Ode to Orientation

by Victoria Clark

We’ve all heard the mid-January encouragements to attend Orientation. Sometimes it can seem like a lot of hassle, especially if you live far away or have family or work commitments back home.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned however, it’s that Orientation is really worth it whether you’re straight out of school or returning to study after a few years in the workforce.

Not only does it provide you with free food and a host of fun activities but there are loads of benefits to your transition into university life as well.

Campus tours

Find out all about your campus, where the lecture theatres are, the laboratories, the facilities, and – most importantly – the food.

If you’ve already enrolled in classes, why not print out your timetable and spend an hour locating your classrooms? It will mean one less hassle on your first day of term.

Faculty orientations

Whatever you’re studying, there will be an introductory session for your faculty.

This can be a great opportunity to learn who your heads of faculties are and be welcomed into the group.

Library

University libraries are epic. Whether you’re looking for a bit of background reading, academic support, or the computer, the on-campus library is the place for you.

Orientation gives you time to familiarise yourself with the library resources in a relaxed manner and most importantly, map out where the best nap spots are.

Academic workshops

The academic workshops are perhaps the most valuable of all Orientation activities. Unfortunately, university research and referencing are a step up from high school. Websites and general textbooks no longer cut it as acceptable research material, and Wikipedia is almost a guaranteed fail.

But don’t be alarmed! Orientation workshops will give you a great head-start on researching and referencing and make you feel more confident approaching your first assessments.

Support services

Take some time to locate the support services on campus – universities care about their students and want to help them succeed!

From student counselling, sexual health advice, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and international student centres, to quiet rooms for meditation or religious observance, you will find there’s always someone or somewhere you can approach to ask for help. 

ID card

Why not stop and pick up your ID card while you’re on campus during O-Week as well? It will save you going through the postal service!

Free food

Did I mention there’s usually free food?

Meeting people

Orientation gives you a great opportunity to start meeting people who are studying in the same areas as you. Having someone to attend those first few classes with always makes the transition into university life easier.

Just knowing you are not alone in your experience is sometimes comfort enough.

And remember, have lots of fun.