Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Inspiring young minds...

It's that time of year again...Freshman Days (aka new student orientation)! Last January I started hosting a portion of the Orientation sessions on Student Life. It quickly left the general focus of Student Life and narrowed into the area of Social Media, and again more specifically Facebook, MySpace and integrating RedRover on our campus. I gave a 30 minute keynote presentation on "The Secrets Behind MySpace and Facebook" and spent the afternoons round-robin-ing about 150 students into the Cyber Cafe to get them registered for RedRover. I was super enthused about the program, I could have done without the speaking in front of a lot of people, but the subject was something I get really excited about. In these orientation classes that I was speaking to, there are all different types of students- really involved students, apathetic students, non-traditional students that are excited, non-traditional students that are bitter, the underage student and then the resentful student who doesn't understand why they have to listen to me speak. I tried to act like all the students were really involved and excited because taking on the resentful student and the bitter non-traditional students just would have made me depressed. In my first orientation season I probably gave 8 keynotes and 36 round-robin classes, by the time it was over I felt totally at ease and had no more worries.

Now it's June- about 4 months since my last keynote and I'm getting nervous. The orientation classes I'll be speaking to over the summer are for the majority younger college students between 17 and 23 years old, I find these students to be the most judge-y. I don't know how to battle their apathy, sometime I think they just look up at me like I'm a huge nerd getting all excited about how these social media tools can change the world they live in. Maybe I am just a nerd about it but I think its exciting. I get really excited when students interact with me on Facebook and reply to my Page posts. But as Saturday approaches I'm getting more and more nervous, I hope I can do this again. Luckily its just this Saturday, then I have another break till July, when they're back to back.

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