Orientation Week, or O-Week – “the start of something new”. A new era has dawned amongst all the newbies to CSU. As a first-year myself, I can attest to this!
The week from 20-26 February were the most eventful and fulfiling days I’ve had, in my short lifespan of 18 years.
I can’t recap every single event (there are too many to discuss!) but I can share five lessons I learnt from each of O-Week’s five days.
Lesson One: You’re at university for a reason
As alluring as the partying and socialising may sound, the reason you’re at university, is (plot twist!) to get an education.
They picked YOU to study here, to gain a degree for your desired career and to benefit the world beyond.
I may sound like a mum but that’s the truth. Education is such is such a powerful tool that falls under the categories of “privilege” and “right”. We all have such great power that comes with great responsibility (shout-out to Spider-Man). Use it wisely my friends.
Lesson Two: You are an independent man / woman. Flaunt it.
Let’s put this bluntly. I don’t think I’ve ever seen my personality turn a complete 180 until O-Week and university started.
It’s not just the fact that I have to do my own laundry and make sure I don’t burn my food that has made me feel like I’ve “adulted”. Or the fact that I had to force myself into a Mortal Kombat-styled battled with two bugs one night in my dorm. It was a tough battle, but I conquered them both.
To summarise – it’s OK to have your parents and family by your side to give you advice (and as much as their ranting sucks, it helps to hear them time after time). But soon enough you’re going to have to be like a bird and fly away. Everyone is unique. Embrace the weirdness.
Lesson Three: Talk to people and flourish that #swag personality (sorry-not-sorry for the colloquialism).
To continue with Lesson Two, this is one I’m still trying to master.
I’m usually a quiet person in general so even to come out of my room is something major. To my dorm-mates – please forgive me, for I am a big introvert.
When it comes to social events, it doesn’t talk to actually talk to someone. Sometimes the best of friends come from just random conversations at a social event or in class. It’s only been a week, yet I feel like I have an amazing bunch of people I can rely on.
However, if you don’t want to be sociable, that’s OK too. It’s always good to have some alone time. Don’t let it consume you though – balance it out.
Lesson Four: It’s OK to be emotional
I understand that this is the time when everyone is starting to know each other. So we put on this “act cool to get friends” act.
BUT, it is OK to get upset or angry or have any response other than complete happiness.
Whether it’s homesickness or something more serious, it’s okay to talk to someone about it.
It’s easier than it sounds, I know. But once you get it out in the open, it gets easier. And trust me – there are people at CSU who listen and care about you.
If you ever need to chat or rant, a trusted guardian or friend is the best method. If you live on a residence, your RA can fill in the gap.
There are also strategies and services at CSU and in the community to help, even getting professional advice. Don’t ever think that you’re alone. You got this.
Lesson Five (and most important!): It’s going to be a wild and fantastic ride!
I can’t speak for what’s going to happen for the rest of the year. Because I don’t know. However, what I can say is that I am completely open to any opportunity that is offered to me.
That’s the beauty of university life – anything can happen. Life’s a story waiting to be told; it has a beginning, a middle and end. The characters with unexpected obstacles waiting to be overcome control the story.
However, it is the actions the lead role pursues that make the performance engaging. There’s more to life than study. Expand your mind. Be free and have fun while you’re here.
Seize the day my friends!