Our student reporter Sean is in his second year of university! He offers his advice for all students going into O Week.
After coming out of over a decade of schooling, the big, wide world of TAFE or uni can be utterly perplexing and sometimes even daunting for a fresh high-school graduate. Luckily, all universities provide some type of orientation — known as O Week — for new students in order to welcome them and give them a chance to adapt to the environment before classes start.
As a current student going into my second year, here are some tips I have for all students about to start university and O Week.
Step out of your comfort zone
Check out your surroundings — look at the food places near you, as well as the bars for some great nights out. There’ll be heaps of discounts on offer – go and check them out; you’ll never know how much you need a free drink bottle or tote bag. Don’t be afraid to check out clubs and societies. A lot of it may not be your cup of tea, but if it is and you’re interested then go for it, especially if it’s related to your course!
O Week is the perfect chance to work out the essentials, before classes start:
- Get that student card made up and printed early on to avoid stress later on.
- Figure out how you’ll get to and from the campus – if that involves driving, then consider the carpark situation. If it’s public transport, get that concession card sorted to save serious cash on fares.
- Get that timetable sorted so that you know what you’ll be doing in the first week.
If you already know people at uni, join forces
The main event I attended was the opening party, and I was very lucky to go with high school friends. We all would’ve enjoyed the day much less if we were by ourselves, as we hadn’t met anyone yet and needed each other to get around safely. Also, it stopped it from all being so daunting – we could all discover together.
Having said that, if you don’t know anyone, attend smaller information sessions during the week that are relevant to your course or interests — you might just meet a new friend!
If you get lost, there’s an app for that
Lost On Campus is about the best app you can have for the first few weeks at uni. Much like a new school, a new campus (especially one spread out over the city like mine) makes for a very confusing layout. With this app, you can even be as specific as to search for the room you need to get to and it will show photos of the door and offer tips on how to get there on time so that you aren’t one of those students who are late from the get-go.
However, getting lost can be a good thing —I made some of my best friends at uni by getting lost in an emergency stairwell together after one of our first classes. The unknown is rarely as scary as it seems, and sometimes the mistakes you make are the ones you end up looking back on with a smile.
By Sean Mortell