Written by Charlotte Penhall
Orientation can be scary when you don’t know who to look out for. So to make your Orientation just a little bit easier for you, Charlie has reached out to this year’s Orientation Coordinators to learn more about them, their jobs around Orientation, and if they have any advice to give.
This way, you can rest assured that you won’t be left to fend for yourself when you start your university adventure.
Mike Shambira, Orange
“My name is Mike, and I started studying for a Bachelor of Dental Science in 2021. What I love most about Charles Sturt is its small and tight-knit community at the university. You know everyone, and everyone knows you! I’m surrounded by friendly and supportive people.
What made me want to become an Orientation Coordinator is that I want to contribute to creating a warm and welcoming environment for all new students. I had a great Orientation myself and loved the idea of recreating that same wonderful experience for others.
During Orientation some of my duties will be, making everyone feel welcome and involved, answering/redirecting any questions students may have, and coordinating the running of our Orientation activities alongside Hayden. Will students be able to come to me for questions/advice? Yes! Please feel free to come with ANY questions at all. I am more than happy just to have a chat as well.
The best thing about Orientation, I would say, is the free activities… well, mostly! You just get to show up, see the town, and make new friends without having to spend much at all!
A top tip for Orientation is to be your authentic self! Uni is a great opportunity to advance your career, but for most of you, it will also be the first time being away from a place where everyone knows you. Take this as an opportunity to reinvent yourself and be comfortable being who you are.
Some advice that I can give students is to work hard and play hard! All it takes to do well is a simple routine.”
Timothy Van Veen, Albury
“My name is Timothy, and I’m currently studying a Bachelor of Education (K-12), and started in 2016. What I love most about Charles Sturt is that I don’t have to go to some absolutely massive university in some city. Instead, I can study in my neck of the woods.
A huge reason why I wanted to become an Orientation Coordinator is to have a big role in Orientation. Orientation is Charles Sturt’s first time to really put their best foot forward for all the new students, and it should be a positive and memorable experience for everyone. This is something that I hope to provide.
During Orientation, not only will I be doing the work of an Orientation Leader, helping out with setting up and running various activities, but I will also be working with different vendors and groups we have involved to make Orientation great. And of course, directing our fantastic team of Orientation Leaders to help make our events awesome for our first-year students.
Will students be able to come to me for questions/advice? Heck yeah! I’m usually pretty easy to find because I’m pretty tall and big. Also, if I can’t help with your question, I can usually find someone who can help. I would probably say the best thing about Orientation is that you not only get to know the uni and how your tutorials and pracs run, but you also get to start to know the local area, which is very important, even for people who are from the area anyway.
My top tip for Orientation would be to try everything! If you see a group of people planning on going to the shops together to buy stuff for the party, tag along! Most importantly, if you see a freebie, try and get it! You won’t believe how many pens I have gotten from Orientation.
The advice I would give students for their first session of university is that if you think of any cool ideas you want to see at your campus or can think of ways to improve the campus, you should consider joining your local SRC. This way, you can work towards making your ideas happen.”
Rasmine Giles, Bathurst
“My name is Rasmine, and I started my Bachelor of Education (K-12) degree in 2020. What I love most about Charles Sturt is how it brings so many people together from different upbringings, mindsets and skill sets, and creates connections that otherwise would have never happened.
I became an Orientation Coordinator because I wanted to be part of organising that first impression that made me fall in love with the place. I wanted to help answer questions and ensure students are as excited about their experience at Charles Sturt as I have been the last three years.
During Orientation, our team work to create awesome opportunities for all of our commencing students to get together and enjoy the space and atmosphere. A large part of uni that is great are the people you surround yourself with. These become study buddies, families, friends, and those who teach you to cook something other than two-minute noodles.
During Orientation, it is my duty to ensure that we have created an opportunity for you to find your people and be there for you to answer any questions on students’ minds.
Of course, students can come to me for questions/advice! Anytime, anywhere. In Orientation and out of it. I am 100% available to help with anything. The best thing about Orientation is that it brings so many random people together, and you are all there for the same reason. Knowing the adventure you have ahead of you is so exciting and Orientation is the start of it all!
