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Your guide to O-Week

With classes just a month or so away, it’s normal to feel a little anxious if you’re starting uni for the first time. Luckily, Orientation Week (commonly known as O-Week) offers you an introduction to uni life and gives you the chance to get to know your campus and classmates before you even step into a lecture theatre.

Read on for some tips that will help you make the most of your institution’s O-Week.

Get involved
You don’t have to sign up for every club and society, but try to get involved in at least a few O-Week activities. You might choose to attend welcome lectures or some of the more fun things on offer, like barbecues (with usually free food), pub crawls and live music events. Don’t be afraid to try new things either (like signing up for a sport you haven’t tried before or volunteering to organise your faculty’s ball!).

Explore your campus
The great thing about O-Week is getting the opportunity to explore your campus before classes start. This is particularly important if you’re attending a large campus or know that your lectures and tutorials will be spread across several buildings (or even campuses). The best option is to attend an organised tour, but if one isn’t available it doesn’t hurt to have a wander on your own and at least get a feel of the buildings where you’ll be spending most of your time, including the library, student administration, and food and recreation facilities.

Make friends
Leaving school after six or more years with the same cohort can make starting uni feel a little daunting, especially if you’re the only one from your group of friends (or even your school) who will be attending your uni. Because everyone’s in the same boat, O-Week is a great opportunity to make friends. You may find that you are assigned a senior student mentor and placed in a small group with others from your course to complete certain activities. Don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation; it’s likely that the person you speak to was just as nervous as you and will be happy to have found a companion.

Take advantage of information sessions
O-Week might seem like it’s all about fun and games, but it’s also a good opportunity to get all your questions answered before officially stepping on campus. You’ll find that most institutions run a number of information sessions throughout the week, assisting you with everything from learning how to use the library to student exchange opportunities. If you can’t seem to find anything like this on offer, take the opportunity to approach the administrative team or a student officer. You should also take this time to seek out any of the support services you think you may need throughout the semester (such as the careers service or the academic support office) and note down their location, contact details and opening hours.

Further information
If you need more information about your institution’s O-Week activities, check out their website or give the student services team a call.

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