Meet Ben Gill, the President of the ANU Student's Association

Why you should attend your Orientation Week

O-week is a great opportunity to get a taste of what your student experience can offer you.

O-week is a great opportunity to get a taste of what your student experience can offer you. The diversity of events alone, ranging from social to academic all contribute to what can be one of the most enriching weeks of the year.

Being from Canberra myself (a 'townie') my first O-week was comprised events run by the University including; library tours, essay writing workshops, and my academic college inductions. Reflecting on my experience, though I didn't realise it at the time the information I picked up at these sessions allowed for a smoother transition to my first year at University and saved me a lot of hassle down the track in comparison to my peers who skipped out on the sessions in O-week.

In addition, and just as importantly I attended numerous social events organised by the ANU Student's Association (ANUSA). While these events were on the surface different to the information sessions organised by the University, upon reflection they were just as pivotal to engaging me in my student experience and allowed me to foster friendships which have stood the test of time (5 years on and going strong). These relationships have played a crucial role in supporting me through university and have made all the difference in the challenging times that students face at one time or another.

Now entering my sixth O-week my advice is this:

  1. Turn up and be open to experience new things - whether they be in or outside your comfort zone.
  2. Don't judge books by their covers - be aware that many students upon arrival at ANU are still the awkward teenager waiting to find themselves and that more often than not those who surprise you will be those you least expect.
  3. Be kind to yourself and others - O-week is one of the busiest weeks of the year, take time for yourself, don't feel pressured to attend everything.
  4. Be that person who speaks to those looking for an opportunity to engage - you will never know how much it means and the extent you are a positive force in shaping their student experience.