Rain showers on Thursday didn't dampen the enthusiasm of approximately 700 first-year students who were attending "Rock the VIU" orientation activities at Vancouver Island University.
Georgia Barron, who has enrolled in the university's child and youth care program this fall, painted her body purple to celebrate the activities.
The former president of the student union at Woodlands Secondary School said she was looking forward to connecting with her new professors and fellow classmates during the orientation day activities, which involved tours of the university and a barbecue which provided participants an opportunity to meet their educational peers in an informal setting.
Joanna Hesketh, VIU's enrolment manager, said 200 parents were also on campus during the day to ensure their kids get all the information they require and meet all the people they need to connect with to help ease their transition into university life.
"We hold these activities at the beginning of each school year to provide opportunities for our new students to meet each other, get familiar with the campus and we hold open houses in the afternoon to provide students the chance to meet their new professors and acquire all the information they need before they begin studying here," Hesketh said as hundreds of students stood in line in the pouring rain to pick up burgers and other food at the barbecue.
"There's always a lot of anxiety in the open weeks when classes begin each year because the unknown typically scares a lot of students, so these orientation events help them know where they are going and what they are doing and that helps them feel much more comfortable in their new surroundings."
The "Rock the VIU" event also introduces new students to a wide variety of campus activities, clubs, and opportunities that can take their learning and university experience to the next level.
"We're also getting ready to launch a 'Join 1' campaign that will encourage first year students to join at least one activity throughout the year," said Hesketh.
"We know that students who join one activity do better in their first year of university, and have higher rates of success."
Barron said she's "looking forward" to attending VIU this year and meeting new friends.
She said VIU is one of the few universities in B.C. that offer the program she requires to meet her goals, and she's more than happy that she's able to stay in her hometown while completing her post-secondary education.
"My ultimate goal is to work at the city's Child and Development Centre," she said.
"But who knows where life will take me? I'm looking forward to an excellent year at VIU."
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