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[light, poppy intro music]
Bridget: So hello and welcome what we’re tentatively calling ‘Better Late Than Fresher’, a podcast brought to you from Pelican Magazine. The whole premise of this thing- I guess everyone was a fresher once, despite having unique university experiences- every person doing their own thing- pretty much everyone had to start at the bottom of the food chain somewhere and navigate their way up through years of uni. This obviously applies if you’re undergraduate, postgraduate, if you’re science or what’s now FABLE (didn’t used to be called FABLE, but- Faculty of Arts, Law, Business and Education), if you’re quaking in your boots or if you’ve been armed with knowledge from older siblings, friends, family members. Even if you think you have a grip on how university works – you usually don’t. And… I mean, I’ve got heaps of knowledge that I’ve gathered throughout university life, and I’ve got no-one to share it with! And it’s probably a similar situation with plenty of people throughout university. So what better than to impart those years of community built UWA specific experience and knowledge, and all that good stuff, onto the next generation of freshers coming up through university? And who better than our fantastic fresher Cohen!
Cohen: [laughs] And what an honour it is to be here.
B: As this is our pilot episode, we better introduce ourselves I guess! I’m Bridget Rumball, I’m the lifestyle editor of Pelican for this year which is awesome. This is my fifth year of being at UWA. I studied a Bachelor of Comms as my undergraduate, did honours and now i’m starting postgraduate law which is awesome. So I have a very different set of experiences under my belt as opposed to someone from the Science faculty, or someone from elsewhere around the university. And, what about you Cohen?
C: My name is Cohen, I’m from Albany and I moved in about two days ago, um…
B: Hell yeah, that’s exciting!
C: I know, I’m so excited! I’m living at St. Catherine’s and I’m going to be doing a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in Law and Society and Political Science and International Relations.
B: That’s a big double major- are you excited for that?
C: You know what? I think quaking in my boots is a better term to use…
B: [laughs] Ah, you’ll be fine! It’s not that bad. I always say that first year’s not as difficult as you think it’ll be, but I mean it probably seems so intimidating at the moment.
C: Well look, you even said earlier that you’ve got like brothers and sisters piling on information to you- all mine did, and it hasn’t helped at all so… [laughs] quite scared actually, yeah!
B: Well, I guess the perfect theme for this first episode, and the theme of this whole week at UWA is orientation. You know, its O-Week; for those playing along at home, O-Week, Orientation Week is the big week for UWA. It’s the first chance for new fresher students to interact with UWA, to get to know where they’re living, or in your case what St Cat’s is all about. Usually starts with a commencement ceremony- has that happened yet?
C: We had the commencement ceremony last night. We didn’t get to go because we had like a college function on last night [laughs] Look, it was a good function- it was very very good. We had a secret garden party…
B: That’s pretty exciting!
C: It was! We got to dress up, it was pretty nice. I had my $6 rose shirt that I got from Wish.com on, so…
B: [whispers] Excellent! You’re prepared! Don’t spend any more than $6 on your first impressions!
C: Now I can’t afford anything more expensive than that.
B: Used up the last $6 in your bank account.
C: Pretty much!
B: And this Friday is O-Day Festival?
B: Yes! Which is another big thing, big part of O-Week. This Friday, from… when is it, 10-4 or something?
C: I’m not even sure [laughs]
B: On James Oval, one of the big university ovals at UWA, all the clubs and Guild and everyone set up all of their stalls and have a chat to all of the freshers about what uni life, and what the fun side of uni life is like. So, that’s something to look forward to I guess!
C: i’m very very excited. And I think around a similar time we’re actually doing a trip to IKEA…
B: Oh my goodness!
C: Yeah, and that’s so out of this world for me! Like, I’ve never even been to IKEA before and we’re doing like a college trip there.
B: That’s exciting! IKEA, get excited for meatballs, get excited for cheap furniture to decorate your dorm-room…
C: That you can’t pronounce!
B: … that you can’t pronounce! Yeah, exactly! Cool, so that’s one of the big things you’re looking forward to.
C: Yeah definitely!
B: Do you know anything about any of the clubs here?
C: I mean, it’s been so much to take in since I got here. Like, I know everything that UWA people told me at my school, so like I know a few of the clubs, but I have a feeling I’m just going to get there and just go wow.
B: Yeah, it’s a lot to take in in this first week. Um, I guess they try to load all this information onto you about, you know, this is where you need to be, this are all the maps, this is where Guild is; and I guess it’s hard to focus on what’s actually going on. And you’re kinda expected to make friends and sign up for clubs and do all the uni stuff at the same time, and its a lot.
