Testing the Waters

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[dropcap]U[/dropcap]niversity is defined by the dictionary as: “an educational institution designed for instruction, examination, or both, of students in many branches of advanced learning, conferring degrees in various faculties, and often embodying colleges and similar institutions”. Yet, within minutes of stepping onto campus, us first year students discover it is so much more.

Logically we knew that our uni experience would not include stalls and free food everyday. We soon realised the vastness and the contrast from where we once were to where we are now. During O-Week, we were small fish in a seemingly large pond, being led around by kind people in yellow shirts and awkwardly asking for assistance from the staff and students who didn’t look too intimidating.  We found ourselves testing the waters as we contacted older students in attempts to buy cheap yet abuse-free texts. Awkwardly typing our overly formal hellos and regards in forums; forcing ourselves to be grown ups. We weren’t in Kansas, but after experiencing the variety we were offered by campus societies and clubs, chances were we could find a Kansas- or Oz-themed collective.

Yet the excitement was linked hand in hand with apprehension when faced with tutorials, professors or simply navigating our way to class. Yet over the course of the first few hours we started to recognise that similarly apprehensive and confused expression as a marker of a ‘first year’. It bonded everyone together, we were all a little lost, a little excited and a lot of us were just a tad nervous. Macquarie was this new world, yet most of us took comfort and joy in the knowledge, that despite our own fears of assignments, the unknown and the somewhat unorthodox societies, that we were facing the beginning of our future. A prospect that has undoubtedly not sunk in yet.

by Angelene Norman