Nursing student Marielena Orozco finds her bliss through Regionals Activities

By Val Prevish for Miami University Regionals

Marielena OrozcoMarielena (Lulu) Orozco has been involved in enough activities in her three years at Miami University Regionals to fill half a dozen college careers, and yet she is only one student. She said she’s driven by a love for her college experience at the Regionals – a life that she’s come to enjoy so much, she said she dreads leaving it after graduation.

As she enters her senior year studying to be a nurse, Orozco describes her days at the Regionals’ Middletown and Hamilton campuses this way: “If I’m not in school, I’m running an event or working on campus. I only go home to sleep.”

Listening to her “to do” list, it’s a wonder she gets any sleep at all.

Here is just a small sample of the many activities she’s involved with: Middletown campus tennis team (state champions in 2018 and 2019), president of the campus activities organization RA@M (which was just named student organization of the year), treasurer of at least three campus groups (one of which is the Student Veterans Association since her parents both served in the U.S. Air Force), a mentor for new nursing students, plus two campus jobs. And, remember, this is only a sample. This list doesn’t include all the awards she’s won.

When asked how she can keep up with such a dizzying schedule, Orozco replied that she is so inspired by all the Regionals has to offer, she has a hard time choosing what NOT to participate in.

“I absolutely love it here,” she said of campus. “The funny thing is I almost didn’t go here. I actually wanted to go to the Oxford campus when I was in high school. But, today, even if I had it all to do over again, I’d still pick the Regionals. It’s been such a great experience.”

Orozco actually remembers a time when the thought of college was terrifying. She recalls the warnings she heard from high school teachers before she graduated. “They made it sound scary,” she said. “They said no one would hold your hand, and you’d be on your own. Well, it’s not like that here.”

She said the atmosphere at the Regionals couldn’t be further from those ominous predictions from high school. In fact, she feels her teachers have been nurturing and are there for her anytime she needs help.

“My nursing teachers want me to succeed,” she said. “They do hold my hand. And they give me help anytime I ask for it. That’s not at all what I expected.”

As she enters her senior year, her only regret now is that she’ll have to leave eventually after she graduates next spring.

“My favorite part is the people. It’s going to be really hard to leave them.”