Orientation Camp, as told by President Nandini Dulani
Morningside College hosted its orientation camp (‘O-Camp’) in the first week of September, to welcome our new first-years. The events were hosted by older students, and the president of O-camp was medical student Nandini Dulani. We had the pleasure of hearing her thoughts after the event:
(Lightly edited for brevity)
What made you want to helm O-camp? What were your goals for O-camp?
“I had no intention of becoming president; someone approached me and asked if I wanted to take on this responsibility. It was the first time I had been given such a significant leadership role. Despite it having nothing to do with medicine, I took on the challenge because I believed it would be a great way to push myself and develop my communication skills. And it was! Planning for O-camp was the most difficult yet rewarding experience I've ever had. I couldn't have done it without the assistance of my friends, who were the most supportive team I could have wished for.
When I volunteered to take on this role, I set out to organize the most enjoyable O-camp possible, where the freshmen could interact in a safe, inclusive, and welcoming environment. Initially, I had no idea how many little things would need to be taken care of for this to succeed. However, I made it my goal to give a sincere effort in all aspects, such as: organizing the activities, applying for sponsorships, designing the souvenirs, serving as a representative at multiple JCNSO (Joint Committee on New Student Orientation) meetings, budgeting and more”.
Which event at O-camp was a highlight for you, and why?
“There were so many highlights that picking one is difficult. The first was our escape room challenge. Instead of starting with icebreakers, we showed the freshmen a video of their jobamas (seniors) being kidnapped and asked them to complete a series of tasks to "rescue" them. This was an exciting way to kick off O-camp! I knew our efforts paid off when I saw the freshmen laughing and working together to complete the challenges. Another highlight would have to be our 30 second choreography challenge, in which freshmen were given 20 minutes to create a dance of their choice. It was a sight to see how we all cheered for the other groups as they danced away, each group exhibiting their unique personalities!
Another highlight of O-camp was the last event, the International Cultural Evening. This event featured the freshmen dressed in traditional attire, fostering international understanding and appreciation, as well as embracing Morningside College's diversity. The incredible performances we had arranged, however, were the night's highlight. The musical talent at Morningside is absolutely insane, and the performances were out of this world. The way everyone was engulfed by the performers gave freshmen a taste of just how talented our Morningsiders are. We also set up a Chinese calligraphy and henna booth. It was amazing to see the students gathering around these booths, having a fantastic time trying out new traditional art forms. We also set up a gorgeous photo booth for the freshman and had a world map on which all participants stuck a red circular sticker on their home country, providing a beautiful visual representation of how diverse Morningside truly is. This was also an excellent opportunity for everyone to mingle with seniors and within their groups, forming some unbreakable bonds. I had a terrific time, but what made this night so amazing was watching how much everyone else enjoyed it. Looking back on this night and the entire O-camp, this will undoubtedly be a magical night to remember”.
What was your impression of the new students at O-camp? How are they settling into life at Morningside?
“Everyone seems to be getting along great! Throughout O-camp, I could see how everyone gradually stepped out of their comfort zone and became more at ease with one another. Our jobamas (seniors) did an outstanding job of providing a fruitful environment for the freshmen to get to know each other, and there was always a constant air of laughter in the room. I believe the freshmen are settling in really well to their life at Morningside, and even if they aren't, my advice will always be to never rush this process, to never change yourself to fit in, to get out of your comfort zone, but also to know that everyone eventually finds their people, whether it takes a week or months”.
Congratulations to Nandini Dulani, Gretl Chan, Tone Lee, Tsz Ho Lam, Umoto Yu, Nalini Dhiman, Chan Myae Kyaw, Kanishk Gulia, Ching Lam Choi, Alaa Abukmeil, Ningwa Shakti Limbu on hosting a successful O-camp!