How to get the most out of Orientation

Attending Orientation is a rite of passage for first-year university students. Along with sorting out the essentials at Student Central (hello parking permit and ID card), the week is an exciting and valuable opportunity to gain insight into the degree you have chosen to study and  meet some of the people you’ll be learning alongside. It also allows you one last chance to relax and prepare before the academic aspects of university life kick in.

Here are the ways you can make the most of your Orientation (aka O-Week) experience at UON:

1. Get your uni admin sorted first

It doesn’t sound exciting, but buying your textbooks, printing out your course outlines and collecting your student ID from Student Central are all worth getting sorted at the beginning of Orientation. Doing all the boring stuff straight away will leave you with more time to relax and have fun for the rest of the week, so get it sorted early.

2. Attend as much as you can (even if you think you’ll hate it)

Degree essential sessions – are they really that important?

Short answer: yes.

As well as providing you with vital information that a course outline just can’t, you get the chance to meet your lecturers and see where some of your classes will be held. I met some of my closest uni friends at my degree info session, so giving up half of your day is a small price to pay.

3. Take a campus tour

Student Central run daily tours of Callaghan campus between 1-3pm throughout Orientation, so why not grab some friends and go for a walk around the place you will be spending the next few years of your life? Although you may think you don’t need a tour, the ‘Directions’ section of the myUON app can only get you so far. When you’re running late to your first lecture and actually have somewhat of an idea where you’re going, you’ll be grateful for having already been shown around (I learnt this one the hard way).

4. Sign-up for a Peer Mentor

Starting out at UON, especially if you’re not from Newcastle, can be overwhelming at first. If you’d like some advice from someone who’s been through it all before, a Peer Mentor is the way to go. Peer Mentors provide insights into their university experience and advice on studying at UON, making your transition to university that little bit easier in those first few weeks.

To sign up for a Peer Mentor, visit

5. Attend a free academic workshop

Getting back into the swing of study can be challenging, so to make sure you’re confident and ready to go when semester starts, UON offer a wide range of free Study Skills workshops. Workshops cover aspects of academic life including how to take lecture notes, manage your time, navigate Blackboard, and reference correctly. Better yet, you can attend as many as you like!

For more information on the ‘Study Skills’ workshops and to sign up, visit

6. Check out the Student Life, Clubs & Societies Expo

For those of you at Callaghan, NeW Space and Ourimbah campuses, make sure to have a gander at the Clubs & Societies Expo. With more than 80 clubs running, something is bound to pique your interest. There’s a mix of degree-based and social clubs, which range from Water Polo, Criminology and Criminal Justice, right through to the Medieval Society! The Expo is your chance to sign-up and meet new people, as well as get some more general information about being a student at UON.

Newcastle University Students Association is UON’s student union body and is completely free to join. NUSA’s aim is to enhance the wellbeing of students through events – including free BBQs on campus – and campaigns to ensure the University hears the voice of the students. 

7. Join a sporting team

So you know the movie Space Jam? Sports Jam is kind of the same. Except with less Looney Toons, Michael Jordan and aliens. Ok, so the only thing they have in common is sports and a great time, but this is the perfect chance to show off your athletic prowess!

A heap of UON’s sporting teams will be set up at Oval 1 (along with some DJs and a BBQ), where you can take your pick of what you feel like joining in 2019. Don’t know how to play a sport? No problem! This is your chance to learn.

8. Relax with a drive-in movie, water-park party and backyard cricket

If you think attending Orientation is just about showing up for registration and your degree information session, you couldn’t be more wrong. There’s loads of events throughout the week to get your time at UON off to a cracking start.

Cool off from the summer heat at the Water Park Party, where there will be a deluxe pool, slides, hammocks, games and music. Not really your thing? Go retro and pull up your car at UON’s very own pop-up Drive-In. With the flick of choice being Black Panther, how could you not? #wakandaforever

Or if you just want some good vibes in the sun, come along for a game of backyard cricket near the Auchmuty Library.

For those of you at our Central Coast and Port Macquarie campuses, there’s no need to feel like you’re missing out on the fun, with plenty of roving entertainment and activities.

You can find a full schedule of events on the UON website.

9. Wrap up the week with O Party!

O Party is pretty legendary here at UON, and certainly not a party you want to miss. Time to have one big hurrah before hitting the books the following week! Hosted at Callaghan’s Bar on the Hill, there will be party-priced drinks and buses into town later in the night.

Please note this is an 18+ event.