The first year of university can be very daunting for high school graduates. New classes, new people and a new environment can be overwhelming for the better part. Not to mention that you’re entering university completely blinded (figuratively speaking). However, I’m here to make the transition easier for you first year students, especially when it comes to first year orientation at The University of South Australia.
Orientation week is the first pit-stop on your journey through university. For first year students, this is probably the most important event you’ll attend this year – so don’t miss out! During O-Week you will find out heaps of important information that will help you along your university journey. Not only that, but you will also be introduced to some new people, be given an array of amazing opportunities, and even receive some free goodies! However, let’s not get too ahead of ourselves. I’m here to tell what exactly happens at first year orientation at the University of South Australia.
Meet new people!
One of the best things about orientation week is that you get meet hundreds of new people! Meeting people during O-Week will allow you to make new friends who will join you on your university journey, and make university more fun. But don’t worry if you don’t make as many friends as you were expecting during O-Week. You will make plenty of more friends throughout the year. Take it from me – I didn’t meet my squad until the end of the first semester!
Learn about your campus.
One of the more helpful aspects of orientation week is that you have the opportunity to explore and learn more about your campus. Find out more about what your campus has to offer and learn beforehand where each of your classes will be (trust me, this will make things 10x easier during your first week). But you don’t have to do this all by yourself! At O-Week student officials run scheduled campus tours so you can learn more about the history of the campus, the name of each building, where the main resources are located (i.e. computer pools, library) and other available activities (the gym, cafe).
Meet some of your tutors and professors.
The best way to get on a professor or tutor’s good side is to introduce yourself to them at O-Week. Not all of your scholars will be there, but there will be a few roaming about so go and say hi to them! Not only will it allow them to know you better, but it will pave the way for further positive interactions during and outside classes.
Find out more about your classes.
This one goes along with learning about your campus. Another helpful aspect about O-Week at UniSA is that each campus hosts a program information session. This session focuses on equipping you with all the important details you need about your classes. You’ll find out further information about what you will be studying, the structure of attendance and assessment, what is covered in tutorials, and about workshops and exams. Better yet, this is the perfect opportunity to do as I said before and meet your lecturers, tutors and even some other students. If you are unsure or do not know anything about your degree or university life in general then this is the session you need to attend.
Join some clubs!
The great thing university offers that high school never did is a wider variety of clubs/teams for students to join. No matter what your interests, hobbies or skills are, there is club suited to everyone. Choose a club from one of the many categories available at UniSA!
Listen to advice from your E-PAL.
Each first year UniSA student receives an E-PAL upon enrolment at university. E-PALS are basically current students (whether it be second, third or even fourth year) that were once in the exact same position you are in. For your first semester at university, your E-PAL will check in with you via email, offer you some advice and generally just be a helping hand. Now, I know how it easy it may be to just ignore them and skim through whatever advice they may give, but I cannot stress enough how much you should listen to your E-PAL.
The advice they give you will come in very useful with assignments, lectures and readings, and figuring out the logistics of university. Not to mention, they are always there for you when you’re struggling to write an essay, or are stressing out about an upcoming deadline. I wish I still had an E-PAL to rely on, so don’t take them for granted.
Meet and discover USASA.
USASA (UniSA Student Association) are a non-profit, student-owned organisation focused on providing services and being a voice for students. USASA has a permanent space (counters) on each campus for students to seek help, advice and information, buy second-hand books and UniSA merchandise, grab a copy of the latest verse magazine, grab some freebies (student diaries, pens and wall planners) and exclusively on the Magill campus, USASA has a student kitchen with access to tea, coffee and a microwave (other campuses have access to a student lounge). Members from USASA will be present throughout orientation for first year students to seek information, learn about what UniSA has to offer, and to hand out those free goodies we talked about on campus day. This organisation is in charge of all the social events, activities and clubs that happen at UniSA so familiarize yourself with them at O-Week.
Take shameless photos for Instagram.
O-Week offers great opportunities to take those picture-perfect photos for Instagram. What with the amazing festivities, the bright colours, the food, the people, and let’s not forget the actual giant photo booth, there’s plenty of instagram-worthy photo-ops! So take a picture to commemorate the start of university – It will serve as a good reminder in the future.
Receive free goodies, food, entertainment and more!
Everybody loves freebies, and trust me when I say that there will be plenty of freebies and much more available at O-Week. Upon signing in with your O-Week ID (this is either emailed or hand-mailed to you), each student receives a free UniSA tote bag along with a bottle of water, a piece of fruit and a muesli bar: these are the first free items on the list, and you haven’t even ventured around campus yet! Other free items you’ll receive throughout the day include a wall planner, a student diary, sweet treats and much more.
Not only will be there freebies on offer, but there will be a variety of activities available such as professional henna art and a giant photo booth, as well as an array of entertainment to enjoy throughout the day. Oh, and did I mention that there will be a choice of pizza and paella for every student?
So this is exactly what happens at first year orientation at the University of South Australia. There will be a sufficient amount of helpful information at your disposal, heaps of people to help you along the way, and an abundance of exciting activities and opportunities for you to enjoy. I highly recommend every first year student to attend orientation because it will be extremely helpful with your entry into university life.
But honestly, there’s nothing to fear about starting university. Admittedly it will be confusing in the beginning and stressful at certain times, but it will also be a fun and interesting experience, and it is just another step towards adulthood. So enjoy it while it lasts because soon enough, your time at university will end and adult life will really begin!
If you need any more information, help or advice, do not hesitate to contact Society19 or me personally. There are also plenty of other articles here that can help you with any queries you may have. Good luck first year students! I’m positive you’ll achieve amazing things.
What was first year orientation at the University of South Australia like for you? Tell us in the comments below!
Featured photo source: instagram.com
19. Australian. Aspiring journalist with a passion for the creative arts.