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What I Learned From Being an Orientation Leader

Being a biology major, I didn’t know I’d ever have a passion for serving students. For the longest time, I just wanted to work with animals and I never felt I had that passion or drive to work with students. I thought I just wanted to work in agriculture or something related to my major. After seeing the impact that my former orientation leader made on me and others, I was interested to see what I could do for other students at Boise State.

I’m Layne Zeiszler. I heard about the orientation leader program through friends that would speak about how fun and exciting it was to work with incoming students and their families. I thought to myself, “how fun can this actually be?” I had a summer job lined up at home, but after careful consideration, I decided to go for it.

Trainings were intense. We had long hour days for about two weeks. I was really starting to wonder whether I was cut out for this job. I was taking in all the knowledge and information I could knowing that I would soon be representing the Boise State community.

On the first orientation day, I met with my group of students. I was upbeat and ready to show these new students what Boise State had to offer. The day was filled with activities and icebreakers. You could see most of the students were nervous but everything seemed to be going well.

I noticed a student in my group was pretty distant from the rest of us. He was pretty quiet and would only respond when I spoke to him. He didn’t go out of his way to interact with me, his peers, or anyone really. I started to think, “maybe it was me who wasn’t doing a good job at allowing him to come out of his shell.” I started to doubt myself. “Was I a bad leader? Did I fail him?” I did my best to include him and have everyone’s orientation go smoothly, but I wasn’t quite sure I pulled it off.

About two weeks later, I received an email from the student letting me know how grateful he was for what I had done for him. He was happy I was there to help guide him and he was excited for the fall semester to start. He mentioned how excited he was to start classes and get involved. I was floored.

Now I know that doing the little things can make a difference – I know how to do things better for next time, and I can pass along my experience to other orientation leaders now that I’m an orientation coordinator.

I’m really glad I decided to apply to become an orientation leader because I discovered things about myself that I didn’t realize before. The rewarding feeling of helping other students transitioning to college, and the knowledge that my experiences will be able to help future Broncos too.

If you’d like to sign up to be an orientation leader, you can show your interest on the Become an Orientation Leader page. Applications are open on Handshake starting January 18 through February 1 at 11:59 p.m.

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