It's the last week of August, which means that colleges and universities across the country are preparing for an influx of thousands of brand-new post-secondary students. Some of those students will be moving into on-campus residences, adjusting to new roommates and cafeteria food. Others are living off campus but still looking for ways to participate in college and university life.
Canada's post-secondary institutions traditionally plan a week full of activities for frosh or orientation week, covering everything from the basics of getting ready for class to late-night parties. These activities have changed over the years, becoming more culturally inclusive and focusing less on hard partying and more on serious issues like sexuality and personal safety, but there's still plenty of fun to be had.
Here's a round-up of the 10 frosh-week activities for 2013 that most have us wishing we were freshmen again.
Outdoor/Indoor Pool Party
It's technically still summer, which means it's a great time for a pool party. As part of <a href="http://www.amsfirstweek.com/pages/indoor-outdoor-pool-party" target="_blank">AMS Firstweek at the University of British Columbia, you can attend an indoor/outdoor pool party at the UBC Aquatic Centre</a> — one of the longest-running events of the week. Swim outside under the stars, play indoors on inflatable toys, and listen to great music courtesy of a DJ. Can we come?
Ontario band Hollerado are known online for their <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Whv1tLqKZig" target="_blank">creative music videos,</a> but they also put on a great live show. New students at the University of Calgary will see that first hand when the <a href="http://www.ucalgary.ca/orientation/fall/events-overview" target="_blank">band headlines the annual orientation ball at the MacEwan Hall Ballroom.</a>
Orientation Week isn't all about parties — one exciting event at Carlton this year is a <a href="http://www5.carleton.ca/fallorientation/2013/mtvs-andrew-jenks-to-speak-at-fall-orientation-2" target="_blank">talk with MTV's Andrew Jenks about his experiences travelling the world.</a> Jenks is the star of the documentary series "World of Jenks" and recently released his first book My Adventures as a Young Filmmaker, about his visits to countries like Nepal, Japan, and Brussels. Sounds fascinating!
Frosher On The Roof
Montreal is a diverse city, and its events for orientation week reflect that. McGill University's Jewish frosh week for 2013 is called<a href="http://frosherontheroof.wix.com/thejewishfrosh2013" target="_blank"> Frosher on the Roof,</a> and events are aimed at introducing new students to Montreal from a Jewish perspective. The schedule includes a tour of Old Jewish Montreal, a BBQ dinner, Shabbat services, and laser tag. The school has alternative frosh weeks for Muslim and Christian students as well.
Have you noticed a bunch of purple people—literally, people dyed purple—wandering around campus? They're probably engineers—engineering faculties at campuses across the country host a purpling event, where incoming students (and vets who are just particularly hardcore) get dyed purple to varying degrees, from their hands or hair to their entire bodies. <a href="http://www.ryeng.ca/frosh2013/faq/" target="_blank">Ryerson's engineering students</a> say that it should only last a few days, though the goal is to get it to stick around "as long as possible."
Nothing brings people together like laughter, right? That's lucky for University of Windsor freshman students, who'll come together to enjoy a <a href="http://www1.uwindsor.ca/windsorwelcome/comedian-debra-digiovanni-uwindsor" target="_blank">live show with comedian Debra DiGiovanni</a> during their new school's orientation week. DiGiovanni is known for her appearances on Match Game and Video on Trial, and is a two-time Canadian Comedy Award winner, so you know it'll be a great time.
Guinness World Records
For close to 20 years, new students at <a href="http://studentlife.uoguelph.ca/cns/navigate/orientation-week/world-record-challenge" target="_blank">Guelph have come together to try to beat a world record.</a> The attempts have included the most people simultaneously playing air guitar, the largest game of "Simon Says," and the longest human centipede. They've got a good track record: eight world records have been set over the years, and four still stand. Watch to see which record they'll try to topple this year.
Sharing a book is a great way to build togetherness, and new students at Queen's University will find out about that through a book club that includes the entire freshman class. All first-year students can opt into <a href="http://queensu.ca/seo/orientation/qreads.html" target="_blank">Queen's Reads, a program giving out copies of The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls.</a> Discussions about the book will happen online, in small groups around campus, and at a public lecture by the author later in September.
Shine-arama! Shine Shine-arama! If you've been anywhere near a <a href="http://www.usc.uwo.ca/oweek/saturday.asp#shineday" target="_blank">Canadian university campus in September, you've probably heard this chant.</a> The annual <a href="http://www.cysticfibrosis.ca/en/Shinerama/" target="_blank">Shinerama fundraising event raises money for Cystic Fibrosis Canada,</a> and started with shining shoes for charity. Now students go out into the streets to collect coins by creative means: cheering, dancing, singing, and doing anything to get attention from passerby.
Black And Gold Ball
<a href="https://www.google.com/calendar/render?eid=cmQ2NmFrYWtsbDI0YTJmdGo0ZjZrMzdrb28gOW51MThybDJsNGw5YWoxNGQ1YWtvc3VsbjRAZw&ctz=America/Halifax&sf=true&output=xml" target="_blank">Nova Scotia's Dalhousie throws an annual Black & Gold Ball</a> for new students, and the event is aimed at catering to everyone. The upstairs is a 1000-person dance party--which either sounds amazing or awful, depending on your personality. Downstairs in the campus bar, students with something quieter in mind can participate in trivia events, a talent show, and open mic performances. Hooray for inclusiveness!
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