By Lubaba Houque
For many first-year students, Orientation Week is a big deal.
It’s their first taste of being a UW student. It goes by pretty fast and I’m sure many of you might be determined to make this the perfect first week. Realistically, in the next seven days you’ll walk away with a heavy sunburn and a dozens of mosquito bites. There’s a fair chance that you might even find your future best friend, study buddy, or realistically, drinking buddy. While O-Week will undoubtedly be amazing, there’s a few things to keep in mind.
When coming to O-Week, it’s important to bring the necessities and ditch the rest. One of the first things to do when you arrive on campus is to get your WatCard. This the most important ID to carry during O-Week and for the rest of your university career. Your WatCard will help you access busses, borrow books from the library and food if you live on campus. It’s essential to student life.
It is also good to carry your phone and money for emergencies. Who knows what shenanigans you might get up to.
In all honesty, you might not end up attending every event. As great as they are, we all need down time. For the entirety of your university career, O-Week will be the most relaxed period.
Take this extra time to treat yourself to some sightseeing and shopping. Although, it would be useful to pencil in a half hour to look over your class schedule and consider a few clubs you might be interested in joining. Reach out to your dons, they can probably help connect you with some great campus organizations.
Due to the weather uncertainties, make sure to bring layered clothing such as a jacket that you can put on if it gets colder. Waterloo weather is notoriously unforgiving.
No matter what the weather, bring a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated. Although food is provided during lunch, if you’re someone who gets hangry very quickly, bring snacks to munch on.
Avoid bringing heavy unnecessary items as they will make walking around much harder. Any class specific items will be of no use until classes actually start, but, if you want to be a keener, bringing a small folder to put in pamphlets or informational posters can help you be organized.
When you step onto the campus for O-Week, expect to meet lots of people. With the people you will meet, there will be a lot of exchanging phone numbers with promises to text each other. Half way through the week, chances are you’ll have gained dozens of new Instagram followers and made plenty of #tbt memories.
In reality, don’t be surprised if you’re not best friends with everyone you meet at O-week or text them regularly during your first term. This is pretty normal, but you will meet plenty of people all throughout your university career who you’ll be friends with, so don’t fret.
I sure hope you didn’t chuck out your old gym shoes because when you come to O-Week, be prepared for walking, and lots and lots of it. Your orientation leaders will take you all around the campus. You’ll be running around doing scavenger hunts, solving puzzels, and dancing. Suffice to say, you will be on your feet for most of the day, so don’t kill your feet by wearing uncomfortable shoes.
O-Week could also be called pep week because there are a lot of choreographed dances throughout the day. Every faculty does a huge flash mob dance with new students. There are a lot of team activities that take place for you to get to know the people in your faculty.
To cap things of, Welcome Week ends with Black and Gold Day, which is the ultimate school pride football game. You can wear head to toe black and gold and cheer for the University of Waterloo.