A couple of top tips from me for Orientation would be to get around everything! These memories will be laughable points of discussion through your years at uni and far beyond them. Also, listen in your course information session! I still use the information I learnt during that session. And remember, you only get one proper Orientation, make it yours and leave nothing you wish you did!
As for advice for the first session of university, experiment with what is your best way to study, and adapt your uni to make it work for you. GO TO YOUR LECTURES! Even if you don’t have time to do your readings. And if you can’t figure something out, email your lecturer or call student central (they’ll tell you who to speak to for help). Don’t leave yourself in a lurch, there is so much support available.”
Zali Bourke, Port Macquarie
“My name is Zali, and I started my Bachelor of Paramedicine in 2022. What I love most about studying at Charles Sturt is the welcoming community. Everyone is very nice and helpful, and if you need assistance with something, they will not hesitate to help you.
Honestly, it was a very spontaneous decision to become an Orientation Coordinator. I remembered reading the notice for it and thought back to my own Orientation and decided that I should try and create an Orientation experience that will hold a positive impact for the future first years, so I signed up without looking back. So far, there has been a lot of organising to make a memorable Orientation.
My duties are to make sure that everyone is having a good time and are not uncomfortable. I know the Port Macquarie Coordinators have much in store for Orientation, so you will likely find me running around doing last-minute checks to ensure everything runs smoothly.
Of course, students can come to me for questions and advice! I am always around to answer questions or give some pointers. If I cannot answer your questions, then I will try my hardest to find someone who can. Don’t hesitate to ask because I know starting uni can be quite daunting. The best thing about Orientation is talking and having fun with people you wouldn’t usually meet. This week is great and has something for everyone! Trying everything would be my top tip for Orientation! It’s a great experience, and the memories you create will last for years to come.
Advice for the first session of university from me would have to be to try and create a group chat for your course so that you can help each other out throughout the year. Also, although staying on top of your uni work is important, make sure you have time for yourself. Burnout and stress is a regular occurrence in this setting, so having some downtime to just relax is always good, both physically and mentally! Whether that is going to the beach, going for a walk, reading or watching a movie.”
Charlotte Mueller, Bathurst
“My name is Charlotte, and in 2021, I started my Bachelor of Paramedicine. What I love most about Charles Sturt is how central the campus is. Everything is so close to each other. Also, the number of student employment opportunities available on campus is great if you are staying on campus. And you can’t forget the university clubs! This is my favourite part of being a student of Charles Sturt, and it has introduced me to some great people and really fun events.
I wanted to become an Orientation Coordinator because I had really enjoyable Orientation in my first year and again as an Orientation Leader. Therefore, I wanted to pass it on and give incoming students a great Orientation this year. My duties during Orientation will consist of organising many of the events and ensuring they run smoothly. On top of that, setting up, packing up and helping Orientation Leaders run the events.
Of course, students can come to me for questions/advice. I’ll always be around to help, whether it is about Charles Sturt in general or paramedicine. The best thing about Orientation is attending the events up for offer, meeting your new dorm mates and meeting people doing your course.
My top tip for Orientation is to try and get amongst everything! All the events will be really fun, and it’ll be a great way to meet new people. Also, look around at the market day at all of the services and clubs Charles Sturt offers. For most sporting clubs, trials start soon after Orientation, so get on that!
As for advice for the first session at university, there are a couple of things. Get to know your campus and all the services it has to offer. Get around all the events your campus offers and within your dorm. I’d highly recommend joining a club, whether it be for sport or something else. It’s a great way to make friends outside your course and get around some fun stuff!”
Felicity Whiteman, Wagga Wagga
“My name is Felicity, and I am going into the second year of my Bachelor of Veterinary Technology this year. What I love the most about Charles Sturt is that I have enjoyed the community Charles Sturt has offered me. It brought me out of my shell and allowed me to express the best version of myself.
I wanted to become an Orientation Coordinator since I had a fantastic time at my Orientation and really wanted to spread that to future students. This is the time to find yourself and choose who you want to be, and I want to help create an environment that allows people to do that whilst making fabulous memories while you’re at it.
