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Despite COVID, NSO and Pre-Camp still deliver unforgettable experiences

By Collin Atwood

When someone looks in at Springfield College from the outside, they immediately notice two things: Springfield College is the birthplace of basketball and spirit, mind and body are very important to the school’s philosophy.  

It’s when people get on campus they realize that there is something else just as important to the school when you become a part of the campus community. 

That something is tradition.  

Dating all the way back to 1885 when the school was founded, Springfield College has been known for its traditions. From freshman beanies to midnight bingo, the college has been committed to upholding the standard of their traditions. 

Even not walking across the grass is a written tradition at the college which symbolizes not cutting corners in school or in life. 

The one that stands above the rest at Springfield College is New Student Orientation (NSO). 

NSO is held the weekend before classes start and is meant to help the freshman and transfer students get to know the school’s policies, guidelines and most importantly, each other. 

“It was a great transition from high school,” said Skylar Steele, a sophomore at Springfield College.

NSO is very important in showing the new students what Springfield College is all about. Students learn a lot over that weekend. They are shown how valuable the Humanics philosophy is and how to truly embody the spirit, mind and body.

“It’s just a great way to be a part of Springfield College and we always try to infiltrate what it means to be a student here,” said NSO leader Hannah Barnes, a junior at Springfield College majoring in Occupational Therapy. 

NSO has its own traditions within itself that students and leaders always look forward to. Some of the more popular ones are the banquet, learning the college’s chants and participating in the Humanics in action day. 

This year NSO weekend took place from Aug. 28 to Aug. 30. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 outbreak caused some difficulties that the new students had to adjust to.  

“It was weird… obviously we’re not used to having to do anything like this in our lives,” said Jack Jeffrey, a freshman at Springfield College studying Communications and Sports Journalism. 

No one at the beginning of the year would have thought that during NSO everyone would have to meet their future lifetime friends without seeing half of their face. 

“You don’t really get to see the people you’re meeting or see the people you’re talking to,” said Madison Daly, a freshman on the women’s soccer team. “Everyone just looks the same because everyone just has a mask on,” she added.

There were also some events that the new students had to miss out on this year. The hypnotist, movie night, banquet and the Humanics in action day were all cancelled this year. 

Even though there were many changes to the normal NSO schedule, the new students of Springfield College still got to have an unforgettable experience. 

“It didn’t feel a whole heck of a lot different,” said Lydia Sinkiewicz, a senior at Springfield College who has been an NSO leader for three years. “All of the incoming first years were able to still have a very similar experience to what a typical NSO would be like,” she added. 

Normal NSO rituals still happened, just with some modifications. Usually every group has different students from all different dorms. This year the groups were filled with people that were on the same floor. 

The problem with this is that it stops students from being able to venture out to other buildings to make new friends. On the plus side, it helps them grow closer to the people who they will share a floor with for a whole semester. 

Most activities had to be done with social distancing rules, but that doesn’t diminish the value of them. Some activities that are vital when getting to know each other, like fear in a hat and circle of support, still happened and had just as much of an impact as they did any other year. 

“Despite all of the crazy changes, it honestly was my best orientation experience ever,” Sinkiewicz said. 

The goal of NSO was still the same this year and that goal was achieved through adversity. The new students were able to meet new people, make everlasting bonds and truly see what it means to be a member of the Springfield College community.

“This is probably going to be one of the most memorable NSO weekends in Springfield College history,” Barnes said.

Photo: Collin Atwood/The Student

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