Central Michigan University offers many ways for the incoming freshman to get to know the campus, meet new friends, and find their purpose here at CMU. The Annual Leadership Safari was a five day orientation for only freshman to attend and get to move in earlier than everyone else. It occurred August 20th-24th lasting all day and night. The first day of Safari, was when we all moved into our dorms at CMU. I can still remember this day and the roller coaster of emotions I experienced all within one day. I was so nervous and anxious to see what it is going to be like living in Barnes Hall with three other girls I did not know too well. Move in day was one of the hardest days for me to go through. I was very upset all throughout the day thinking about when the time will come when I will have to say goodbye to my family and boyfriend.
When it was time for all of us to go to the Safari Kickoff, I did not know what I was getting myself into; that I was about to walk in a room of 2,000 other freshman like me who didn’t know what to expect. Every freshman was placed in an animal group with a safari guide and 9 complete strangers. I was on Team Wild Boar and my safari guide named Karolina who was a sophomore whose job was to guide us clueless freshman throughout Safari Week. We played many icebreaker activities to break the awkwardness up with the people we didn’t know. Our group barely knew each other’s name in the beginning of Safari. Throughout the week, we listened to amazing leadership speakers, conquered our fears with trust falls, physical obstacles to take on as a team, and mental or emotional activities that made us reflect on each other and change our outlook on people, and got to make ziploc bags of snacks for elementary schoolers in the Isabella County Area. As the week went along, Team Wild Boar started to become a family. I am so lucky that I was placed with such an amazing group of people who were once strangers, now becoming my close friends.
Leadership Safari was truly a once in a life time experience that I had the privilege to be a part of for my first week as a CMU Chippewa. Safari was truly life changing and it made me realize that this is the time in my life where I can start fresh and that I can overcome anything. I really could not of asked for a better way to transition into college as fun as Leadership Safari made it be. Here is the awesome video that was made to show a little bit of how Leadership Safari was.