Carson Selander ’21, Willmar, Minn.
Majors: Communications Studies and Computer Science-Data Analytics
What is your past experience with Orientation at Concordia?
Coming in as a first-year student, I went through Orientation. Toward the end of that year, I applied to be on the Orientation Team as an Orientation Leader. I got accepted and served as an OL in the beginning of my sophomore year. I really enjoyed the experience, so in the middle of my sophomore year I applied to be on the Orientation Committee. I was really happy to learn that I got accepted as well as for the position of co-production coordinator. I loved that experience as well and wanted to continue working on Orientation, so I applied and was accepted as the 2020 Orientation Chair.
Why did you apply to be the Orientation Chair?
I remember undergoing a lot of personal growth in my commissioner role, even more so than in a lot of my classes. Serving on the committee as I started my junior year felt like one of the biggest transitions in my life. I remember thinking to myself, “I feel like an adult right now. I need to get stuff done and this position has allowed me to know how to do that.”
Another thing I learned is what adaptability can truly mean. I had to learn to always be on my toes and be ready for whatever unpredictable situation that might come up.
What motivates you now that you are Orientation Chair?
My past role on the committee was so experiential. Being in the position that makes committee members’ experience as formative – even hopefully more so – as it was for me is definitely motivating. I get to be in the perfect position to shape not only the impact Orientation has on the committee but, more importantly, an entire incoming class of new Cobbers. I want to help students transition to college life and hopefully allow them to like Concordia as much as I do, as best I can.
What’s your favorite part of Orientation Week?
I found it really depends on what role I’m in. As an Orientation Leader, my favorite moment was move-in day. It’s when there are 60 or so Orientation Leaders chilling in Memorial Auditorium and we all know that 500 to 600 students are going to be there in just a few minutes; it truly feels like the calm before the storm. It’s cool and kind of surreal to see that many people come together.
As a committee member, I enjoy the training. It’s a time when the committee comes together and relies on each other to plan pretty much everything related to Orientation. It’s amazing to see what can get done in a week when everyone works together.
Do you have any advice for new students or current students who haven’t yet found their footing?
Try things. I know that might sound dumb. Honestly, I don’t know if I would have listened to that coming out of high school but, trust me, it helps. Making new friends is hard – it’s a fact of life – but if you make the effort to try new things and go to events, you can find a great group of people. You never know what you’ll find you’re passionate about. As a first-year student, I was walking to a handball event but decided on the way to walk to an ultimate frisbee event on a total whim and now ultimate is one of my favorite activities and I found some of my greatest friends through that.
Published May 2020