The Rockets Have Launched!
I came home today as usual at 5:30 PM, and went straight to my computer to check my Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Gmail, and Rockets email, in that order. Three Facebook notifications, two Twitter replies, over a hundred new posts on Tumblr, and four Gmail messages. In my Rockets inbox sat four unread messages, all with the title “Re: Welcome to UT!”, the sight of which brought a bittersweet smile to my face.
You see, these four messages marked the end of a summer for me- a summer filled with the UT Fight Song, placement tests, brown paper bag lunches, class schedules, and musical chairs. As an Orientation Leader, I worked every Rocket Launch Orientation Program from 7:30 AM to 5:00 PM, always with a smile on my face, and a cup of coffee nearby. Part of our busy day as O-Team “Pumas” included sending emails to students to welcome them to the campus and provide them with an upperclassman to contact. The students in my Game Show group that didn’t give me a fake email address got a personalized email, and the few that replied earned a special place in my Inbox under the “New Rockets♥” folder. The four replies I had today were the last I’d get for the Summer. Our new Rockets have completed their launches, and I have hung up my uniform blue and gold polo for nearly the last time.
Spending a summer with hundreds of new students, whether they are straight from high school, transfer, or adult, fills me with a messy range of emotions. One on hand, I am happy that they have chosen to attend UT and are taking the first steps towards their future careers. On the other hand, I’m anxious, because I want to share my enthusiasm with incoming students and encourage them to get involved without scaring them off . On the third hand, I am excited, because with every passing Rocket Launch, my Junior year draws nearer. On the fourth hand, I am upset because I’m constantly reminded that I only have two years left as an undergraduate student here, and that my college experience is flying by way too quickly. On the fifth hand, I’m scared because I’ve started growing extra hands and this is probably not okay.
To all current Rockets: I hope you share my excitement for the new school year. Every semester is a new chance to raise that GPA, get involved in something different, or take a step towards your desired career. To all incoming Rockets: you only get one Freshman year, so make one to remember!
All in all, I think I can summarize my summer with one honest emotion: Pride. I am a proud Orientation Leader, I am a proud Rocket, and as I’ve sang about 50 times this summer, I “love our Gold and Blue! LET’S GO BLUE!”.