Welcome to O-Week, or Orientation Week for all you Yanks. The week before uni officially starts is a time for campus tours, meetings, free food, concerts and bonding games for all the frosh or new students to the University of Adelaide. Sounds like a typical college experience? Well, did I mention that all of these activities revolve around beer?

Imagine going to college and everyone can drink legally, first through fourth years, and the school encourages it. In fact, we have a bar located in the dead center of our campus. It’s a much more thirst-quenching landmark than Storke Tower. As soon as my friends and I rolled up to the O-Week festivities, we were bombarded by different organizations, games, activities and drink specials. Sign up for clubs and events and then enjoy the free barbecue while watching students compete in Aussie-style flip cup games and chugging contests.

Oh, and don’t forget to pay $5 for the Popeye Cruises that run every afternoon. The Popeye Cruises offer a pleasant boat ride down the River Torrens and all the free Tooheys New beer a student could drink… during the 25 minutes the boat ride lasts. I downed that beer like I was dying and the cure was at the bottom of the cup. Most everyone else did, too. As those precious free beer minutes ticked by, the Aussies in the back of the boat began a loud drinking song about bestiality and wallabies. The other UCSB girls and I tried to start a round of “OlŽ, olŽ, olŽ, olŽ, Gauchos! Gauchos!” but no one seemed interested.

After the cruise, we played in the bounce houses and then split up to our separate homes. The St. Mark’s kids had a pub crawl to attend later that night with the rest of their dormitory and one guy kneed himself in the head while in the bounce house, so everyone required a good nap.

The best event we went to, however, was hands down Skullduggery last Saturday night. Skullduggery was a huge four-hour long party held on campus with a dance floor, DJs and free beer and vodka mixed drinks. Now, I’m no expert on the history of Skullduggery, but apparently it has been an event since 1896, and it seems that most everyone in Adelaide has attended at some point in time. Various posters floated around campus with slogans like “Jesus Went” and “Further Your Study of Anatomy.” I was completely stoked.

Skullduggery was amazing. All the exchange students were there and we partied like it was 1999. The Aussies loved our California accents and gleefully proceeded to engage in beer drinking contests with the boys. Bad idea. I have seen some serious drinking in I.V. but never have I beheld an Australian in a drinking contest. A lightning storm burst near the end and added more flavor to already tremendous event. We finished our night by drunkenly eating kangaroo quesadillas.

Everyday of that week consisted of such fun activities, both drinking and otherwise, and faculty and students alike enjoyed themselves. There were always cops present, but they just kept the peace and not once did I observe injury or arrest. It is a rather new feeling to be treated like an adult by older adults, and the whole week makes me jealous of the Australian college system that ours can’t be like.