Reflections from Day One of The 1742 Experience
For the first time in my life I stepped foot on the Moravian campus as a fulltime freshman student. After receiving my key, losing my key, finding my key, and then locking my key in my newly decorated dorm, I was finally able to reconnect with the reason behind my early arrival: The 1742 Experience. The 1742 Experience extends beyond volunteer work for incoming freshmen by incorporating tours of historic Bethlehem as well as shedding light on the importance and significance of giving back to the community. The first day somewhat reminded me of the first day of kindergarten. As a group, we could pinpoint the other members yet we were all so reluctant to have any real conversation besides the obvious “where are you from” or “how’s your dorm.” If our anxious yet awkward freshman swagger wasn’t enough to distinguish us, we were all wearing matching shirts that we received shortly after signing in. I’m quite happy to report that all of that subtle awkwardness was short-lived thanks to our group leaders Sasha and Kyle.
Our first exercise was an ice-breaker where we said our full name, where we were from, and our favorite ice-cream flavor. In addition we had to do our favorite dance move. Although it may have felt like the end of the world in the beginning to dance with no music as people you hardly knew stared at you, it ended up loosening everyone up. Shortly after this, we set out on foot to New Covenant Church. Our first community service act was to stuff backpacks for children in need at the local schools. The entire project took us fifteen minutes to complete at the most once we had a system in place. I was not surprised that all of us immediately took on our roles as leaders and worked efficiently to get the task done with time to spare. After all, that was one of the reasons why we were picked for The 1742 Experience. It’s safe to assume that we are all emerging leaders that will, at some point or another, be giving back to the community. As everybody sat around a table, we were finally able to get to know each other on a more personal level. We learned the most random and ridiculous things about our fellow group members. Among those many facts, I was elated to discover a Steelers fan and I pitied the misguided and deceived Cowboys fan. Upon returning to the campus, we ended with another game and another chance to improve our communication. I went to my dorm that night with tired feet, an untouched cell phone, and eleven new friends.
~Jenna T. '15
Team Photo at New Covenant Church after packing 65 backpacks with school supplies for students at William Penn Elementary School and Lehigh Valley Child Care.