2 weeks of O’s… Orientation, O-Week, Oh My.
Hey blog friends! First off, I’m still alive. That’s a good start. Moving on, the past two weeks were some of the most action-packed and exciting days of my life. It started with a 15-hour flight from LA where we landed in Sydney at about 8 in the morning (skipping all of Sunday in the process). I met a few people on the plane and then most all of us were rounded up like cattle after arriving in Sydney. This is where the adventure really began!
We headed directly from the airport to the hostel where we would be staying for all of orientation, and it was amazing! Very new and in a perfect location with a view of the opera house, harbour bridge, and the entire downtown skyline! I’ll get some pictures up here as soon as I can since words really can’t describe the views that we had, especially at sunrise and sunset.
The next 3 ½ days were jam packed with fun activities, which also served as a great way to get to know some of the other 40ish kids in our program. The activities ranged from a walking tour of Sydney, to a trip to a wildlife park with kangaroo petting, to dancing with aborigines, to a trip to see a surf competition at Manly Beach, to an amazing dinner cruise in the Sydney harbour! The last night on the cruise was probably my favorite part of all, although playing around with kangaroos and koalas was definitely a close second! One other cool thing we did in Sydney was to adventure off to a pub one night that was having hermit crab races! It was just as it sounds, and was incredibly entertaining! All in all, the Butler staff put together an absolutely amazing 3 days for us and we were very lucky to have such great leaders!
After orientation, we were on top of the world. Little did we know, things were about to get even better/more exciting/crazier! Our group of 15 (the other 25 were headed to Uni in Sydney or Wollongong) had a quick flight down to Melbourne and then were split up and dropped off at our separate housing areas. I was placed in University College (which I would recommend to anybody applying to Melbourne Uni or RMIT next year) along with 3 other guys (Brian, Cam-bam, and Pat) and 2 girls (Dena and Michelle). College life here is somewhat like a fraternity/sorority back home and it has made it really easy to make friends and get involved in activities!
This brings me to O-week. There is very little that I can actually tell you about O-week, due to extreme confidentiality =) but it’s basically a welcome week for all the new freshers to introduce them to college life, Uni life, and to “initiate” them into UC. I can’t speak for everybody but I think O-week was one of the best weeks of my life! It was jam packed with daily activities and then there were always some good “themed” activities going on at night. It seemed that most everybody was having a great time and it was an awesome way to bond with people and create heaps of memories. Throughout the week your team could earn “fresher points” for a wide variety of things which were tallied up each day and the winning team was awarded the fresher cup on Friday. We also had a fresher king and queen elected (which me and Lisa won!); likely just for being way too keen about everything we did all week. In case any of our leaders or staff ever reads this blog, you were all incredible. Seriously, I’ve never seen 20-some people with as much consistent positive energy and keen-ness as you all. That made the week so much more fun for all of us!
The only negative side of O-week is that it had to come to an end. Unfortunately classes started yesterday so we’re finally getting into a somewhat “normal” schedule, as if that term is really even fair to use. I just got my timetable finalized yesterday and it’s about equal to a US schedule, just with a little less in-class time. In my next blog I’ll make sure to comment a little more on the class structure, since I’m sure I’ll know a little more by then.
Well, that’s all for now folks! As my buddy Justin told me before I left, it really feels impossible to try and describe in words all the things we are experiencing while abroad but I will continue to try my best on here! Hope everything is well back home, miss you all!