What to expect… when you’re a first year… (Week One: DONE!)

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January 27, 2017 by Student 24/7 Blog

Being a first year student can seem daunting, exciting, nerve-wracking; and of course confusing (finding your way around the buildings and being sure you passed the same notice board three times already). New place, new people and a new way of doing things (especially classes and assignments). But before the real work can begin on your academic career, you have other worries on your mind… Such as:

  • Where do I register?
  • Where is Building 11, 12, 24 etc…
  • Student Centre? What’s that?
  • What is going on with NSFAS?
  • Who is an HK? (Followed soon after the question: What is an HK?)
  • What am I supposed to do exactly?

These are just some of the questions that pop into your head as a first year student… And that’s even before classes start!


More than likely, the majority of our first years have gone through the ‘fun’ process of registration already (If not… dudes… you’re a little late, but you still have time). Once that is done (or rather while you’re registering) you are given a book titled: First Year Orientation Programme. Inside, it looks similar to what some of us remember our high school timetables looking. Dates, times, and ‘subjects’ all nicely ordered around for the next two weeks. Now, you will see, depending on your course… There are different times for different ‘subjects’. Mainly this is to ensure that everyone gets a turn, without the chaos of hundreds of students being packed into one room while the speakers try to get their messages across.

What on earth are all those things?

Simply put, these are the basics to understanding what exactly the North-West University Vaal Triangle Campus (NWU Vaal) has to offer. Yip! You heard it right! The Campus is NOT just about academics! There is more than meets the eye! The point of Orientation is to show you (as the first year) what services are available throughout your time here with us. As well as a few tests (yes, already… no, you didn’t have to study before) that will help us, help you…

Tests? What are the tests for?

The tests are pretty straightforward actually… They will help us get a better understanding on your level of things such as language, tech-savviness, and how ready you really are for the new adventure that is Varsity Student! These tests are the TAG/TALL test, Computer Proficiency test, and the STARS test… They are compulsory! So if you haven’t gone for them yet, you better make sure you do before classes start!

What else do we have?

No that you have the tests out of the way…There are still other blocks, with other words on your Orientation timetable… These are helpful in ways you may not imagine; heck you might not think they are useful now… But attending them and seeing what has to be said… Will make the next three years MUCH EASIER.

Some of the events include:

  • Optimising U
  • The Library: Your Study Companion
  • First Year 2017
  • eFundi
  • Campus Clinic: Your Partner in Health
  • University 101
  • Meet your CSRC
  • Do’s and Don’ts of Social Media
  • Human Rights

These cover a wide variety of topics and services that the Campus has to offer to help students. Such services include Student Counselling and Development (SCD) and their CH@S group. Professionals, as well as students who are there to help with emotional, physical or mental problems that you as a student may have. Our Campus security also made sure to have a chat on what the rules are, the library staff helped students understand how books are taken out, what the rooms are for, and how student IT works (amongst other things). eFundi (which many seniors may have told first year students to get used to), is pretty much the go-to site for all resources, assignment hand-ins and anything else your lecturers can come up with!

Students also had a chance to meet the Campus Student Representative Council (CSRC), and learn a little more about their rights, their social media lives, and what it is really like and what to expect with being a first year student…

First Year Orientation: Check!

So… if you look at it… Being a first year isn’t as scary as it used to be… No longer will first years stand in the middle of Campus randomly looking at the geese trying to figure out where Building 9C is… Or not sure where they can print their assignment, or find the book their lecturer has told them is VITALLY important to their classwork…

This is also a time to meet other students who will either be in the same classes as you, or in the same residence. To make friends, group project teammates, Student Centre lunck buddies, ‘brothers and sisters’ who will be there for you until the day you both don your graduation gowns and get ready for the real world.





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