This week is O Week at the University of New England, where all the new students get orientated to their new place and the locals watch and lau… uh, welcome them to our fair town.
Armidale is a small place, so for many of our new students it can be quite a culture shock. The best tip? Get involved in as much as you can. Volunteer, join clubs, embrace everything Armidale has to offer! You too will soon be navigating by pub (yes, even the non-drinkers like me), complaining about roundabouts, and denying anything ever happens here despite your calendar being utterly full. Here’s a few tips and suggestions that you won’t find in the official program.
MONDAY – You’ve just got here, you’re a little overwhelmed, totally get it. So the important things: coffee, and somewhere quiet.
Armidale has a pretty awesome coffee culture and there’s a couple of places on campus where you can get a decent brew, but here’s our survival tip: Era Espresso delivers, and Easy As has drive through coffee (turn into the little lane between the White Bull and the Mazda car dealership, and enter through the car park – there’s a sign if they’re open). Macca’s is 24 hours too should you need a 2am kinda coffee.
For something quiet, the Belgrave Cinema Film Club has an arthouse movie screening most Monday afternoons, today it’s ‘Triangle of Sadness’. We’re sure that isn’t a subliminal message about trimesters or anything…
TUESDAY – Nothing happens on Tuesdays. It’s a rule.
Probably as good a time as any to check out Boobooks in the Mall (between the Newie and Tatts), more than an awesome second hand book shop and cafe, it is a bit of a magnet for the local queer and arts communities.
Oh ok, there’s Trivia at the White Bull. And the Sports Olympiad on Tuesday arvo is good for the sporty people and funny for the rest of us, especially the tug-o-war… but that’s in the official program.
WEDNESDAY – Trivia is a big thing in Armidale, because we embrace our nerdiness and celebrate those who can bring the knowledge. Wednesday’s trivia you have the choice of the Newie or the Railway both starting at 7pm.
At the Armidale Playhouse there’s a movie showing about the takayana and the destruction of the forest in collaboration with the Bob Brown Foundation. Must do for budding environmental warriors to meet up with the who’s who of Armidale’s greenie scene.
Crafty people may want to link up with the local knitter’s guild – they’re meeting on Wednesday at the Servies.
THURSDAY – There’s a pool comp on at the Royal (the pub between the Wicklow and the White Bull), and Trivia at the Bowlo (across the road from the Wicklow, middle of the block), if you didn’t get enough trivia at the White Bull on Tuesday and the Newie on Wednesday.
Or for those who prefer to tap their feet rather than cue chalk or brain, there’s live jazz at the Welder’s Dog. Not an actual dog belonging to a welder; it’s a local beer, and a pretty decent drinking hole, diagonally opposite the Kilda.
FRIDAY – Glow party at the Newie – Look, it’s probably best that you get used to making the trek to the Newie, White Bull, Wicklow, or Kilda of a Friday Night as soon as possible. When you’re ready to level up, you’ll do all of them in the one night and stop at a few others along the way. You don’t need to drink to participate in this time honoured Armidale tradition, it’s about the journey. The iconic Newie is bringing the glow sticks (and 6 DJs), so may as well start there this week.
There’s also the NightMarkets at the Showground. Sure, there’s plenty of free food on campus, but the NightMarkets doesn’t happen all the time – so make the night of it and get some decent noodles or other street food. Any other week we’d say hit up Pearl Perch or Neville’s for a decent burger and proper potato scallops. (Don’t you dare call them potato cakes.)
The St Kilda Hotel (which you shall from here on just refer to as the Kilda) has a bit more tame evening of meat raffles and a DJ, the Bowlo has raffles and live music,
If that’s way too loud for you, there’s a ‘Sip, Paint and Laugh‘ event at Tatts but it’s a bit expensive for most student budgets. Most of the colleges will have some event planned too.
WEEKEND – heaps. But by then you’ll most likely be tired and needing to recover a lil… Hit the Goldfish Bowl for more good coffee plus your choice of epically good bakery treats, catch a free movie in Civic Park on Saturday, then check out Markets in the Mall on Sunday.
These events are in the official program but we highly recommend:
- Lifesaver Day – on Friday, head to Sport UNE and check out all the stalls of clubs and other things you can get involved in. This is a must do, if for no other reason than there’s usually a heap of freebies and giveaways.
- The Art Party at NERAM on Wednesday – get some culture into the mix with a tour and a bit of painting at our local art gallery.
- Must do is the National Park trip on Saturday. Trust us, the National Parks around here are gobsmackingly beautiful. Go see them!