The start of University can be daunting. On the one hand it is exciting to be starting at a new university whether you have just finished high school or whether you are starting a semester abroad. On the other hand you might have already gotten lost just walking around your huge new campus.
Orientation, O-week, Welcome week or Freshers Week. Whatever your university calls it, it is an important way to start your first semester at university and shouldn’t be missed. Here are 5 reasons you can’t miss Orientation.
1. They will give you a tour of campus. If you have ever walked into class ten minutes late because you couldn’t find the room, you will know the importance of this one.
Universities can be huge, and definitely a lot bigger than the high school you may have just come from. Tours will often be led by student volunteers so you can hear from a student the quickest and easiest ways around campus, places of interest (that little known place where you can microwave your lunch for instance) and where the best coffee is sold. They may also have maps of the campus to hand out which will come in handy later when you need to find a specific classroom.
2. You will meet key staff for your degree. Often the head of your school will begin with an introduction, and you will often be able to meet some of your lecturers during orientation week. It is always great to be able to put a name to a face, and begin making contacts. Remember it never hurts to make a good impression, you could need their help down the track (with an extension for instance).
3. Learn what extra assistance is available. Hopefully you will be a perfect student that will breeze through all of your assessment items. It can’t hurt to have a plan B though. So knowing where to get appropriate help when you need it is really useful. In orientation week you will likely find out what academic assistance the university offers (think how to reference, unpacking an exam question, writing essays), as well workshops that introduce you to new software (SPSS statistics software anyone?). Student services can also tell you about scholarships, counselling and loans you may be able to apply for. There is a lot of help available at universities to make it as easy as possible, but in most cases you may not even know it exists.
4. You get to meet other students and make friends before class starts. Though you are here to learn, university can also be a social experience. Even if you are more of an introvert and tend to keep to yourself (like me!), you will likely be doing some assignments in groups so you will need to work with others. A few friends working together as a study group before final exams is a great idea too. Sometimes our friends who aren’t at university just can’t know what you are going through and it can help to have a friend or two at uni that understands. Besides that, it is always great to have a few friendly faces around campus.
5. You can find out about extra curricular activities. Think sports teams, debate clubs, religious groups, and industry specific groups (for example Griffith University has GERMS – (Griffith Employment Relations and Human Resource Management Society). These are the parts of university which make it more fun. They also give you an opportunity to add something extra to your resume and try out some new skills. Usually these clubs will be advertising for new members at orientation, and sign on will likely be during this time also (though some clubs take new members year round).
Well those are my top five reasons not to miss Orientation at university. This blog is designed to help university students so please subscribe or follow to receive my latest posts and advice. If you have any questions, or suggestions for future posts, please leave them in the comments below and I will be happy to tackle them for you.
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