the new class.
Over the hours of move-in day, we compiled close to 100 photos —
new Obies, (new students, parents, roommates, siblings, Oberlin swag)
Family is the best!
Dads and swag are the awesomest.
orientation events and classic move-in moments (picking up registration packets, a welcome to each of the dorms, bikes, convocation welcome),
New students welcomed by Dean Debra Chermonte.
useful tips and advice (where to find snacks on campus, lofted beds, fans, remember that your RAs are awesome),
Love your RAs cause they love YOU!
and a touch of humor.
Mmmmm a college staple.
Our second goal was to utilize our uber-excited students to start sharing with us, to begin the organic storytelling that we're hoping to continue throughout this year. Will shot some video at every location he visited and I did a fair share of interviews with our new students, too. See our hard work below, in our class of 2016 welcome video then a welcome to our new conservatory students as well.
Our proudest moments were a flood of wonderful things: a number of students who aren't on campus yet had some moments of antsyness when they began to see our updates (and similar nostalgia-ridden complaints from just-graduated students came across our radar, too) and we got some lovely well-wishes from alumni via Twitter AND the Washington Post college assistance site Student Advisor tweeted about our awesome efforts. All in all, a day's work. Welcome, all you fabulous new Obies! We're here for you!