C: I mean, they’ve done a really really good job at St Cats with like trying to level everything out and make sure everyone knows where they’re going, but at the same time its just so much content that you’ve got to get in in such a short amount of time that I don’t know where I am most of the time! [laughs]
B: And yeah, I know O-Day is no exception – I think there’s over… like, 150 clubs at U-Dub? And then on top of that you’ve got sports clubs and faculties and its just a culmnative big day at the end of it.
C: Wow, that’s news to me… I didn’t know there were 150 clubs!
B: Right?! I’m pretty sure that… you know, contact me Guild if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure its around 150.
C: That is so cool!
B: Yeah, so if you’ve got hobbies or anything that you’re interested in, there’s probably something! Um, I’m pretty sure.. I think last year they started a Harry Potter club?
C: Are you serious?
B: Yeah! [laughs] They’ve started doing Quidditch as an interfaculty sport…
C: Oh stop, that is the best thing I’ve heard all day!
B: Yeah, so if you’re interested- Harry Potter Club, hit them up! There’s also a politics club which is probably more aligned to the niche that you’re going for. But plenty of opportunities for social interaction and stuff so you’re finding it super busy, meeting new people outside and inside college?
C: Yeah, I’ve got a couple friends that I moved up with but because we’re at different colleges and because it’s been busy I haven’t seen a single one of them since I got here – it’s been crazy. But it’s like – I have a whole new group of friends right now, and I’ve only been here for two days!
B: There you go! That’s the exciting thing. I guess that’s the first major key or the major bit of advice. I was the same. I came out of school and made it a point like – I have my school friends and stuff- but I made it a point to be like ‘You know, I’m going to make a whole new group of friends, meet all these new people that I wouldn’t have ever met before and just go from there, you know, you do! Different experiences, different ages as well, because I guess the majority of freshers which are starting are all your age- super young babies. [laughs] But there’s also some people that are mature age students, late into their twenties as well, so there’s plenty of experiences that are around.
C: Well I mean, there’s 17 year olds that are living at my college; I couldn’t have done that when I was 17. I could barely function as a human when I was 17! [ laughs] Here they are like at university living away from home like that’s so cool!
B: And you know going to IKEA and buying their own furniture…
C: Exactly! You know some cabinets…
B: … setting themselves up. Do you have any major questions about uni stuff?
C: How do you guys know where to go? [laughs]
B: It’s a bit of an instinctual thing. Once you know where all your lectures and timetables and where your tutes align, you’ll be able to know and kind of figure out rat routes in order to get there. I remember my first couple years of uni trying to make it from arts- so, up kind of the further end of campus – to make it all the way down to the business school at the other end of campus trying to time-optimise the run down [laughs]
C: Get your segway out…
B: Yeah, well classes at UWA finish at 45s so like 12:45 or 1:45; you’ve got to optimise that run to be within 15 minutes! People brought in bikes, people brought in skateboards.. yeah that might be an idea. But no, you get to know. And if you know people at Guild, Guild admin are always super helpful around this time of year; whole bunch of freshers getting lost…
Well I mean, walking through this university with someone who’s gone here for a long time it’s like it’s a superhuman experience. You know, ‘how do you get here?’ And they’re like, ‘yeah sure! It’s just behind this tree, down this alleyway, down this block, under this rock..’
B: Through this archway, and the magical gate…
C: Literally! [laughs] And here we are.
B: I mean, we’re pretty lucky that it’s a gorgeous campus. Like Curtin is super spread out everywhere, whereas at UWA everything is spread out but it’s compact as well
C: No definitely.
B: ‘cause I think at Curtin… there’s a bus that goes within the Curtin campus to get you around places. So, I guess College is the other big thing you know you’re talking about St Cat’s and how you’ve moved in there. How’s that been going first week?
C:Look it’s been going so good!
B: Moved in on the Sunday?
C: Yes yeah I moved in on the Sunday! So like it started off with like a garden party where everyone got to know each other and where I didn’t really know anybody ever but awkwardly made friends… everyone’s going around, just awkwardly standing there and you try to gravitate to people that you know but don’t really [laughs]. The Head of college was there as well, and she brought her dog and that was the best…
B: This is so exciting, I didn’t realise St Cat’s had a dog, a college dog! That’s just fantastic.
C: breaking news I’m pretty sure we have three… [laughs]
B: WHAT. Okay, maybe I need to sign up for college… [laughs] Because I was unaware that St Cats had dogs at all! Okay, so garden party, general getting to know you activities…
C: Yeah general getting to getting know you activities. And we’re getting really really keen for our fresher dance as well!
B: Now this is a big college thing. I’ve had friends which have been at some of the other UWA colleges – so we’ve got St Cats, St Georges, Trinity?
