So you’re a newbie at varsity and you’ve just received your itinerary for O-week. It seems a little daunting doesn’t it? Getting to know your campus, clubs and societies, and lifestyle events may look like too much to get through, we know. But, O-week can be a fun, positive experience for you, here’s why.

It’s the perfect time to make new friends

If you’re starting university in a different province without all your old friends, you’re going to have to meet some new people and make friends. Your orientation week is the perfect time to do this - it’s the one time it’s okay to talk to strangers. You’ll find that all the other first year students are just as nervous as you are; what better way to bond than to talk about your mutual mortification?

University campuses are HUGE

No, really, campus is like a whole country on its own. You’re probably going to get lost a couple of times before you know your way around, but it’s good to get a feeler for your varsity campus. Know where the libraries, eating hotspots, lecture halls and entrances are before classes actually start to avoid being late. Ask your Orientation Guide about things like tutorial venues and faculty offices and label them on your map (one should be included in your Orientation kit).

Lecturers aren’t bad people

Some universities actually allow you to meet your lecturers and ask them a few questions about various courses during orientation. This means that you can find out what each course entails and have an idea of what lecturers expect from you, which should put you at ease before lectures actually start.

You can find your tribe

Most universities have different clubs and societies that you can sign up for at the beginning of the year. So if you’re into singing or want to be a part of the environmental awareness club, you can sign up during this week. The representatives from each club usually set up stalls and hand out leaflets explaining what they’re all about. You can ask them questions and socialise with people who share the same interests as you.

Let your hair down, the student way

O-week usually ends with a party or student hang-out where you can relax and have some fun with your new friends. You’ll realise that university parties are quite different to high school socials and can sometimes get a little out of control. This is where you learn to set your boundaries, hone in on that self-control you’ve been taught throughout your schooling years, and really determine for yourself what fun is. As long as you stay safe and surround yourself with a reliable crew of friends, you should be good.

O-week helps you settle into varsity life, meet new people, make some memories and have a whole lot of fun before your schedule is filled with lectures, assignments and tests. Like everything else in varsity, no one’s going to make you attend it, but you’ll be glad you did.

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