USG Principal Partner

‘O’ what a week

 

Orientation week (or commonly known as O-Week) can be daunting – you’re a small fish in a big pond. It’s like kindergarten and year 7 all over again. But don’t fear – you’re in THE SAME BOAT as every other first year around you! And there is plenty of help on hand. Make the most of what’s on offer like campus guided tours, welcome sessions, faculty introductions and social activities. Your university’s website or app will have what’s planned at your O-Week. It’ll be a lot to take in, and that’s OK – take your time and see how you go. If it’s getting too much take a night off or grab a cool drink and find a shady tree.

Finding your way around

Universities are big places! Make sure you jump on a guided tour. When you do the guided tour find out where your train/bus or accommodation is in relation to your classes. You will also get a map in O-Week – hang on to it! If you are having difficulty finding your way around the Lost on Campus app has your back. It contains maps and directions for 42 Australian campuses. Your university might even have their own app so be sure to ask the question.

You’ll also need to find your way around your institution’s online space. Universities have internal student websites you can log in to to access your subjects, resources and notices from your tutors and lecturers. This is going to be an important space for you to keep up to date with your study and course requirements, so make sure you can access any internal sites.

Make the most of O-Week

Universities run O-Week from mid to late February. Once you are enrolled in your course you will receive information on when orientation sessions start for you. While it may fill you with nerves O-Week is really is one of the best ways to get to know your uni.

At most unis you will be able to sign up online or at information booths for sessions. There will be some essential sessions you must attend for your course. Make sure you find out what is compulsory in O-Week and book those sessions in first and then fill the rest of your week with fun activities.

Timetables & classes

Your degree will offer a range of course and tutorial options, some of which may be compulsory. Find out your subjects early and sign up for your preferences of lectures and tutorials so you’re not stuck with the dreaded 8am Friday tutorial! A lot of universities now hold online sign-up sessions, which can be limited to specific dates and times, so make sure you find out and put a reminder (or two) in your calendar!

The faculty staff at your university will be able to advise you which electives to choose to meet the requirements of your course. Make sure you have a chat with a course coordinator before signing up.

At most unis you will be able to sign up online or at information booths for sessions. There will be some essential sessions you must attend for your course. Make sure you find out what is compulsory in O-Week and book those sessions in first and then fill the rest of your week with fun activities.

Check out some of the O-Week activities at the following unis to get a better idea of what happens:

Clubs, societies & support

Student unions are run by students, for students and provide a range of services to members including representation, student development, support services, facilities and more. Your university student union reps will be introduced in O-Week. Their contact information will also be on message boards around campus.

All unis offer a variety of sporting, academic and cultural social groups. Joining clubs and societies is a great way to meet people who share similar interests to you and will make the adjustment to uni easier. Join up during O-Week or visit your university’s website for more information on the clubs and societies on offer.

A great initiative offered by most unis is student mentoring. The university will match first year students with an older student who can answer any questions and provide ongoing support. It’s a great way to find out how university life is structured and it always helps to be able to ask questions of someone who has been a first year before.

Tried and Tested Tips

Ask any student who has ever been to O-Week and they will tell you it’s one of the best weeks of their life. Keep O-Week fun and safe by following these tips:

  • Take time out to eat and remember to drink lots of water!
  • You still need to sleep (a bit)! You don’t want to get to your first week of lectures and be so tired you can’t concentrate.
  • Plan your transport. Make sure you don’t end up stranded at the end of the night by planning to taxi-pool or checking the public transport timetable ahead of time.
  • Safety in numbers. You are in a new environment so it’s important to make some friends you can trust and formulate a plan to never leave a place until you are all accounted for.
  • Don’t ruin the fun by getting out of control. Try to avoid mixing your drinks and be responsible with your alcohol consumption.
  • It’s OK to say no. You will feel like you have to say ‘yes’ to everything, but if you’re tired, feeling overwhelmed or don’t feel comfortable say so! Saying yes will get you nowhere if you’re not up for it.

More tips from our friends at Junkee

This advice is general in nature and does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation, needs or goals. You should consider whether the advice is suitable for you and your personal circumstances.

USG Principal Partner