Disorientation Week

O-Week on the residents committee of an ANU college – work camp for the willing. Our once proud-standing team slumps lethargically; once fine physiques covered in barbecue-induced burns and bright youthful eyes have glazed over with the after-effects of a week’s worth of hangovers. This is O-Week from the other side.

Seven days ago, 200 people turned up and demanded parties, food and embarrassing memories – courtesy of costumes and intoxication. We have provided. We gave bacon. There has been self-sacrifice, coffee-crawls and a truckload of sugar. There were more spring rolls than our college has ovens.  There were piñatas, belly-dancing and G-strings on men.

Life lessons have abounded, and not just for those thrust into the spotlight in their journey towards independence. 100 frankfurters are difficult to cook and keep heated without significant effort. Aluminum foil can fix everything. People still drink cruisers. It will always rain when you want an event with 200 people to be outside. Never, ever, use normal paint instead of body paint.

We are now able to cook for 200 in under an hour, paint henna tattoos, expertly fix streamers and expect only 3.5 hours of sleep a night. If we ever need to babysit, feed and entertain a plethora of 18-year olds again, we’ll be all over it, just with a hell of a lot less simmering tension and a lot more enforced nap times.

Unfortunately, having spent the whole week frying things and cleaning up, I haven’t actually managed to meet any of the first years. Beyond various complaints and compliments about the week’s progress, my interaction with the new cohort has been pretty darned limited. With my outlook on the freshies mainly based on shallow judgment and thinly veiled prejudice, I can only hope that with more sleep comes more understanding.

Amongst the glitter, sleep deprivation and more glitter, I remembered that I am at University to do a degree, only with the shock of Law tutorial enrolments. Oh sweet Jesus.

O-Week was fun, I just won’t be organising the next one.


We acknowledge the Ngunnawal and Ngambri people, who are the Traditional Custodians of the land on which Woroni, Woroni Radio and Woroni TV are created, edited, published, printed and distributed. We pay our respects to Elders past and present. We acknowledge that the name Woroni was taken from the Wadi Wadi Nation without permission, and we are striving to do better for future reconciliation.