Giving New Students a Taste of the Best Yet to Come

Last week, the University of Zululand saw the registration of its first time entering students (FTENs) who will be experiencing University study for the first time.

As such, the Student Services Department hosted the First Year Experience (FYE) campaign aimed at introducing students to university life and give them tools to survive their stay.

Attached to this campaign are a string of exciting events which, according to Project Leader, Ida Scheepers, were designed to help new students swiftly adjust to their new environment at university.

As part of the FYE programme, first year students participated in the Amazing Race competition on Wednesday, 24 January 2018, during which they were divided into competing teams, with each team getting a shot at the ultimate prize.

Scheepers emphasised the importance of the FYE programme. “The registration period is stressful to many students. Sometimes when you feel stressed and anxious, you feel as if you are the only person who’s feeling that. So, when you play games together you realise that you are not alone. The FYE programme breaks the feeling of being intimidated as a first year. Through participation, students are taken to a number of campus tours. They (now) know their way to their respective classes through these games. Research shows that a sense of belonging helps people with being successful. So we feel that creating fun games will create that sense of belonging. This experience helps get rid of some tension. It helps get rid of anxiety because they get to meet others whom are in the same circumstances. Next week it’s a formal orientation and we presume that more students will come to do the orientation programme,” she said.

New student, Fezeka Mathenjwa, applauded the University for a memorable welcome. “The games were fun, exciting and challenging at the same time. We are grateful to the university for this experience. I have always loved this university, even before I registered, I had it as my first choice. Everything is fun here,” Mathenjwa.

Scheepers acknowledged the hardwork of the Peer Helpers orientation team, DVC: Teaching and Learning, Dean of Students and the Director in the Vice-Chancellor’s office.

– Samkele Sokhela

Pictured: First time entering students at UNIZULU with UNIZULU SSD staff members during the First Year Experience (FYE) campaign.