“Let this be the first chapter of your new novel”

You may have heard something along these lines before and it’s an overused and corny saying, I know, but how accurate is it? When I  started primary school, high school and now entering tertiary study- my first week of living in University Hall-Towers up in Auckland was a week to remember.  

This wasn’t just moving to a school 10mins drive from my house, this was moving to live in New Zealand’s largest city from a town four and a half hours drive away. This was starting a degree that could determine the rest of my life and staying with a bunch of young adults who would have a massive lifelong impact on me. How’s that for pressure?

Not to be too philosophical about this, but really, the introductory chapter of a book sets the scene for the rest of the story. These first few days really were a BIG THING. As challenging as it was (and will be for many of you) to put yourself out there in terms of meeting people and making connections, the first few days are the best time to do this. Just about everyone is feeling similar emotions to what you are- just as lost, just as shy, just as apprehensive, excited and clueless about the upcoming year at university. So just do it!
In talking about introductions, I’ve just realised that I haven’t introduced myself- Hi! My name is Daniel Chow, call me Daniel or Chow, I’ll answer to both. I’m a proud member of the floor 8 fam in University Hall-Towers for 2018. For more info check out my bio on the “2018 bloggers” page.

Anyways, I digress…

Introduced to a new kind of lifestyle, there was a whole lot of change and new experiences that went on. For the remainder of this blog, I’ll briefly share only a few of the many changes that occurred.

I’m doing my first year in biomedical sciences, and I had heard that there was a heck of a load of content to learn in the course and that I had to ‘hit the ground running’. Well, I entered my first day of lectures and was pleasantly surprised…. They were all just introductory lectures with minimal or no course content 😂. Then day two came… and the real lectures began. And yes, I can tell you that the content covered in 50mins of a lecturer talking was astounding. Think about a term’s work of one subject in one, max two lectures- yeah, it’s a pretty hectic pace. All intriguing and interesting but a heck of a lot of it all the same.

The good news is that if you did NCEA level 2 Biology and level 3 Chemistry, you have good background knowledge as the first few lectures that I have sat through have significant content overlap (and if you did IB then apparently you’re even more sussed).


Get amongst it.

That’s pretty much my only advice.

Use that whole first week of life in the halls before lectures start to do stuff. Sure, do all the much needed logistical stuff like sorting out an AT HOP card, course guides and assorted other tasks, but that first week is accommodation O-week. Get involved and meet your floor mates and hall mates. Whatever you do, DO NOT sit in your room and miss out on this quality opportunity to make connections that will be vital to your year. As you’ll find out if you’re living in halls, its a unique experience that may only happen once in a lifetime, so make the most of it.


One of the main concerns about living in catered accommodation is the food. Some might say that I’m a picky eater so this was a certain topic of interest as I entered the halls. Coming into week three of staying in university hall (UH) I gotta do a shameless plug and say that the catering by Flametree dining has done outstandingly, providing for vegetarians, carnivores, picky eaters and everything in between as far as I’m concerned. So far, so good, with no signs of deterioration in food quality.

Living in first-year university accommodations means that access to the recreation centre is paid for. This allows use of the gym facilities as well as the multitude of free programmes that are run daily. I’m not much of a gym buff myself, but I have been dragged along to group activities such as barre class, kickboxing and spin class with my floor and mates. Keep moving and make use of the facilities if you have the opportunity to as it’s great to have that resource there! (That is, if taking the stairs up to floor 8 at least once daily isn’t enough and climbing the Whitaker place hill to Symonds Street isn’t workout enough)


On the topic of health, the “freshers flu” is a phenomenon observed as a cold spreading rapidly in the halls in the first few weeks, as 450 residents in one area means that sickness spreads quick. I’m yet to get it, but I’m resigned to my fate of falling sick sometime in the next few days 🙁  😂.

With that very happy note, I will conclude my first blog for the Inside Word with a short clip from the 2018 Toga Party. Until the next blog guys! Hit me up with any queries in the comments if anything’s on your mind about first year at university 🙂
[Note: apologies for the shoddy filming, and portrait orientation. They are first time filming mistakes that will be remedied for any future vlogs 🙂 ]

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Daniel Chow

Taking on big bad Biomedical Science in my first year at the University of Auckland with hopes of getting into Medicine.

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