SDC’s New Student Orientation (NSO) was full of fun activities and new friendships for our incoming and returning students. The first day of NSO started off with checking-in and moving into their apartments, followed by a welcome session later in the day for new students and their families where they were introduced to their Alpha Group. Alpha Groups are new student experience groups that are made up of six new students and a student leader serving as the Alpha Group Leader. The Alpha Program is a 10-week course that goes over a variety of topics as a small group whose mission is to foster authentic connection and community through peer mentorship. 
 
The celebration continued into the evening with our annual President’s Fiesta, hosted by SDC President and first lady Drs. Paul and Lorri Ague. After the dinner and after the students said bye to their parents, there was a Get Acquainted Party where students played games, ate ice cream, and got to know each other. The first night of NSO concluded with paying broomball – a favorite NSO tradition. 
 
For the second day of NSO, all the new students and leaders served at the Hawks in the Park service project at Woodglen Vista Park, a community carnival for neighborhood kids. Service is an important feature at SDC and one of our core values, which was highlighted to the new students through this service piece of NSO. Later that night students competed in Hawk Havoc, an annual event where students compete against alpha groups to win different activities. 
 
On day three of NSO, all the new students went to different local churches around San Diego with their student leaders. After church, the students went to Mission Bay Aquatic Center where they rode on catamaran boats, sailboats, kayaks, and paddle boards – a new favorite activity of the weekend! Later that night, both new and returning students played laser tag together. 
 
On the last day of NSO, faculty and staff joined together at South Mission Beach to host the Welcome Back Bonfire for all students. Students surfed and played volleyball and then enjoyed tacos and s’mores together. 
 
It was a great NSO! Students made new friendships and created lasting memories.