Hellooo there! I’m Cecilia, nice to meet you 😊 (I am aware that I’m not actually meeting you… but I’m assuming it would be nice!)
Wait. Lean in a bit closer. I have a secret to tell you.
I spent about an hour trying to think of an interesting opening to my first ever blog post (!) but gave up because I couldn’t think of anything.
What an anti-climax right? 😅
Haha! So, I guess that will have to do! Welcome fellow introverts, and extroverts, don’t be put off by the title, this blog post is for everyone who may be a bit nervous about O’week and starting University, I sure know I was! Some points I will be touching on is moving into halls (O’Rorke Hall), making new friends and attending some of the fantastic events that UoA has put on for us. Since I’m basically a potato filled with awkward, if I survived, and actually really enjoyed the O’Week experience, you probably will too!
Here are some tips I made, just for you guys 😉
- Take time to fill in your application.
When you apply to live in a Halls of Residence (applications open around 1st of August) you will have to fill in an “About Me” section. I would suggest you spend a bit of time on it and do be honest, because this is what your RA (resident advisor) will use to determine which floor, pod and room you’re in. I can honestly say that my podmates and friends that I made on my floor are probably 99% of what made my O’week experience so enjoyable so this seemingly insignificant point can make a huge difference. There are also the options of Alcohol free and Single Gender pods, don’t be afraid of choosing these, no one will judge. For those of you who aren’t going to stay in halls, you should really consider it!
- Be the first to say “Hi!”
I know as an introvert this is an extremely hard thing to do and I’m totally guilty of not doing it all the time…but hey I’m trying okay! Sometimes the other person just looks too cool, too tall, or just too intimidating to be friends with, especially when they are in groups (ya know?). But a lot of the time when I push through the fear, they are really nice people who weren’t sure if they should strike up a conversation with you either. Remember, you are all in the same boat. They are looking to make friends too!
- Attend the events
Thinking back, I ended up missing many major events that happened in O’Rorke/UoA in general, including the Scavenger Hunt (due to an Inside Word meeting [breaking the 4th wall a bit here] which I reckon was worth missing the hunt for, and was an event in itself really), and the Toga Party (I ended up changing my degree -ish! But that’s a story for later 😉). Through word of mouth, they were definitely both a blast. However, I did go to UniSmart, which was amaaaazing, one of the highlights of O’Week, especially the hall vs. hall competitions and chants where you can literally feel the energy in the room. For obvious reasons, I couldn’t film the O’Rorke two clap myself, so here is a video of the Huia chant. Not too shabby.
Formal Dinner. Self explanatory. Food was great. Company was even better :3 A great way to round off the week!
- Attend Orientation
Do it. O’Week stands for Orientation Week and everyday there will be a different faculty orientation on, which basically summarises your degree(s). They will provide you with lots of other helpful information such as the locations of the student centre, your classrooms, as well as good coffee shops 😋. They will also as connect you with a UniGuide, senior students studying the same degree as you who can be a point of contact for any question you may have. There will be icebreaker events with other students so you can make more likeminded friends who will be studying the same degree as you. So do it for your studies, as well as making friends.
- Be yourself!!!
Last but definitely not least, be yourself. There’s nothing wrong with being introverted, take some you time and chill out in your room watching Netflix, read a book, or whatever floats your boat. I know after a big day out, meeting so many new people and attending various events, even though I enjoy it, emotionally drains me. At the end of a day I often need to hop onto YouTube or lie in bed and read some webtoons. It’s okay! We all do it 😊
Another aspect of be yourself is don’t change who you are just to fit in. Being surrounded by so many other students your age, 24/7, can make it seem like you have to do what everyone else is doing. You don’t. Stick to your guns. Be yourself and true friends will respect your decisions. They will accept you for you!
Aaaand I’m done! Congratulations for making it this far! I’m pretty darn chuffed you read the whole thing to be honest. <3 It got pretty deep at the end there though… Let’s clear the air… Spaghetti! …Now I feel like spaghetti…Let’s wrap this thing up so I can get some…
I hope you guys enjoyed my first ever blog post! I know I definitely enjoyed writing it (although it took me more than 5 hours… 2 hours thinking about/re-writing that introduction) please let me know if you have any suggestions to make your reading experience even better/have any questions for me? I’ll be happy to answer!
Until next time~