Meet Your Orientation Leaders

June 22, 2017

Orientation Leaders

We caught up with Raica Mirza '19, Zoe Sarason '18 and Erica Bartle '18 — 3 of our Orientation Leaders!

What's your major?

Raica: I’m a nursing major!

Zoe: I'm a nursing major.

Erica: Biology with a minor in chemistry.

What made you choose Simmons?

R: I was walking by Simmons one day with my parents and my twin sister and we decided to take a tour of the college. Once we stepped onto the residence campus, I got “the feeling.” I could see myself here! I'm drawn to how hard working students are — it motivates me to keep trying!

Z: The nursing program was amazing and I felt at home as soon as I stepped on campus.

E: I chose Simmons because of its amazing sense of community, emphasis on leadership, and location in the Fenway and Longwood area.

What made you make the move to become an Orientation Leader at Simmons?

R: My passion for this school! I love Simmons and everything about it. I also remember being a first year, so if I can help them navigate this special time, that would be great!

Z: I had a lot of fun at my own Orientation and was hoping that I could be a mentor and student leader for the incoming first year class.

E: I actually attended Summer Orientation at a different college and felt so out of place that I decided to withdraw my enrollment and attend Simmons instead! Once I got to Fall Orientation here, I knew that this was where I was meant to be. My Orientation Leader made me feel right at home, she brought people together and fostered new friendships that I still have 3 years later. I knew as soon as my first year started that I wanted to help incoming students feel the same way. 

What are you most excited for at Orientation?

R: I love the students! I love seeing them with their families and helping them adjust to college life. We also all bond with each other as Orientation Leaders and offer each other support like family and I love that. 

Z: Meeting the first years! It's so fun every year to meet all the individual personalities that walk through the doors. Taking my group of students on the outing in Boston is also wicked fun!

E: I am so excited to introduce students to their new home for the next 4 years and to the incredible Simmons community. 

What's your favorite food at Bartol Dining Hall?

R: I love it when they have the hot chocolate bar for Winter Wonderland! I love the different toppings! 

Z: Coffee cake.

E: It's a tie between the soft serve ice cream and the chicken nuggets. 

Do you have any tips for first years?

R: Stick to who you are and go with what your gut says; in friendships, academics, activities, anything! If you listen to yourself, the decisions you make will lead you in the right way. This is the time to start something new, or let go of something you no longer want. It’s YOUR Simmons experience, and it will be what you make it.

Z: Bring twinkle lights and a rug so that your room feels more homey!

E: Remember that it’s okay if you don’t click right away with the first people you meet at college. There are so many great people here, you will without a doubt find the right friends for you! All you need is a little patience!

What's your Simmons moment?

R: It was last Orientation. I was sitting on a Nursing Panel with Dr. Barron and one parent asked me what I think of the program and Simmons. I started to explain how I think the program is challenging but rightfully so, and I gave credit to the amazing professors we have in the department. Then, as I shifted to the second part of the question I looked around the room and I was almost overwhelmed by the thought of how much I had grown to love this school. I have been so humbled by the opportunities that I have gotten but more than that, I realized in that moment that Simmons is my family. This place is my home. Everyone here works so tirelessly to make sure you succeed and at the end of the day that is why I love Simmons.

Z: My Simmons moment happened my first year at Simmons. My grandmother had just passed away, so I couldn't do an assignment for class. During class, we went around the room reading our papers. When we got to me, I told everyone about my grandmother and why I didn’t write the paper. We moved our desks out of the way and made a circle on the floor. We sat and shared our own personal stories of death. Everyone was extremely supportive and it really helped my coping process to know I had so many people I could go to. I know this never would have happened at any other school.

E: I have several moments that are all from different aspects of my Simmons experience. Racing my first 2K race with the Crew Team, becoming an Orientation Leader, performing in The Vagina Monologues, going to Georgia with Alternative Spring Break, and joining the Rugby Team are moments that I will never take for granted. These experiences have shaped my time here at Simmons and have helped shape who I am.

From Left: Raica Mirza '19, Zoe Sarason '18, and Erica Bartle '18