O'week at Lincoln
At what point does it sink in?
Is it when you’re first accepted, or when you’re in Kmart deciding which well-priced item will look most aesthetic in your new room? OR, is it when you pack everything up into boxes you got from Bunnings, fill up the boot of mum’s hatchback, and take the trip to North Adelaide. Has it sunk in yet?
Maybe it’s when you arrive and find the older students lounging in bean bags on the front lawns. They say “hey, how are you feeling?” That’s a good question. You’ve been given the keys to your room, they’re yours now. You’re nervous, excited, and pumped for a new year. You look up at the buildings, all of which have names you can’t quite remember from Open Day. But it doesn’t matter, the one name they will eventually all share is home.
This is it, you have arrived. Welcome to O’Week at Lincoln.
The day passes in a blur of “hi I’m…” and “I’m from…” and “I’m studying…”. You meet your new Residential Advisor, they say “hi, I’m your new Residential Advisor”. You slowly unpack the car, pile everything into your room, and mum insists that only she knows how your room should look. It’s not long before you’re hungry -- your stomach growls. Your room now resembles something off the cover of an interior design magazine. Thank you mum, but it won’t last.
You go down to lunch and begin meeting people. It’s hasn’t sunk in yet, but they’re going to be your family for the next year. There’s a sense of anticipation in the air as more and more people arrive. You can’t quite believe yourself when you strike up a conversation with a total stranger, before you realise that they’re just as nervous as you. It’s not long before you discover you’re both doing the same course, and have similar interests.
Within a week, you will have made lifelong friends.
Waking up the next day is a surreal moment to say the least. You’re in a new bed, in a new room, and for a lot of people, a new city. But that’s okay because everyone is in the same boat.
The day begins with meeting your Academic Tutor, after a hearty college breakfast of course. They ease your mind about the university workload, and assure you it’s not as scary as it may seem. Later you’re greeted by College Club and discover there’s an entire group of people dedicated to ensuring that you have a fun week.
Themed items are handed out -- “what are they?” you wonder. Strange alien antennae is the answer. Our theme for 2018? UFO-Week. Themes change every year and are a great way to unite all the new residents and encourage everyone to get to know each other. Name tags are also given out to provide an easy bridge over that awkward “sorry, what was your name again?” phase.
Then it’s time to learn the new resident dance! You’ve been playing many icebreaker games over the last couple days, but none quite like this. First, Club show off their best moves, demonstrating that this dance is more to do with fun than possessing actual skill. And then it’s your turn. The moves are pretty easy, and before long you’re beginning to master them. It’s hard not to smile with everyone dancing around you, and there’s a real sense of accomplishment and affinity when everyone can finish the dance together.
The rest of the week plays out with a mix of social events, academic nights, and trips to university and the city. You learn how to get around on public transport, and the fastest route to uni you can run (we tell ourselves we won’t need it but we will).
You go from getting dressed up for formal dinners, to dressing down for water-fights on the lawns. Beach day also provides an opportunity to enjoy the sunshine, and there are heaps of fun challenges to try during scavenger hunt.
Tired? There are plenty of opportunities for a nap or a quiet night in. Board games, Netflix -- we've got it. And don’t worry, there’s no FOMO here. We use social media to stay in touch with everyone and promote all of our events. This makes sure that everyone knows what’s happening on campus and in the city.
As the week draws to a close, all the residents of Lincoln have with them a fresh set of happy memories to look back on fondly. O’Week has been a great start to the year and has helped to form many new friendships.
There’s a sense of belonging to this new community that has formed.
After O’Week, as residents begin to settle into university, they are greeted with the same support from our tutors, and have many fun social and sporting opportunities to help them relax. Every resident gets to have their say in an O’Week survey, and this kind of instant feedback is encouraged throughout the year to ensure all residents have a voice at Lincoln.
O’Week is a time of discovery and new beginnings. The road to university can be long, and is not without obstacles. However, with the support of Lincoln and its community, this is a journey not made alone.
And that’s when it finally sinks in. You have arrived at Lincoln.
Lincoln Resident and Residential Advisor, 2018