As I write this week’s blog, it is currently inter-semester break (already!) and I have been home in good ol’ New Plymouth for almost a week! Although it has been so nice to be home to spend some much needed time with family and friends, this week has given me some time to reflect on my first six weeks in a hall of residence, and why I really think you should spend your first year at one.

        

Study worries?

I won’t lie, before coming to uni I was a bit worried that I wouldn’t be as motivated to work hard as I wanted to. I was concerned that people would be too busy studying on their own or exclusively with people that they already knew to want to study with me. I was aware that as I was moving into the “big wide world” there would be people that knew more about certain things than I did, but I assumed that everyone would know more than me, since I would soon be surrounded by intelligence from every direction. And I was worried that this would both intimidate me and get me down.

I was quite wrong. Since moving into a hall, I have met so many people studying so many different things. I’ve met fellow law students, engineering students, music students, arts students and so many more. And yes, everyone that I have met has been very clever in their chosen field but instead of this being daunting or intimidating… it has been inspiring and I have found that making links with other people has come pretty naturally. In O’Rorke I am constantly surrounded by people that genuinely want to learn and are so passionate. And although much of the time I will sit in the study room with people studying something completely different to what I am, it inspires me seeing groups of people chatting about a past lecture and animatedly going over notes. (An example of this was towards the end of this past half semester, when all the biomed students got together and played with playdoh in anticipation of their upcoming embryology lab which required the sculpting of an embryo!)

Also bear in mind that O’Rorke and Uni Hall (a neighbouring hall) offer PASS mentoring which is where an older student from your degree comes in to discuss anything from lectures that you may not understand or any questions about your subject that you may have. This have proven to be EXTREMELY helpful to me as a law student, especially when tests and exams are around the corner! (PASS is offered for students of law, commerce, biomed and health sci, science, arts, engineering and creative arts!) This has offered me the opportunity to meet up with law students that live in the same building as me to talk through any issues we have encountered with the course. And there is always, always, ALWAYS someone to study with.

        

Making connections becomes easy!

I have found that being part of a hall family has really made making connections with other people so easy. The hall teams are always organizing events: sporting, arty and so much more that first years from all over the place can get together! I have met so many people that share similar views that I do, both in my hall and also from other halls like Uni Hall. As I am CONSTANTLY surrounded by so much diversity it’s really not surprising that there were people that I instantly meshed with. That being said, with diversity comes people that you also disagree with! I thought I would find this grating but in fact it has been quite the contrary! A floor mate of mine often provides counter arguments to any discussion and its been very beneficial to me, as it has allowed me to sculpt more well-rounded opinions. Conversation in O’Rorke is often very stimulating because of this! Debates with this particular friend always leave me thinking!

That being said, of course you will meet people outside of the halls. I study with TWO different law groups of people that I met in lectures- so don’t worry about that 😊

Until next time!

S xx

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Sophie Burns

Just a law student from England who loves dogs, stationery and herbal teas!

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