No Monday blues for Humanities freshers

22 January 2013 | Story by Newsroom
Cheery blues: New Humanities students get a rousing welcome from the blue-clad orientation leaders.
Cheery blues: New Humanities students get a rousing welcome from the blue-clad orientation leaders.

Blue Monday is a bad thing? Not if the orientation leaders from UCT's Faculty of Humanities have anything to say about it.

For the new first-year students walking up the Jameson steps for the first time in their campus careers on 21 January, the buzz from the singing, clapping and dancing blue-clad orientation leaders (OLs) surely settled some of the nerves expected of ivy-league freshers.

Humanities kicked off the university's annual Orientation programmes with its day-students instalment in typically happy fashion. After listening (mostly) intently to a handful of speeches by university representatives, the newbies jumped up for some OL-led 'ice-breakers', with the thunderous roar of hundreds of feet stamping on the Beattie Theatre floor felt in neighbouring venues.

Paballo Chauke, OL and third-year student, said the orientation programme was designed to ease new students' transition to university life - academically and socially - by giving the first-years an insider's view of UCT's mechanisms, quirks and support systems.

"We want [the students] to be well introduced to this university, which can be a very big pond for a very small fish," he explained. "We want them to swim and find their way."

Some choice advice included this warning from Dr Jessica Tiffin, Student Development Officer in the Faculty of Humanities: "No matter which school you come from, what background you come from, you will all have one thing in common as you hit first year: it will hit back."

New president of the Students' Representative Council, Lorne Hallendorff, added some of the wisdom given to him by a high-school teacher before he entered the tertiary gauntlet: "Don't do strangers and don't talk to drugs".

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