Speech to the new students 16th of August 2016

Dear new students. My name is Sunniva Braaten, and I am the student leader here at Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences (HiOA). First I want to congratulate you with starting here at HiOA. Congratulations for taking a big step for your own future.
For three years ago, I was in your position. I was 19 years old, and a new student at the primary school teacher education. I was nervous and very excited of what my time at studying would bring me. Now, three years has passed and I have had a very good time here at HiOA. Mostly because I have been involved in the student environment. And this year I even have a break in my studies to work full time to represent the students at HiOA.

The time as a student is a special fase of your life, and you will develop a lot as a person. However, it can be quite hard to know what it takes to get a good time being a student. My mother always tells me that her period as a student was the best time of her life, but how do you make sure that it becomes that good?

I have one good tip for you as a new student: involve yourself. In that way you can easily contribute to make your own time as a student good. Find something you like, and involve yourself!

Here at HiOA we have amongst others many student unions that you can be a part of. Both student unions for different interests and activities, in for example sports, gaming, theatre and so on. Or it can be a more professional student union for your class. We also have a student democracy that you can involve yourself with.

In addition, as a student at HiOA you can run for election in our Student Parliament in the fall.Now that you start a new student, you are going to meet many people in the same situation as yourself. Everything is new and outside the comfort zone. For me it was even challenging to locate myself in a new and big city. Only the small trip from the school and up to the park St. Hanshaugen felt like a trip from one country to another. My wish is that we all remember to be nice to the ones we meet, and that we take care of each other. Because, we are in the same boat all of us. We are all students at HiOA. For some people making friends can happen in no time, while for others it can take longer time. So be open and inclusive with each other today, the rest of the week and all of your time here at HiOA.
I wish you all good luck with your studies!