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6 Tips for Having Your Own Orientation Week After First Year

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Western chapter.

Picture driving up to half eaten McDonald’s fries on the collapsing porch of your new student house in early September. After four months away from residence it can be underwhelming, to say the least,when you compare it to your first day in university  involving strangers who are all dressed in matching costumes and cheering you out of the car at the front of your residence, and then rave, rave, raving for the next six days. The difference between starting a new year in residence versus a questionable student house is remarkable. Upon moving off campus in your upper years, watching O-week from the outside for the first or even third time can feel kind of disappointing. So here are six tips for having your own Orientation Week when you don’t live on campus in your upper years. No matter how difficult or ridiculous it may seem, you’ve got nothing to lose from giving it a shot.

1. Clap your housemates out of the car

Second year out of the car rolls off the tongue just the same… right? Admittedly, the exhaustion of shopping, packing, and preparing for the entire the household you are about to move into is different than residence in more ways than anyone can count. It would be nice to experience some excitement the moment you arrive at the new house. So when your housemates roll up in the driveway one by one, drop your bowl of oatmeal that is probably on fire and cheer them on. They probably brought a fire extinguisher.

2. Hit up the club

Everyone is well aware that first year students get to party during zoo-like O-week more than they have in their entire lives. Who says it has to stop there?  Even if a rave hasn’t been lined up for you this year, becoming conveniently of age in your upper years of university aligns the stars for you—that is to say, you can easily hit up the clubs. And a big bonus is that within this first week, you won’t have to expect first years coming in with a $20 bill prepared underneath their fake IDs. Big kids only.

3. Be proud of your housemates when they do something impressive

We all remember the single phrase we heard repeatedly throughout the day during O-week: “THAT’S MY FROSHHH!!!!!” Our sophs took great pleasure in being obnoxiously proud of us and the memories are sure to warm even the coldest of hearts. What did we even do that was so cool—our laundry? The best part is that it doesn’t matter, and you can do the exact same for your housemates! In a new household there is a towering list of ways to mess up. So if your housemate successfully built an entire room’s worth of IKEA furniture after three tries, then that definitely calls for a “THAT’S MY HOUSEMATEEE!!!”

4. Jam out in your living room

One of the most simple yet memorable moments of O-Week was chilling with your floormates in your soph’s room having life chats. Sometimes someone would bring out their ukulele, and like magic it would turn into a jam session on the spot. Good news: the spark is not gone—it never will be! Because living in a student house as opposed to a residence has a couple of its own benefits when it comes to having fun. For example, a living room is much more suitable than a squishy, claustrophobic dorm-room. You  also have the leg up of having at least one friendship that has been legitimate for longer than five days. Put those two together with a drink of your choice and karaoke, and you’re ready to go.

5. Meet people without icebreakers

No icebreakers. Enough said. Sure, there may be people in your household that you haven’t been well acquainted with yet, but you don’t need to know an item that they’d bring to a deserted island to become BFFs. No need for sitting in a silent circle while each person radiates discomfort and checks their phone for that night’s party information every 20 seconds. Schedule a housemate dinner at Warehouse and take a photo with your drinks—simple and easy.

6. Take your own photos on UC Hill

UC Hill photos while the sun sets are prime and everyone knows it. That is, especially with your frosh shirts and at least four people you just met eight seconds ago. It doesn’t matter—you’re pretty sure they’re your best friends. And it’s that exact memory of innocence while smiling at the top of the hill during the first week that sticks with you later on, even if you were too drunk to realize it then. Maybe you don’t want to go back to that, which is completely understandable, but no matter when you take a picture in that spot it’s never one you delete when your phone storage is full. So go up there, beside the gate blocking you off from the festival, and take a picture for your VSCO.

It’s natural to associate O-Week with naive first-years once you’ve experienced it already and forget about your soph carrying your fridge from your car not too long ago. However, most of us can admit feelings of nostalgia for that hiatus of a week when we’ve arrived back in London after first year in a new home that has a missing porch step. Or when we have a nightmare about 1000 people chanting “SAAUUUGEEEN” down UC Hill.

So whether you’ve ever wished for O-Week to restart or not, recreating it doesn’t have to be so hard.

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Naomi is a fourth-year student at Western University, pursuing an Honours Specialization degree in Media Information and Technoculture and a minor in Creative Writing. She is also a Senior Editor for Her Campus Western. Naomi enjoys writing short scrips, blogging about nonsense, and binge reading psycho-thrillers. Her most acknowledged skills are funding the entire dairy farm with her love of cheese and speaking Romanian at inappropriate times.
This is the contributor account for Her Campus Western.