My duties as Coordinator will be to help lead the Orientation Leaders and plan what events will happen and when. It is up to us to ensure everything runs smoothly for the new students.
Students can absolutely come to me for questions/advice! There are lots of people around who will help you with any questions you have, including the Coordinators. If you see us walking around, please feel free to ask questions because we are more than willing to help you out. The best thing about Orientation is meeting a ton of new people. I know it was one of my favourite things about Orientation. There were activities in place depending on who you were living with (if you live on campus) and with people in your course. It meant I would know at least a couple of people before starting the year. Some of them became good friends as the year went on.
My top tip for Orientation is don’t be afraid to express yourself and be out there! Uni is about finding yourself, so feel free to be YOU! Be loud! Get crazy! Honestly, just relax and have fun. Orientation is about you, so make the most out of it.
Some advice for students in their first session of university is to find your study style. Everyone has a different way they study, and the first session is the perfect time to work out what works best for you. If something doesn’t work, try something else. There is no wrong way to study. If it works, it works. Spend a little time now to work it out to help you save time in the future. It’s worth the hassle.”
Kaisa Aruaas, Bathurst
“My name is Kaisa, and I started a Bachelor of Nursing in July 2021. The thing I love most about Charles Sturt is the campus life, and hopefully it will only get better with all the new students starting their studies soon.
I wanted to become an Orientation Coordinator because I didn’t have a big Orientation as I started in July when COVID-19 was at its peak. I wanted to organise something awesome for new students to welcome them to university and start their journey with an awesome, fun experience. My duties during Orientation are ensuring our events run smoothly and being there for students and leaders if they need help or guidance.
Will students be able to come to me for questions and advice? Of course, and always! If you see me hanging around and you have a question, a problem, or you just want to say hi, I am always there for you! And it doesn’t end with Orientation. I am a member of Bathurst’s SRC too, so if you need to chat with somebody, have an awesome idea you want to share or need some guidance, find me, and I’ll help you! The best thing about Orientation is meeting new people that might become your best uni friends and, who knows, maybe even friends you have for life!
The top tip for Orientation from me is to take part in different activities as much as possible. Go alone if your friend doesn’t want to come, and don’t be afraid to do things on your own. You are not the only one who is new, and I bet everyone is a little afraid and out of their comfort zone. You will meet great people at these events, and trust me, it will be fun!
As for some advice in your first session of university, make a plan and stick to it. The first session can be overwhelming, and it depends on you and how well you will handle it. Time goes fast, and it’s hard to catch up if you fall behind! So enjoy your new beginning but don’t forget to study!”
Magnus Cameron, Albury
“My name is Magnus, and I started studying a Bachelor of Business Studies in 2019. There are a few things I love about Charles Sturt. I love the library and the lectures to start! I use the library all the time. It is really good for a late night study, and just some alone time. The lectures are great here, and they really make the subjects fun and interactive. I also love the basketball courts, I go there to play one-on-one with friends.
I wanted to become an Orientation Coordinator because the opportunity was one I couldn’t resist. It has been great work experience and fun to plan what I think will be a great Orientation for you.
My duties surrounding Orientation have been planning and organising the events so far. However, when it comes to Orientation my duties will be making sure everyone has a good time and is safe. I will also help resolve any issues. If anyone does have any questions, queries, or need some advice, don’t be afraid to ask.
The best thing about Orientation is meeting new people and making new friends! It really is! I have a bunch of friends from my Orientation! My top tip for Orientation is to talk to as many new people as possible. Have fun, get into activities and enjoy your new company!
As for advice in your first session of university, organisation and planning is key. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. And don’t be nervous, almost everyone is in the same situation.”
Don’t worry about not being able to spot these students and the rest of the Orientation team during Orientation Week. Everyone will be in pink shirts with the Charles Sturt logo on them!
For more information about this year’s Orientation Week, and to register for certain events happening on your campus, head on over to your Student Portal and keep an eye on your email inbox!
See you there!