O-Week has come around for another year! For you first year students, it’s an opportunity to finally immerse yourself into uni life but for the rest of us, it can be a shocking reminder that classes start in less than a week as we scramble to purchase our textbooks. Although this week’s blog post is mainly targeted at first year students, I must stress that all students should attend o-week. Besides, who could go past all the free ‘goody bags’, stationary and food on offer!
My reaction when I see free food.
Last year, I saw o-week as my unofficial first day of uni. Despite the fact classes hadn’t started, it was the first time I met fellow students and became familiar with where my classes would be. For instance, if you’re a molecular science student, chances are you’ll be around laboratories a lot during the semester. In comparison, as a health science student, I usually find myself in a tutorial room or anatomy classroom.
Here’s a photo I snapped of the Western Lectures Theatre (WLT), a building that some SHE students would be very familiar with
WHERE DO I START…
There is a lot to see and do during o-week, which at first can be overwhelming. As I mentioned last week, your initial step would be to download the ‘orientation planner app’ to your phone and start planning from there. The app will also include a map of the campus (latrobe.edu.au/about/at-a-glance/maps), so you can familiarise yourself with the places you need to be during the week.
Personally, I find the free ‘Lost on Campus’ app EXTREMELY useful because it provides you with a detailed map of our campus with photos and directions.Downloading this will mean you avoid looking confused and walking around aimlessly looking like a JAFFY (please Google what this means if you don’t already know!).
WHAT SHOULD I ATTEND?
In short, attend as many sessions as you possibly can! The course expectation sessions are probably the most important and you should try hard to make it to these. If you can’t make it to any of the sessions held during o-week, look up the Ready4Uni resource I mentioned in my first post (latrobe.edu.au/students/new-students/ready4uni).
You should also attend the morning and afternoon teas that the SHE College are hosting. For the Bundoora campus, the Health Science afternoon tea is on Tuesday but the IT and Science/Psych morning teas are on Wednesday. These are a great way meet other students studying your course and not to mention the free food (which is a running theme throughout o-week haha).
I HAVE HEAPS OF QUESTIONS
Source:La Trobe Photography and Digital Imaging Database
As a new student, it is inevitable that you will have at least one social, administrative or academic question about uni life. The first place to go will be ASK La Trobe (latrobe-current.custhelp.com/app/home) but during the first few weeks of uni, it can take longer to get a response due to the high volume of questions asked. You can go the ASK La Trobe help desk on the ground floor of the library but be warned that there can be long queues of students.
Instead you can:
- Visit the ‘Orientation Connect’ Facebook group (see my other post for today)
- Visit a Connect Mentor, they will be hovering around the campus on o-week
- Check the student weekly update that is emailed to all LTU students
Also, check if your queries are being addressed in o-week sessions. For example, there are IT Masterclasses and Computer Lab drop-in sessions happening everyday to help with those pesky IT issues!
HITTING THE CLUBS
After you have familiarised yourself with your course, the next port of call is the clubs and societies stalls on Thursday. The event is usually held on the lawns of the campuses and has a great atmosphere.
Source: La Trobe Photography and Digital Imaging Database
There is a Student Union on the Bundoora, Shepparton and Mildura campuses. There is a $40 annual membership fee to join, which allows discounts on things such as parking, gym memberships and the most enticing reward being a free sausage sizzle and breakfast every week!
Okay, it probably doesn’t look like this but still yum!
You can also join over 70 more specific clubs and societies at La Trobe that are all student-run. Sign up to the clubs relevant to your area of study, as these clubs can expose you to future career information and advice. They are also a fantastic way to meet people from different year levels. Making connections with older students can be helpful as they can give you heaps of advice and tips about the uni life they have experienced before you!
Some examples of College of SHE specific clubs and societies include
- ESOLU (engineering society) facebook.com/IEEELaTrobeESOLU
- LUMSS (mathematics and statistics society)facebook.com/groups/LaTrobeMathsStats/
- Physics Society facebook.com/PhysicsSocietyLaTrobe/
- BioGen Society (biochemistry society) facebook.com/BioGenSociety/
- Agriculture Society facebook.com/groups/12204782825/
- Chemistry Krew (self-explanatory!) facebook.com/groups/225179857517482/?fref=nf
- Psych Society facebook.com/PsychSocietyLaTrobe/
- LOTS (occupational therapy students society) facebook.com/groups/LOTSclub/
- NMSA (nursing and midwifery society) facebook.com/people/Nmsa-Latrobe/100009326125567
- NDSA (nutrition and dietetics society) facebook.com/NutritionAndDieteticsStudentAssociation/
- SOS (orthoptics society) facebook.com/StudentOrthopticsSociety/
- SALT (speech pathology society) facebook.com/salt.latrobe/
I know this week’s blog post seems like a bombardment of information but these are just some tips I believe SHE students need to be aware of before they start their first week of uni. PSA: Parking is free during o-week so don’t become an anxious mess about having to sort your permit and textbooks out in o-week.
I will sign off by encouraging you to conquer your social anxiety during o-week! Make sure you get involved and chat to people as much as you can because the more you engage with others, the more you will benefit from it (cheesy but true).