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Meeting new friends is the solution to a nervous first week

3 March 2017
600 new students make friends at Orientation Week

First year engineering and IT students, starting their university journey, stressed the importance of making connections in the first few weeks to help smooth the transition from high school to university.

A wise person once said, “a friend is someone who helps you up when you’re down and if they can’t, they lay down beside you and listen” (Winnie the Pooh). This was definitely the unofficial motto during this year’s Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies Orientation Week.

More than 600 engineering and IT first year students commenced their university experience on Tuesday with talks from lecturers, student societies, library representatives and the student representative council on the support services available for students. Each stressed the importance of making connections in the first few weeks to help smooth the transition from high school to university.

Students were provided with helpful tips on how to learn and succeed in a university setting, the essential information to get started, as well as how to get involved with the many engineering, IT and project management societies on offer. 

Students were then split into groups based on their study stream, led by student mentors, to get to know each other better. Two students chatting away like old friends were Kaela Lauren and Vivian Pao, who had only just met that morning and were both about to embark on their first year of a Bachelor of Engineering Honours (Mechatronic) degree.

Kaela was nervous but excited about starting university. The robotics aspects of mechatronic engineering initially attracted her to the degree, however she’s now excited about starting a Humanitarian Engineering major. “It was the main reason why I decided to come to Sydney. I really want to work with communities and help others.” 

Her new friend, Vivian Pao chose mechatronic engineering as she sees it as “the intersection between software, electrical and mechanical engineering; so it’s going to allow me to get a taste of everything great engineering has to offer”.

“Sydney University stood out to me because of its employability rankings and for me a great career after my degree is so important,” Vivian said.

Each student has their own story and motivation for their chosen degree and for first year student, Stephanie Quach her interest in biomedical engineering came from her “desire to improve the lives of others on a large scale”. 

“Biomedical engineering was my degree of choice, and Sydney University has always been my first preference. From my experience so far Sydney Uni seems like a fun and friendly place; everyone has been so helpful,” Stephanie said.

The week-long festivities continued with a BBQ, talks and stalls set up around the Engineering and IT precinct on Wednesday, as well as the university-wide events and activities. These involved demonstrations, society stalls, jumping castles and of course free food.