We weren't required to come in on the first Monday, but on the very next day we were required to meet up in one of the Clock Tower lecture theatres at 7.30 in the morning! For me that meant waking up sometime around 5am and catching the 6.30 bus! I have to say I don't think I was fully awake at that time in the morning!
Fortunately we were provided with breakfast which included muffins, muesli bars and fruit drinks which managed to fill us. We were then all given our blue 'Ambassador' t-shirts and went off to set up our help desks at our spots. I was with Help Desk One, which was located outside the Clock Tower (the administration building of the university).
Tuesday was probably the busiest day we had, because a powhiri (Maori welcome) was being held for the first year students, and a lot of them would be touring the uni with their 'Uniguides'. We had a lot of students asking us for directions to the marae. I took a couple of students all the way to the marae, which was at the other side of uni! I had nothing better to do though, and it was fun talking to students as I took them there. There was one girl who was running because she thought she was late. I tried to tell her it would be OK but she wouldn't stop running, so I had to run alongside her! There was another girl who was a bit late but I managed to get her to her introductory lecture just on time! I think we really connected...till she went to her lecture! hahaha
We spent the rest of the day at our help desk trying to hand out guides, maps and Orientation programmes to passers-by. We were told the rules (for while we were in uniform) were:
- No leaning
- No cell phones
- No sitting
- No eating
Doing this for eight hours for the next four days was definitely tiring!
Later in the afternoon I got to take a couple of tours around the campus. I went the wrong way with the first group I took, and ended up making up a different route to the one we were told to follow. The second tour I took went a lot more smoothly. I went with Christian, another ambassador from my help desk.
The further we got into the week though, the less busy it got! The next couple of days were really dead! We mostly stood around outside, either talking to each other or watching as people set up food stalls and decorations for the Lantern Festival along Princes Street. I also resorted to counting cars passing by!
I did get to know a few of the ambassadors though, and they were quite cool! Hopefully I'll see them around uni again sometime! One of the ambassadors working with me at the help desk also ended up discussing different girls passing by...quietly of course!
I did also get a few visits from people I knew, like Sarena from high school, Zippo my neighbour and my brother. A few people I had never met before also recognised me, such as a couple of people who recognised me from high school, and some girl who had seen me compete in past accordion competition! That was pretty cool.
On one of the days the rain poured down, which meant we had to relocate our help desk to outside the Clock Tower doors just outside on the steps! Fortunately the rain was short-lived and we soon went back outside on the footpath.
We had a bit of a battle with some of the university admin staff, who would come outside during their break and smoke right outside the building, which is of course against the university's new smoke-free policy! We were told to hand out pamphlets to those we saw who were breaking the law. Our group leader worked in the Clock Tower, and so she knew the people well. She had a little talk to them and they said they knew of the new policy, but kept on going! The next day we found a Smokefree sign that we just quietly placed at their smoking spot. I wonder if they saw that one...
On the subject of breaks, we were given two fifteen minute breaks and one half hour lunch break per day. I'd usually spend my breaks in one of the Clock Tower lecture theatres where the ambassadors used as a 'home base' just sitting down and taking a break. On Monday they actually supplied us with lunch! What a great job!
I also increased the time I spent at the Dessert Club stall. This year we had a completely new committee with none of last year's committee members coming back...except for me. The only problem was I had never met any of these new committee members before! I managed to get to know them during my breaks though and while I was a little unsure of what was going on at first, I eventually admired all the work they had already done for the club, especially since they're quite new!
On Friday, the last day of Orientation, I was desperate to get a group photo so we tried waiting for one of the ambassadors to get back from his tour which was supposed to be 40 minutes. He ended up taking over an hour! We managed to get one in the end before I had to rush off to Grafton for my 4th Year Pharmacy Introduction Lecture, where they awarded the prizes for top student in certain subjects. Yours truly didn't get anything, nor did he deserve to!
The university had organised a Midnight Youth concert just for first year students on Friday afternoon, and Tara (who was in charge of the Student Ambassadors programme) had been using the concert as an incentive - those who worked really hard would get to 'work' at the concert and get paid for it! In the end she said she had gotten such positive feedback that all ambassadors could attend!
I rushed back to the city after my lecture in Grafton to attend the concert. While it was really really loud, there weren't as many people there as I thought! I didn't know too many of the songs Midnight Youth sang. In fact, I only knew two of them, the ones that are always played on the radio, and they were performed at the end of the concert! I just lay on the ground with some of the Student Ambassadors who were really exhausted after a long week!
Funnily enough I saw Jenny from my youth group there! That was probably the third time I had seen Jenny around uni that week!
As Midnight Youth performed their last song, everyone ran over to the stage and started jumping up and down and singing along. It was pretty cool!
What wasn't too cool was the clean-up afterwards, but it wasn't as bad as we thought it'd be. The area was quite clean despite free Coke being given out at the concert!
It was a little sad being the last day we'd be working as a Student Ambassador. I did work for a bit on the following Monday, just wandering around the Quad and in the Information Commons attempting to answer people's questions. I was too busy to do any more work after that though.
I really enjoyed helping out though! It's cool when you can give advice to others.