Orientation Week, or O-Week as it’s known, is your time to learn about your new university, so make the most of it—explore the campus, get your bearings, see what’s on offer academically and socially, and meet new friends.
Do the important things first
Activate your student email account, confirm enrolment in your units, arrange your fees, get your Student ID card, buy your books, organise a parking permit if you need one—do all the things that you need to do to set yourself up as a student. This way when classes start, you’ll already be prepared, and can focus on your new student life.
Attend as many events and activities as you can
Whether it’s the compulsory events that you have to attend, or session on what support options are available to international students, or if it’s just something that sounds fun, sign up and get involved. But make sure to fit these in around any mandatory sessions.
Sign up to a buddy or mentor system
If your uni offers it, sign up to a buddy or mentor system. You’ll be partnered with someone who can provide you support and guidance through both the academic and social side of your new university, and you might even make some new friends while you’re at it.
Take a campus tour
Definitely take the opportunity for a guided tour, if they’re on offer. There’s no better way to learn the ins and outs of the campus than from someone who knows it like the back of their hand. Be sure to learn where your classrooms are and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Join student clubs
Sign up to a range of student clubs, societies, and activities. If you have an interest or want to start a new hobby, there’s sure to be a club for you.
Join your faculty club or society
Most universities have specific clubs or societies for their individual faculties, so chances are you will too. Sign up to your faculty club or society, where you’ll get a support network of people studying the same course as you, you’ll be able to find a study buddy, and get course advice when you need it.
Find your favourite café
In O-Week, with not as many lectures to get to or classes to attend, you’ll have time to explore and find arguably the most important elements of your campus—the food. Find which place suits you best, and get comfortable there. It’s a great place to meet friends later on in between lectures.
Make the most of free stuff
It’s O-Week, so there’s a good chance people will be handing out free goodies. Whether it’s campus guides, notebooks, pens, food and drinks, or show bags, it’s sure to come in useful.
It’s a fairly obvious statement, and it can be quite daunting, but most people will be in the same situation as you. Everyone wants to make friends when they start uni, and you’ll be meeting so many new people, so why not be the one to say ‘hi’?
The point of O-Week is to get to know your new environment and become comfortable with your new home. This is a lot easier to do if you take a few deep breaths every once in a while and just go with the flow. Remember, O-Week is what you make of it.