Virtual events help first year students in their transition to university

Emily Clarke

The Students’ Union (SU) of DCU has held a number of virtual events to help first year students adapt to a new hybrid of online learning and interact with their potential classmates.

Throughout the two weeks of orientation, different vice presidents of the SU held events which allowed first years to settle, focusing on LGBTQ+ life, presentation and mingling skills and an introduction to neurodiversity in DCU.

On Thursday, DCUSU held a live event on YouTube with different elements such as live music from the Riff Shop and Tebi Rex; as well as a cooking show, a more light-hearted and fun event that somewhat reflects the Fresher’s Fest event that has been held in previous years.

First-year English and Religion student, James Heath, attended some events that he was interested in and enjoyed the DCUSU Live virtual event the most.

Heath believes he would have been “completely lost if [HE] didn’t have those two weeks of getting all the information.”

While Heath had met some new people, he found that he didn’t have much interaction with individual people as he found it difficult to do over a Zoom call. He said that breakout rooms during his Zoom lectures have helped him more in talking to people.

“To be honest, I haven’t actually made any new friends in the college just yet,” he explained, “but once I can actually meet people in person, I do think that’ll change.”

Despite the inability to properly interact with people via Zoom, Heath doesn’t believe meeting people virtually is much more difficult than in person.

“Because we are having those breakout room discussions and we have the opportunity at times to engage in the class… I personally don’t think it makes it any more difficult because we do have those interactions during class.”

As it stands, Heath does feel as though he is settling into college and speaking to more people than he was expecting to, regardless of blended learning.

Emily Clarke

Image Credit: Zainab Boladale