When the field trips ended, O Week began. Classes don’t officially start until Monday, the 11th of March, so we’ve had some time off to relax and figure out the campus. O Week is basically orientation week. All of the new Deakin first years (or freshmen as we know them as back in the United States) moved onto campus this past Sunday. I gained two new roommates and they’ve been great. Overall there will be six of us living in Sherwood 2B: me, the RA, the two first years, and a “returner” (who has previously studied and lived on campus at Deakin). I think it’ll be a great year!
After the first years arrived, we had a Welcome to the Campus event and “Speed Dating.” Basically, there was food set up in the cafeteria in hearty appetizer sized portions. You were supposed to go get a slice of pizza, mini burgers, or noodle box and then sit in one of the chairs that were arranged in circles.The idea was that you would be able to talk in your groups and get to know other students on campus. They also had a musician playing in the background, which was nice but made it sort of difficult to talk to the people around you.
The next morning we had a University Welcome and Host Program, which involved breaking off into our areas of study and touring the campus. It was helpful, since our tours were led by upperclassmen who were studying the same field and were well acquainted with the areas we would need to become most familiar with. During lunch the Deakin University Student Association (DUSA) put on a BBQ and had several tables set up with information for students. That afternoon we also met with the Environmental Sciences staff to learn about the courses and requirements here on campus, finishing up with a JumpStart Program introduction. It was pretty much an introduction to study tools available on campus.
Tuesday began with a Library and Information Technology Session, showcasing the technologies we would need to become familiar with, followed by more DUSA activities during lunch, and capped off with a professor-led tour of the campus and Environmental Science facilities. We were also introduced to Yolla, the expensive, shiny, research vessel newly acquired by the University (Click the link to learn more… hopefully I’ll get a chance to go out on it.), as well as the aquaculture facilities near the river. That night, they had a movie set up outside on the lawn in front of the cafeteria. A few friends and I went by the river to check out the stars. They’re amazing here! I don’t know if it’s because Australia lacks an ozone layer or if it’s because Warrnambool has a low level of light pollution, but they’re outstanding! (So if you come to Warrnambool, be sure to check out the stars!)
On Wednesday, I had a Library Session, explaining how and where you can access scholarly journals through the library website. I probably could have figured it out myself, but it was nice to have it all laid out for you.
O Week wrapped up with a StudyStart Session this morning. For freshman, it would have been useful, but as a senior, I didn’t find that I gained too much from it. Once again, we were divided up into our areas of study and went into different rooms. There was a panel of students, one representing each major, there to answer our questions. In my opinion, they’ve been the most helpful in providing useful information. The session went over study strategies, personal styles of learning, where you can go for study or research help, etc… all the basics of transitioning from high school to the University.
Overall, I met a lot of people and it was great to speak with the professors and get to know the campus on a higher level. Now I’m just excited for classes to start! It’s time to learn!