The infamous Orientation Week will be your very first taste of university. Among many saucy experiences, it’ll test your sense of direction while still making you socially nervous with a hint of being ripped off by a club membership fee. If that doesn’t excite you, I don’t know what will.
But on a serious note, there is a way to make it out unscathed and mostly triumphant so here’s your realest guide to your first ever O-Week.
Take the damn tour
It will be super lame full of freakishly over-enthusiastic third-year guides and the worst possible name games. But it will give you a map, awesome advice and show you every nook and cranny of your brand new campus at least twice. The alternative? Rocking up late to the wrong tutorial. The tour is completely free and if you want to embrace your new title of “broke uni student”, you may as well start here.
Get your ID ASAP
It’s going to take some lining up and you’ll only have one chance at the picture, but without your student ID, O-Week’s going to suck. The ID is a must if you want to buy tickets to any university-endorsed party, club party and event, or even just to join a club or society.
All the free stuff
Goodie bags – like them, love them, need them. Where do you find them? At the massive array of stalls and tents set up in the middle of campus. They’re quite impossible to miss, mostly because you’ll either be lead there by your tour-guide or dragged there by the stall-person you unfortunately locked eyes with. It’s a necessary evil that will leave you with a goodie bag you didn’t know you wanted full of stationary, coupons and the occasional condom. No matter how socially violated you may feel afterwards, it’ll be worth it. Just ask the oddly experienced student posing as a first-year for coupons to Boost.
Run, run as fast as you can
The fatal mistake that a lot of first-years make are to continue talking to the club stall-person even after you’ve already got a goodie bag. They may be older than you, conveniently attractive and ooze a confidence you could only dream of but is that really worth coughing up fifteen or twenty dollars for a club membership you won’t use? NO. So do an awkward laugh or pretend to cough or sneeze – anything to break the conversation giving you a second to leg it.
“You make all your friends at this party,” is the classic line told to every first-year as you think about handing over at least fifty dollars for the first-year boat cruise/beach party. Suffering a bad case of FOMO, you’ll give in and have a great time and make loads of new friends. A party is a natural event to make friends at but so are 12 weeks worth of tutorials, lectures, labs and seminars. You will inevitably befriend someone either from the forced interaction in tutes or group assignments, it’s just bound to happen.
Unlike clubs, societies run deeper with the university itself providing students with discounts at the campus bookstore, bar, restaurant etc. A lot of people will line up for one so it will seem that you should too but give it a thought first. Unless you plan on grabbing a drink at the bar at least twice a week, it really isn’t worth lining up for an hour onward for a tiny sticker that’ll go on your student ID.
Two tutorials in and after your lecturer and tutor have shown you the subject outline, you consider buying the textbook. In most cases, you’ll only end up using the textbook maybe three times and even then, the chapters will be up online. Or you can do what everybody else does and illegally download the e-textbook. But if you do want to buy the textbook or need novels for literature then don’t go to the campus bookstore. You may have a discount but it’ll still be cheaper buying it second hand through either your university Facebook Exchange page or anything similar.
High-school may have been ridden with angst and constant judgement but university is a completely different place. People will fall asleep anywhere and everywhere and students living on campus will turn up to lectures in their pyjamas. The old days of being crucified for outfit repeating are truly over so embrace it as you will and wear what you want.