Orientation through the eyes of senior Mia Bowman
New Student Orientation has arrived at Clemson. And each June, it brings with it the excitement of another enrolling class being officially welcomed to campus for the first time.
It also brings with it long days and nights for some of the folks charged with ushering the new students into the Clemson experience.
“I went to bed and woke up and realized ‘It’s ONLY Tuesday!’” said senior Mia Bowman. “I was up at 5:45 a.m. for the first freshman session on Monday and didn’t get home until midnight.”
Such is life when you’re one of over 30 Orientation Ambassadors, part of the Student Transitions and Family Programs (STFP) staff who helps put 15 sessions into motion for the next wave of Clemson undergraduates.
But Bowman and the other ambassadors are pretty accustomed to the fast pace. The group underwent two full weeks of training — days that often spanned 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. — in anticipation of June and July.
Ambassador training included meeting with staff at various points on campus, in order to better understand how to answer questions related to a particular area. It also included training for a Student Life performance, a 45-minute event held on the evening of the first day of each Orientation session.
“It features a lot of situations that students can face in college,” Bowman said. “Some of it’s funny, but some of it’s very serious as well.”
Bowman’s primary objective during Orientation is to give each student in her group — comprised of aspiring education majors — a holistic perspective of Clemson.
You’ll have to forgive her if it’s a biased one, though. Bowman’s days as a Clemson enthusiast date to when she was in middle school because her brother, Bryan Narcisse, was a member of the men’s basketball program from 2008-12.
“My dad went to South Carolina State and our mom went to Augusta University, so when it came time to picking between the Clemson and South Carolina rivalry, I thank my brother for giving me that allegiance at an early age,” said Bowman, who hails from North Augusta, S.C. “From October to March every other Saturday for four years, we were in Clemson. It became so routine for my family.”
Upon arriving at Clemson, Bowman became involved in several extracurricular activities. She works as an office assistant for the men’s basketball team, and is also a competitive member and instructor for Clemson Dancers, a student-led organization.
And it’s helped that big brother hasn’t been far away, either. Narcisse is an active member of the local community, working with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, among several ventures.
“Just being here at a place my brother loved, I’ve experienced things that I’ve found to be great that we’ve bonded over,” Bowman said. “It’s been great to be here and be a part of this culture.”
Bowman hopes to be part of the first cohort to pursue a master’s degree in education from Clemson when her undergraduate days are over. Ultimately, she sees herself either pursuing a doctorate or teaching chemistry in high school.
In the meantime, she’ll help acclimate the next wave of orange and purple clad students to life in Tigertown.
“We want to stress all the resources we have that can help them be really successful at Clemson,” she said. “A lot of information is packed into each session, but it’s a lot of fun.”
Note: Click here to follow Bowman’s week on the @ClemsonStudents Instagram account.