A new beginning for some individuals and a welcome back for continuing students. Week of Welcome slowly eases everyone into university life as it can get very overwhelming not just for newcomers but also for the returning students that are still stuck in that summer mode. It is time to say goodbye to summer - as much as most of us do not want to - and start preparing for the academic year.
A new environment, different friends, and an unfamiliar schedule can all be a bit too intimidating and scary at first sight, we’ve all been there, trust me. Some of us have moved to many different schools throughout our lives, changed countries and some of us might have stayed in the same school from kindergarten until the end of high school but in the end, we are all sooner or later presented with a change or a shift. It can be stressful but that is why we have dedicated an entire WEEK OF WELCOME!
During 23rd – 27th September across the Middlesex University Campus, five entire days were assigned to giving you a glimpse into what the place you will be studying at for the next three years or so has to offer. You could finally take your time to absorb every single aspect of your new university life at your own pace and figure out how to best manage your time throughout the week. In the end you know yourself best and what you like to be part of.
The days would begin with the collection of class schedules and student cards – your new identity basically. When peeping at your schedule for the first time, it might look like there are a lot of classes with not enough time for anything. Trick is that there are usually two timings for the same seminars, and you get to pick which one you’d like to attend so that classes don’t get too stuffy. One of the best aspects about Week of Welcome is that returning students can guide you, sharing their experiences and giving you advice on how to juggle grades, having a social life, sports and gaining experience through internships and jobs.
In comparison to high school life, university classes are a lot more flexible and spread out giving you more free time than high school ever did. Loads of friendly faces would approach you and encourage you to join their club. With so many clubs on display and loads of enthusiastic students I bet you were all happy that this mini introduction lasted for five days rather than one.
The Culinary Club enticed you to join by giving away treats such as brownies, cookies, sausage bites, flapjacks, spring rolls, cupcakes and banana pudding. However not everyone could easily get their hands on these treats, you would have to take part in their competitions like the donut challenge or cupcake decorating competition.
Rhea Pillai, first year Psychology with Counselling Skills student said: “I really love the interaction. It’s amazing how everyone mingled with one another although no one knew each other. It was a very inclusive event, a big hats off to Middlesex University for organising various events to make this possible.”
Block 16 was the focal point for the music and dance club members. Both clubs prepared various performances and workshops. Monster Crew, a popular all-style dance crew based in Dubai, held a workshop which got everyone moving to the beat. Naomi Rodricks, one of the Music Club coordinators reported that her club sang more than 25 songs during the entire week.
“Week of Welcome was all about making our new students feel at home. It was an opportunity for us to showcase ourselves as a club and more importantly as a family. It was a rewarding experience for us all, in terms of performing and interacting with our new students in the best way we know how which is through music. From this, we were able to get to know our new students as well as their interests” Naomi explains.
Club Fearless, the debate club, held their well-known “Kaleidoscope” event which revolves around the freedom of speech and expression through slam poetry, debate, monologues and songs. They are the one platform in our university where students can bring topics that are very important to them or even controversial through an artistic medium.
“Everyone here is doing something that they enjoy, and that they are passionate about, being able to speak their mind freely. Back in school most of us would be restricted by different rules. Kaleidoscope lets you speak your mind, lets you do what you want, lets you open up to things you have not opened up to before and I really like that” exclaimed Sarah Madani, first year Journalism and Communication student.
Middlesex University has over 22 different clubs which offer something to everyone. You do not have to be in a sports team, the dance club or sing your heart out if that is not your thing. There are also clubs for writing, art, reading, photography and even advertising if you are interested in graphic design.
There is a place for everyone, Week of Welcome aims to help you find your place, get out of your comfort zone and get you to try exciting new activities to make friends. We hope you enjoyed this year’s five days of welcome and cannot wait for you to be part of next year’s organisation.
Words by: Elena Andra Stoica M00650031