In the spirit of new beginnings, the Student Trainers (STRAINS) welcomed the new batch of extraordinary Benildean freshmen and transferees in INTERAKTIV 2021, treating them to the college experience in virtual Benilde and exploring the various quests and portals with a “GamePlay” themed orientation.
In the week-long orientation, STRAINS utilized the concept of classic card and board games to guide and prepare the ID 121 students in embarking on their journey as new Benildeans. As the new students’ “co-players,” STRAINS provided briefing and helped each player connect and overcome the struggles they may encounter in kick starting their virtual college life.
One step forward
On Aug. 21, STRAINS officially pressed the start button with their Facebook Live opening program and website launch. With hosts and guests coming from various batches, this year’s INTERAKTIV yanked the experience between the realms of on-campus and online collegiate life as they shared their tips and experiences as frosh students.
As orientors, ID 120 Music Production student Gab Garcia and ID 120 Diplomacy and International Affairs student Ching Tresvalles guided students through virtual Benilde, on the online set-up and its prerequisites, online perks that can aid academic productivity, and Benildean websites like BigSky and the Student Information System (SIS). Additionally, they held a live Q&A portion to address the frosh’s concerns.
Moreover, to give the students a glimpse of the Benildean life―both on the onsite and online modality―STRAINS invited ID 120 Digital Filmmaking student Daniel Roxas, ID 119 Consular and Diplomatic Affairs (CDA) student Naomi Serrano, ID 119 Architecture student Daud So, and ID 120 Architecture student Sophie Sy to share their experiences.
Roxas assured that, “Even if it is an online modality, I was able to meet the expectations that I have and set when I was a frosh because I was able to make friends along the way; even joining organizations that brought me closer to more people, networking, and expanding even my opportunities.”
Meanwhile, Sy further emboldened the ID 121 frosh as she underscored that “people in Benilde are very open. So, it really wouldn’t be so hard after all to make friends.”
The next stage of “GamePlay” was the Zoom orientation. The ID 121 students were divided into four batches according to their programs, with each batch having its own orientation timetable.
The typical academic matters such as grade equivalents, course flowcharts, Dean’s list, and the like were discussed. Then, to amp up the atmosphere, students were asked to introduce themselves while impersonating the image projected on the screen. Furthermore, they were divided into breakout rooms and faced four challenges, each of which represented a different building in Benilde.
On the other hand, the mini-series #BenildeYan was set into motion to entertain the students and paint them an idea of Benildean life. The mini-series showcased Benildeans and personalities who have been loud and proud of representing the Benildean identity. The mini-series launched with its premiere episode “The One Where We Play This or That,” featuring the College’s Benilde Blazers student-athletes as guests.
Last roll of the dice
To cap off “GamePlay” Day 2 on Aug. 28, Agatha Wong, Philippine National Wushu Athlete and ID 114 CDA alumna, and Ry Velasco, content creator and Export Management alumna, shared a piece of their INTERAKTIV experiences and sabaw moments during their stay in Benilde.
When asked for their advice for students who feel anxious or scared about their future, Wong enjoined that “in college kasi, you are mostly on your own with people surrounding you―ka-batch mo, ka-course mo, [and] your blockmates. So I think it is very important to just be very sociable with one another. Try [to] discover your own self, and try everything. Basta ‘wag kayo mahiya... it’s all part of the college experience.”
Velasco also shared her sentiments and reminded the students that they “are not going through it alone.” They have support systems like their friends and blockmates, and that “there is no such thing as feeling worse. Sa tingin ko, ‘yung mga [failure] natin, ‘yun yung lesson.” She also advised them to set goals so that they would be “excited for the future instead of feeling anxious.”
For their final words, they stressed the significance of enjoying the ride and exploring new things. However, Wong also encouraged the students to be proactive and to "not be afraid to ask a random person about something.” She reminisced about how the culture in Benilde is surprisingly friendly, and how grateful she was to acquire that trait and become part of the Benildean community.
If you missed your turn to enter the GamePlay, INTERAKTIV 2021’s website remains open until December 2021. STRAINS shared some dates to remember: Sept. 6 - Release of offline module; and Sept. 30 - Last day of CSBLIFE accreditation.
STRAINS, under the guidance of the Student Involvement Unit, aids in the implementation of Interaktiv (Orientation Program) and Unite (solidarity/fellowship activity), as well as team building and student development activities.
Welcome, frosh and Animo Benilde! #INTERAKTIV2021