B: Who else? Uni hall and… Tommy Moore! And the big thing for all the colleges college is this fresher dance if you want to elaborate on that… or do you not know?
C: Look this is something that I cannot really elaborate on- like this is massive. This is what we’re at college for, this is the whole purpose. So we all have to co-ordinate our own dances within our colleges- so we’ve got like a St Cat’s dance and there’s a St Georges dance – and it’s so secretive because we all want to win so badly, when we have to verse each other with our dances. Not one single secret can get out! Practices are so full on because we just want to win…
B: You practice?
C: Daily. [laughs]
B: [laughs] This is amazing! Because Cohen’s at the moment in front of him got a roster for all the stuff that’s on at the colleges.. like, dance practice written on each day…
C: Literally, literally!
B: Okay, so it’s that big of a deal… this isn’t just individual, two, three people involved with a dance routine.
C: This is all of the freshers.
B: Far out! Co-ordinating to, or lipsyncing to a dance that’s going on, huh?
C: Doing like a full dance. I’m talking Beyonce video, like… [laughs]
B: Look, I don’t know when this will be published, but are you allowed to say what your theme dance is? Or are you going to spill the St Cat’s secret?
C: Look, I can’t reveal any secrets, all I can say is that its going to be a sight to behold.
B: Sight to behold, look forward to it. But no, this is a college fresher rite of passage which has been going on since I started. Like, all of my mates were either like ‘yeah, fresher dance!’ Or ‘ fresher dance please god no, I just want to go to my room and not be involved.’ I think, I guess the point or the goal is to just make you look as stupid as possible right?
C: As long as you’re into it you’re going to look good.
B: [laughs] I feel like it’s a situation where the more stupid you think you look, the better it just is for everybody because you’re all being stupid together.
C: And you know, it’s like ‘I’m here to dance, so I’m going to dance!’
B: I’ve come from Albany, and moved into this college to dance specifically!
C: You know there’s no half doing fresher dance.
B: So that’s cool. How about your room, what’s your room like?
C: My room… I was very surprised with my room. I’ve go like a single room…
B: Lacking in IKEA furniture of course.
C: I mean a little bit… I need a bit more storage. But yeah, it was a lot bigger and better than I thought it would be to be honest! Because I’ve had a few experience with college camps, in some of the other singles, But the one at St Cat’s is really cool. I have a sink in my room; I have two dressers and a full wardrobe; there’s these cupboards that are all the way up the top that I can’t reach but, you know, I’ve got them.
B: Stuff can be stored there if you get on a ladder…
C: I’ve got a giant bookshelf but I’ve only got like 5 books so I need to fill it
B: You know, each textbook that cost you $100 can you know to be slotted into there…
C: Accumulate wealth.
B: Exactly, accumulate wealth! I mean you probably haven’t even thought about classes yet you’ve obviously signed up for units and stuff yeah? And you know where you’re going with all your majors but you have no idea about what’s to come.
C: No, I have no idea. But you know, look, I’m looking forward to it! My first week is going to be like a whirlwind. I feel as if I’m going to like wake up and go ‘Oops! Missed all my classes, wow that sucks!’ My biggest fear at the moment is that I’m going to go to one of my tutorials or classes and I’m gonna sit down and sit there for half an hour and realise that they’re talking about physics and go ‘I’m sorry I don’t belong here!’ [laughs]
B: That still happens in fifth, sixth, seventh year!
B: Yeah, in a lecture this week, we had a girl come in, and we’re talking about case law, legislation, full on legal stuff; someone comes in with a backpack, comes in, sits down, pops out their computer and then just stares for a second and then reverses and walks straight out and everyone goes ‘Bye!’ [laughs] So that always happens- you just don’t want to be the person that it happens to.
C: No thanks, that’s like my biggest fear at the moment.
B:And you’ll make friends in all of those classes and lectures and stuff! So you’ll be all good, I’m certain.
C: And like it’s hard to navigate the timetable because there’s clashes; you can watch some lectures online, then you can’t watch others and you’ve got to go to others..
B: “Got to go to them”, inverted terms or do actually have to go to them? Because as the weeks progress, you will go to less.
C: This is good news.
B: For most of the ones they record I guess you… I shouldn’t be saying this, the uni’ll probably kick me… but most people just have full attendance in the first week and then it just slowly dwindles off when people realise that, huh, I can actually go and get coffee at Tenth State instead of going to a lecture.
Look that’s like a floodgate option for me. I know if I miss a lecture to get a coffee, I will never return to any of them I would be in the cafe all day
what a good boy I don’t know how long that’ll last but [laugh] But no that’s a good way to go about it. You know you have it as a backup and say ‘I’m not going to do it because then it’s just gonna open the floodgates for me!’
