Hey! Welcome to my first blog! If you’re anything like me, you’re reading this because you honestly have no idea what university life is about and are seeking answers to questions you can’t even formulate. Maybe you’re coming to Auckland from overseas like I did or even just from another part of New Zealand. Well, for whatever reason you’ve ended up reading this and I hope that over the course of this year I can help shine a light on what it’s like to be a first-year student at the University of Auckland.

So this year I’m living at Huia Residence, which may not be as flashy as University Halls but it certainly has its charm. And most importantly, it offers the flexibility to be fully, or partially, self-catered. I’ve opted to partially self-cater, and make my own breakfast and lunch, while still enjoying the luxury of a cooked evening meal.

That said, on move-in day I had to find the time to quickly go buy milk from the convenience store so I’d actually be able to eat my breakfast the next day!

Arrival Tips

I think the other bloggers have done a pretty good job of giving some tips and tricks for move-in day but I’d like to add for anyone looking to come to Huia to see if you can buy at least some dry goods (cereal, nuts, crisps etc.) prior to arriving, it’ll make your first day or so a bit less hectic if you don’t have to:
1. Pick a supermarket to go to
2. Walk downhill to it – yes they are *all* downhill from Huia
3. Walk all the way back UP hill laden with carrier bags
Alternatively… figure out who on your floor brought their car 😉

People in togas walking down the street

Toga Party was another highlight of the week and walking over as a Halls group made it all feel a bit less ridiculous!

Once you’ve got your food sorted, you’ll find you have plenty of time to enjoy the plethora of activities offered in O’Week by the Halls of Residences. Being fresh to the country and not knowing anyone here, I think the activities such as Speed Friending and even just sitting in the common room of your floor during the first few days are some of the best ways to meet new people. Inevitably you will see the people on your floor around all the time, so it’s best to say hello in the first few days before things get toooo awkward.

Orientation Days & Walking Tour

And of course, your Orientation Day(s) are another way to meet people. After attending the Powhiri/Welcoming ceremony, everyone gets placed into groups led by ‘uniguides’ who are current students and will stay with you for the day to make sure you get a rough idea of the campus and also take you to your DELNA screening (which honestly isn’t something to worry too much about).

Trees with extremely low hanging branches over a pathway

Just one of the many cool things I saw on the walking tour. These trees are insane!

My orientation days weren’t until Thursday and Friday so I did have some time earlier in the week to explore Auckland. I actually got invited on a free walking tour with Ben, one of the other bloggers, which was a fantastic way of not only getting a better feel for the layout of the city but also a bit of the history and background information of some landmarks and sites. It would not have been something I would’ve thought of doing, but I would highly recommend it to someone new to Auckland. Like, did you know there are tunnels hidden underneath Albert Park which were designed to shelter 10s of thousands of people in case of attack during World War Two?

 

I’m writing this at the end of my first week of classes, so look out for my next blog which will likely cover more of that side of things! So far, the experience of living in Halls of Residence is less daunting and far more welcoming than I expected. And the food is actually alright, it by no means matches mum’s but it would definitely be far better than school camp food (my fear before arriving) !

Thanks for reading, and if you have any questions – feel free to ask below! Otherwise, see you again next time 🙂

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Rory Tait

Hi! I'm Rory, I'm originally from the UK but I grew up in Australia and now I'm studying a Bachelor of Commerce and Diploma of Language in French at the University of Auckland!

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