Last year, we decided to build a team in order to start organising the huge orientation week-end! Once the team was constituted, we had one initial objective: finding the best place to welcome the new “Grande Ecole du Droit” students. After long hours of research, we finally found a perfect cottage located in the French countryside, two hours away from Paris. During the summer, several meetings were organised to plan all the activities and the way the week-end should progress.
D – 3: It’s time to go shopping. Unfortunately, it was less fun than usual. With our treasurer Manon, we went to a huge supermarket. At 9 o’clock in the morning we were ready, our three trolleys in hand, to buy all the stuff needed for the week-end (food and drinks but also equipment for the activities we had planned). The employees were staring at us, eyes wide open, at the sight of our outflanking trolleys. By the end of our shopping, they were so heavy that it was almost impossible to push them.
D – 1: We faced a big schedule issue. Indeed, we found out that the first year students had a class at the time they were supposed to take the bus to Saint Denis d’Orque. After a crisis meeting and several phone calls, we managed to change the time of departure.
D Day! H – 5: Tom, our president, went to meet the first year students after their class and lead them to the bus. At the same time, Manon, Ingrid and us brought all the equipment to the cottage and started organizing everything before everyone arrived. We had one objective in mind: making the new GED students spend an amazing week end.
H Hour: we had just finished installing the last details, everything was ready when we heard the bus arriving. We went outside and saw plenty little faces staring at us. The new «GED» seemed to be wondering what was going to happen to them during this week-end. They were not ready; indeed, they hadn’t figured out that they were going to spend one of the best week-end of their life.
Everybody briefly visited their room but there was no time to relax. The festivities had to start. The first activity was an obstacle course: the four different teams had to compete with each other through a slippery ground, by running and turning around obstacle, jumping in a bag and finally eating some spicy mustard. Then, various games took place in a rainy but cheerful atmosphere, using for instance a civil code or balloons. At the end of the day, we ate a dinner prepared by the cottage and after that started the first party night.
The following day, we played a wild laser game all around the cottage. Laser guns and equipment were provided and teams of 10 people confronted each other during the whole afternoon. After that, we wanted to challenge students: they had to overcome a new obstacle course attached to their mentors. Time just flew so fast! A group of people prepared a big dinner for everybody. It was then time for another party, which lasted all night long!
Sunday morning was less fun because we had to clean up everything and at 2 pm, the bus was back to pick everybody up: it was the end. It was so sad leaving the cottage under a beautiful sun, we just wanted to stay there longer. Anyway, we were delighted to have gotten to know every new-coming student and we had all become friends rapidly. Thanks to this experience, we have improved our management skills. Although the organization of such an event represented a great amount of work, our team did a great job and it was very satisfying to see the results of our investment.
We have asked two first-year students, Chloé and Dorian, to tell us how they experienced the week-end:
“Even before the university reopening, we heard that the Alumni’s Association of the Grande Ecole du Droit was preparing a huge orientation week-end. “You are not ready”, they were telling us. And well, we weren’t. This three-day trip was awesome.
To start with, we would like to talk about the first thing that comes to our minds when we think about our orientation week-end: above all, these three days allowed us to get close to each other. We didn’t know anyone that much before the weekend, we were a bit suspicious about what was going to happen, in addition to a whole lot of strangers… But finally it was so much fun.
We first got to know better our own generation. We were outside classes so we were more relaxed and we shared rooms with other people of our promotion, so we got to know each other in smaller groups. Furthermore, we got close to the people of other generations. During games, meals, parties …we all created bounds! We believe it’s mostly thanks to the mentoring system. When we arrived at the cottage, the elders gave each of us a mission to succeed, which would lead us to our “godparents” like we call them. this system allows us to ask them questions, advice about everything we may want to know! Indeed we were about 60 people so it was a very casual, warm and friendly atmosphere!
We have all felt stressed by the university reopening. It was a whole new world for most of us, so we were a bit lost. Thanks to that weekend, we felt much more confident about university, because the elders showed us that we were here to work, but not only. We felt supported and motivated.
During that weekend, we were involved in a lot of activities. But the most incredible one was the wild laser game we had in the cottage. It was insane, and so much fun!”
Adèle Raulin & Sandra Moreira