Disappointment turns to delight at o-week

On the scavenger hunt

A lot of planning and effort goes into creating a great O-week – especially the social activities. Just ask the planning committee made up of students from the ANU Medical Students Society, Mr Taliesin Golembiewski (Year 2 General Representative), Ms Fika Ihsan (Year 2 Academic Representative) and Ms April Thomson (Social Representative).

Only a couple of years ago, the biggest uncertainty around o-week social activities was whether the weather would cooperate. These days, COVID has upped the ante.

“We had so many great activities planned, but unfortunately COVID reared its head. Sadly, we could only undertake a scavenger hunt in person,” said Mr Golembiewski.

“The planning committee puts a lot of thought into ensuring the activities chosen allow students to get to know each other and gain an understanding of what to expect in their first year and beyond.”

“In response to the latest outbreak, we did our best to put some of the activities online, such as our trivia competition, and we created an online Q&A session, so hopefully the first years still got a flavour of the culture of the School.”

Mr Patrick Lanteri said, “I was looking forward to meeting my peers and to rejoin a learning environment after the last few years of lockdown and months of holiday. However, I appreciated the university and student society’s effort to make o-week engaging despite the restrictions.”

“The environment and culture at ANU Medical School has stood out to me. I had this vague preconception that medical school would be competitive or antisocial but over o-week I was shown that this wasn’t the case at all,” added Mr Lanteri.

Ms Emma Pearson was initially disappointed with the lack of face-to-face activities.  “While it would have been awesome to have more in person events, I still had a great week and was able to meet some amazing people.”

“I’m new to Canberra so what has surprised me most is actually how beautiful Canberra city is as well as the ANU campus. I didn’t think I would enjoy living here as much as I have been,” Ms Pearson said.

Mr Oliver Read noted, “The best part of my o-week was definitely the scavenger hunt. It was great fun. Even though some of the social activities where online I’m surprised at how many people I’ve been able to meet, and make some friendships.”

Having been in the same position as the first years, only a year ago, Mr Golembiewski said, “I know that starting medical school can seem a bit daunting, but I hope that despite COVID cancellations everyone still got the opportunity to realise that there is fun to be had and it’s not all work.”

“I can tell that the ANU Medical School spirit of camaraderie has been passed on and I am sure that the incoming class of 2025 will be a stellar cohort.”

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