C: Pretty much!
B: No that’s the last thing that you probably want! Anything was lectures coming up? I know that tutorials are an even further prospect but we’ll talk about that in a future episode…
C: I mean, I’m just in awe in terms of my timetable. You know, like, last year I had a gap year. I worked 3 jobs all year so that I could save to come to uni. It was fine, it was just really long days- and I’m coming here, and I don’t even have class on a Friday! Like I have 2 classes a day at some point that’s like you know what do I do?
B: I’ve got all this time!
C: I’ve never had this time before!
B:I’ve heard that from people who have had gap years and have come into uni just being like the change is just profound. Working almost full time hours and then move into college and being like ‘what do I do with myself?’
B: And I guess from that point you gotta re-establish, you know, study timetables…
C: Yeah, ‘study timetables’… [laughs]
B: [laughs] Social timetables…
C: Instagram timetables…
B:… all that good stuff, and work around that. It’ll take a bit too; and I guess everyone else is in the same boat! That’s the most important thing to remember that how bad can it be?
C: How bad can it be?
So what else have you done on this week in this fantastic timetable of yours?
We’ve got heaps of stuff, like I’m super keen. So the very last event for O-Week – are you ready for this? You going to be so jealous you didn’t go to St Cat’s for this- it’s called “Rooftop Chai, Chill and Tunes’. It’s on the rooftop garden, Red Frogs are coming down…
B: Is there a rooftop garden at Cat’s?
C: There’s a rooftop garden.
B: See all these kinds of stuff that I’m just I just don’t know about because I didn’t go to college!
C: Ah mate, choices!
B: I’m missing out! Instead of living 20 minutes away, I should just move in just for convenience and then this evidently! That’s full on.
C: But yeah, it’s really cool! I’m missing something at the moment- Instagram Odyssey.
B: I’m sorry!
C: It’s totally fine, my Instagram’s already fire so… [laughs] They literally came in to train the kids how to use Instagram, you know, how to get a following.
B: Why are you missing this? Like go!
C: I already have a following.
B: Look, all of my 7 followers appreciate my content; I’m pretty sure I could benefit from going to an Instagram session.
C: Well look, I’ve got 9 so um…
B: There you go; absolute, on point with the followers [laughs] Ok so it’s all fun interaction like social stuff.
C: Yeah pretty much yeah there’s a few basic, like ground rules covering, stuff but basically. We’re having a quiz tonight…
B: That’s fun! You know, all chances to meet people
C: Exactly! I mean, I’m a bit scared because I always get really really competitive in quizzes.
B: I mean there’s no other way to be during quizzes, you know, as long as you’re not overbearing on other people and all of that…
C: That’s true very true.
B: …as long as you’re not having food fights and throwing people out the window!
C: I mean it is in The Dining Hall so we’ll see how that goes!
B: Is it themed?
C: That’s a very good question! I should probably find that out before I turn up! [laughs]
B: I’m ready with all of my knowledge about Disney! Well that’s great, but it’s not Disney themed.
C: Don’t worry I did that with my work Christmas party last year.
C: It was Christmas themed and there was a girl who painted herself green…
B: Dressed up as a Christmas tree?
C: Literally. There was a lady who had stapled crackers to herself…
B: Oh my god.
C: I turned up in like my jeans…
B: What industry did you work in?
B: Of course. Of course it’s hospo.
C: We go off! [laughs]
B: So you just rocked up in your jeans – you know, ‘jeans and a nice top’…
C: Literally! The reaction that I got was like they had all been in jeans and I turned up in the costume.
B: That’s the only way to go about it. You know, later in the year if you’re invited to any of the Halloween shit that the uni puts on… just go ham. There’s no way that you can do costume and not go nuts for it.
B: So yeah! I will be checking in every fortnight or so to see how you’re doing, if you’ve got any burning questions. You know, your experiences, following along for the wholesome content! Seeing how your Uni experience is going. And similarly to the audience if you’ve got any advice to pass on to beautiful Cohen send them through to email@example.com and we can try and get them answered in the next episode, if Cohen wants to…
C: I would love to!
B: Or we can talk about certain themes or anything really! So… I don’t really have a signoff. Probably should have thought of a signoff. [laughs]
C: Oh… oh I’ve got one! Are you ready?
B: Yeah yeah!
C: “I’m Cohen, and that was so fresh.”
[both laugh hysterically]
B: That was So Fresh 2004…
C: You heard it here first.
B: Alright, we’re doing that every time now. Ready? “I’m Bridget…”
C: ‘And I’m Cohen, and that was…”
Both: “So fresh!”
B: Alright, we’ll see you next week! Bye!
[light, poppy outro music]