“Uncensored”: First-years open up about their lives and fears

By Middlebury Campus

The first few days of Orientation are filled with introductions and small talk, however ‘Uncensored,’ an event organized by the Commons, was created to enable first-years to push past superficial introductions and discover who their fellow students really are.

The event began with a warm-up designed to break the ice, and then the conversation took a serious turn as the next exercise asked us to challenge our assumptions about others. Statements were called out — many pertaining to race, sexual orientation, nationality and financial situation — and students were asked to stand if the statement was applicable to them. Conner Ross ‘14, commented on how the atmosphere of the room suddenly changed into a quiet and respectful one as questions of an incredibly personal nature were asked and silently answered. It was as if we were onions peeling away the layers.

After a brief break to release some anxiety each group began “Fear in a Hat.” Students wrote down their greatest fears about the coming year on slips of paper, placed them in a hat and randomly distributed them to be read aloud.

“I felt that the exercise provided an explanation for many people’s actions over the past week,” said Timothy Garcia ‘13, a Stewart Hall resident.

The common themes of the fears were failure, friends and family.

“I heard my fear read three times, and I didn’t know which one was mine,” said Jordan Kelley ’14.

In the last activity, students were separated into groups of five, typically with new faces. They only had thirty seconds to answer broad questions about themselves.

“I liked the last activity,” said Katie Gill ’14, “because we could talk and listen with total silence.”

‘Uncensored’ not only allowed students to share intimate parts of their identity with people they had just recently met, but it also helped them realize that while the transition to college may be difficult that they are not alone in their fears.

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