O-Week has always been about good vibes and good times - and despite COVID-19 restrictions, 2021 is no different.
"The vibes are good, it makes me excited," first-year student Jacinta Cliff said.
Jacinta and her friends, Tayla Ward, Bek Lie and Abbey Bryant were among the throng at the University of Wollongong's O-Festival on Tuesday, February 23.
"We haven't experienced uni life without COVID yet, so maybe the difference will become more apparent when COVID goes away," Tayla said.
Until then, they were happy to soak up the atmosphere with their fellow students.
Event manager at UOW, Chiara Mammone, said the O-Festival was a step towards rebuilding a vibrant campus for new and returning students in 2021.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, most students did not attend campus regularly in 2020.
"We missed the students as much as they missed coming to campus," Ms Mammone said.
The COVID-safe celebration features music, free food and stalls hosted by service providers and university clubs, and runs between 1pm and 4pm from Tuesday to Thursday.
Students are required to register online and check in at the event.
Masks and hand sanitiser are available, and social distancing is being encouraged.
Matthew Healey is a first year computer science student from Kiama, and said he was excited to be on campus in 2021.
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"Seeing all the clubs and things now I'm really excited," he said.
Fellow first-year student Beth Davies agreed.
"It's been a lot of fun - people are really welcoming," she said.
Faculty orientation sessions are being conducted online, and are available to international and interstate students who are unable to attend the main campus.
There are also online service provider information sessions for students who can't make it to O-Week in person.
For those who can, there are also evening social events on offer, including a movie night, a trivia night and a comedy night.
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