August 03, 2018

Senior Nick Trotter was like many other new students when he set foot on campus—he didn’t know anyone and considered himself rather shy. Trotter said it was his orientation team leaders who helped him find his place at Susquehanna.

“They were so helpful in acclimating me to college,” Trotter said. “They made me feel comfortable and welcome here.”

Trotter credits the Orientation Team-or the O-Team, as they are called—and the Office of First-Year Experience with helping him find “his people,” and giving him the confidence to become a resident assistant, join fraternity Phi Mu Delta and the Interfraternity Council.

Trotter was so inspired that he has spent the past three years, including this summer, working for the Office of First-Year Experience, which exists to help students transition to college life with programs and activities that start in June and continue throughout their first year.

“We’re those people who are welcoming you into Susquehanna, making you feel like you have a place here, and helping you find that place and what you need to succeed and thrive here,” Trotter said.

Trotter’s summer work has included planning Summer Preview Days, Fall Orientation and Welcome Week, as well as other programs throughout the year.

“Orientation isn’t a four-day experience,” Trotter said. “It’s the whole year.”

Move-In Day is probably the most high-energy part of orientation. O-Team members converge on each vehicle as they pull into the residence hall parking lots, welcoming them to campus and helping them to unload. It’s a day that is both exhausting and exhilarating, Trotter said.

“For those four days, people are the best versions of themselves,” he said.

All of this is why Trotter is considering pursuing a career in student affairs after graduation.

“There have been moments in my experience that have been so moving and so impactful,” Trotter said. “We’re setting up the space for people to have the same amazing experiences.”