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Orientation 2014: Journal of a Residence Coordinator [Updated 9-1]

Senior Abby Conner will be posting daily throughout Orientation 2014.

Residence Coordinator and Orientation aficionado Abby Conner ’15 will be keeping a journal over the next week as Gettysburg College welcomes the Class of 2018 to campus.

Beginning on August 21, she'll be checking in daily on all things Orientation.

September 1 – First day of classes

As I began my last first day of classes today at Gettysburg College, it seemed like it was just yesterday that I was nervously starting here at Gettysburg. It is really incredible to think about how much I have learned and how much I have grown while here.

The organizations that I have chosen to partake in and the classes I have completed have shaped me into the person I am today. I cannot be more thankful for the opportunity to attend Gettysburg College and have my own Gettysburg experience.

Though I will be very sad to leave my Gettysburg family when I graduate in the spring, I know that they have prepared me for what lies ahead.

Check out one last picture of me with the first-years from my hall! Thanks for reading!

Abby with her hall

August 29 - GIV Day

GIV DayMy first-year I attended a program called GIV (Gettysburg Is Volunteering) Day, sponsored by the Center for Public Service. This year, I returned to facilitate some of the programing.That's a picture of the participants on the right -- around 200 first-years!

During the program first-year students experience a poverty simulation based on the Adams County community and then get a chance to do some service. For me, it was a really great way to see that I wanted to be a part of service.

Gettysburg really has a way of showing students that service is incredibly important. CPS is a great way to do service and make change as is Alpha Phi Omega, the service fraternity on campus.Check out the picture of me below with my APO family the year I was inducted!


I encourage all students to get involved with some kind of service – it really is what has made my experience!

August 28 – First-Year Walk

Abby and JMREvery year, the First-Year Walk reminds me just how lucky we are to have the opportunity to attend Gettysburg College. The tradition is a great opportunity for both deep reflection and more lighthearted community building [I even got a quick pre-Walk selfie with JMR – President Janet Morgan Riggs for those unaccustomed to her nickname].

As I retraced the steps of students going to hear Lincoln’ s Gettysburg Address for the fourth time and final time as a student here, I was reminded of something simple that sometimes can be forgotten – just how important it is that we remember our history.

Professor Ian Isherwood ’00 reminded us that individuals died right on the paths that we walk to class every day, and with that in our minds, we as students here need to honor them by doing our very best. As Professor Isherwood said in his address, “What cause will you nobly advance?”

Abby at Walk

Here I am during the Walk with Christiana Fattorini '15!

August 27 – The first-years are finally here!

BalloonsMove-In Day is one of my favorite days of the year. We get to go all out with the orange and blue and there is a special excitement in the air.

The morning starts early for our staff - I met our Orientation Coordinator, Sarah Cardwell '15 at 6 a.m. to start blowing up balloons to hang around campus [there she is on the right]. Once we hit 8 a.m., the halls opened for students and we gladly welcomed each and every one! Check out the picture below of me welcoming students to my hall!

After some icebreakers, I can already see the community starting to build on my floor. Move-In and Convocation never cease to remind me of how lucky I am to attend Gettysburg College.

As Professor Hakim Williams said in his Convocation address, we all need courage – and events at Gettysburg give me that. They show me the person I aspire to become and remind me what I work so hard for every day. Whether scorching hot or not, like always, it’s a great day to be a bullet!

Abby at Move-In

August 26 – Things I wish I knew on my Move-In Day

OLs SelfieTomorrow is officially Move-In Day! Our door decorations and bulletin boards are up and we are doing everything we can to make the Residence Halls look like home. Check out some of my photos below!

We are incredibly excited for first-years to be here [as you can tell by my selfie with the Orientation Leaders and Resident Assistants]! I know Move-In Day is one of my favorite parts of Orientation - I love being able to meet all the new students and watching every student grow from their first minutes on our campus. Plus we all really just like to have fun.

Here are some of the things I wish I knew on my Move-In Day:

  • Don’t carry any of your own stuff! We have loads of volunteers who want to carry those heavy boxes up four flights of stairs.
  • Make time to say hello to your RA, they want to get to know you!
  • Find some time to get to SERVO for lunch – give a high five to SERVO Joe, be sure to say thank you to Sue and Ellen (the staff are the greatest people ever) and don’t forget to grab a cookie!
  • Be on the watch for the College President, Janet Morgan Riggs (a 1977 grad too!), she has been known to wander the halls and take pictures with first-years.
  • And most of all, thank whoever brought you here!

Bulletin Board

Door Decor

And if you'd like to know more about what to expect, you can also check out some photos from last year's Move-In Day!

Get excited! We’re excited!

August 25 – Preparing for the arrival of first-year students

NametagsThe orientation leaders have arrived! Our next few days are packed with training sessions in order to prepare for Orientation, and time in our buildings in order to make the residence halls feel like home.

In the picture to the right, Dennis Green '15, Ida DiMucci '15, and I are preparing name tags for the first-year class.

The training gives us the opportunity to learn all of the things we need to know for the year in order to help students have the best experience possible, and find their home here at Gettysburg College.

I hope you enjoy some of my photos from today!


In the above photo, the Orientation Leaders are building relationships by participating in icebreaker activities.


We are excitedly awaiting the arrival of the first-years!

August 22 – Reflections: The people here make Gettysburg great

As we prepare to welcome a new class to Gettysburg, I’ve been thinking about the path that led me here, and my first days on campus three years ago.

Abby high schoolI chose Gettysburg College because I fell in love with the campus and the people that I met when I visited. [That's me on the right at my high school graduation...looking much as I did the first time I set foot on campus.]

As a first-year, I joined the Marching Band. At the time, it was nerve-racking to arrive a week early, but was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I immediately had 130 new friends and became comfortable with the campus and its surroundings.

Coming in to Orientation as a first-year I was excited to meet new people and ended up with a great hall of people that I am still friends with today. I thought the transition from high school would be hard, but the people at Gettysburg made it so incredibly easy.

The Residence Life staff is still in training, preparing for students to arrive! We can’t wait to meet everyone!

August 21 - About me

Hi there! I’m Abby Conner ’15, a history major with a Spanish minor. I grew up in upstate New York, in the tiny town of Greene.

I spent my last semester in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Check out my blog for more on my experiences abroad!

This year is my third year on Residence Life staff, and I can’t wait to meet the new students!

Follow along to catch some tips and see what new students and upper-class students will be doing for move-in and orientation!

Check out some of my photos from campus activities and organizations I’m involved in:

Sophomore Orientation

My friends and I were excited to welcome the Class of 2016 during Orientation my sophomore year.

Marching Band

My friend, Marli Horwitz ’16 and I are getting ready to join the rest of the Marching Band on the field last fall.


Here I am with my friends (and President Riggs!) last November after enjoying one of my favorite Gettysburg traditionsThanksgiving dinner!

Little Rock

I participated in the Leadership Institute during my first year on campus. We had the opportunity to travel to Little Rock, Arkansas and learn more about civil rights.


I was inducted into the Omicron Delta Kappa national leadership honor society last fall.

Watch the College’s homepage for additional Orientation coverage, and check out the Orientation page for schedules, updates, and more.

Founded in 1832, Gettysburg College is a highly selective four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences with a strong academic tradition. Alumni include Rhodes Scholars, a Nobel laureate, and other distinguished scholars. The college enrolls 2,600 undergraduate students and is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania.

Contact: Nikki Rhoads, senior assistant director of communications, 717.337.6803

Posted: Mon, 1 Sep 2014

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