Nathan Lansakara offers his top tips for surviving Orientation Week.
For most first year uni students, Orientation provides the first big opportunity to feel independent and make decisions on our own. This can be awesome but the amount of information thrown at you can be intimidating. Here’s some survival tips for Orientation Week from me, laden with personal experience, to ensure you have a fun and successful start to university life.
Visit the ACU Orientation website – Make sure to register for all the sessions and activities you think are relevant to you, this will give you your personal planner. Print it off or have a copy on your mobile and trust me, you’ll be so grateful you’ve taken the time to organise it when you rock up for Orientation fully prepared!
Wear a comfortable pair of shoes – Orientation Week is like a bootcamp after all that channel surfing and late afternoon sleep-ins of the summer holiday. Compared to high school, uni campuses can seem huge, and the buildings are just spread out ever so cruelly. With activities going on anywhere and everywhere, walking is certain, and that’s not counting the extra miles to walk after you go astray.
Accept the freebies – With so much free food and drink, brochures and information guides you might find it all a tad too much, and even consider rejecting some. But don’t, I tell you. Take them, take them all! The food and drink is self-explanatory and the brochures etc are helpful, and good reading material for the next time you procrastinate.
Check out the clubs and societies – There will be a wide variety of stalls set up by special interest and society groups. They’re a great way of meeting people who have similar interests and tastes to you. It’s usually a fairly cost effective way of finding social opportunities – sometimes there’s a sign-up fee, other times it’s free to join. You can feel free to sign up to as many groups that interest you and if you don’t like it, there’s no pressure to go back.
Talk to a stranger – It’s the opposite of everything you have been told about stranger danger your entire life, but trust me. One of the best things about Orientation is the opportunity to meet heaps of people who are going through the same transition and may be feeling just as daunted or out of their comfort zone as you. So please try to summon all your self-confidence and start conversations with strangers who look friendly. If you’re at an event alone and you see someone else who is alone – go over and chat! It’s during this time when people are most open to making friends.