Uni is more than just lectures, tests, then eventually getting a degree and graduating. There’s a whole lot more in between that involves socialising, experiences and an overall good time. The “halls experience” at UoA is unique as you are living in the centre of the largest city in NZ alongside potentially 500 other young people at the same stage of life as yourself.

In those times where you feel like you need to justify a study break, there’s a variety of stuff to do that should keep you occupied, be it midday or midnight.

Games Room

“Hey Elvis, whatcha doing?”
“Oh, nothing much Chow… to floor 1 I guess?”

Many epic battles have occurred here…

It’s amazing that my floormate, Elvis, and I don’t need to directly ask if a trip to floor 1 is wanted, as it’s kinda implied in the question- “Whatcha doing?”. Equipped with a pool table, Sky TV, Wii console, Table tennis, foosball and a pretty decent sound system; floor one has become the go-to place for a quick game of foosball (or three) after a Flametree dinner… before hitting the books again. 🙁

Rec Centre

Living in the Halls immediately entitles you to a year’s worth of membership to the Rec Centre. Located on the City Campus, and a short 5min walk from UniHall, its prime location and facilities are fantastic in getting active and about. With multiple 45-60min classes running every day of the week offering everything from Zumba to spin class, there’s something for everyone- that’s all been included in your accommodation fees.
Whether you’re a seasoned gym junkie or a casual character wanting to get moving, the Rec Centre’s there for the taking.

Explore Auckland

With NZ’s most heavily populated city at your doorstep, there’s a lot to explore within walking distance. Even if something is too far, an AT HOP card equipped with a student discount is a fairly budget friendly way to get around via bus, train, and even ferry.

Late night wanders

A cheeky walk/run can take you to the Sky tower, Light bridge, Auckland Domain or Waterfront all in less than 30mins if you wanted to wind down some evening. With Auckland City’s main street only ~five minutes walk away, you’re really spoilt for choice- like, seriously.

Music Room

If you’re musically inclined (or even if you’re not), the music room key is available for use nearly anytime. Swapping your student ID card for the set of keys is like exchanging a card for access to air conditioning, a piano, drum kit, music stands, and an environment where you can make a racket and not get told to shut up. Pretty good, I reckon. 10/10 recommend bringing your own instrument if you have one.

Music is primo

PS: Handing in your ID Card to the reception also gives you temporary use of a vacuum cleaner, board games, or puzzles too… but probably not all at once

Chill with the floor

If you end up staying in University Hall- Towers, you may be lucky enough to land yourself on a floor as awesome as mine <3 (shout out to #floor8firelit!).
These are the people you will be spending a year with, complete with late night chats, karaoke sessions, walks, Flametree meals and everything else in between. There’s never a dull moment if you look hard enough.

On top of these everyday opportunities, there are one off events like the Lantern festival commemorating Chinese New Year or an ANZAC Day Dawn Service in the Auckland Domain available, and are not to be missed. I would highly recommend planning ahead to ensure that you can make these without study commitments weighing you down.

Enjoy your time at Uni and make most of the opportunities presented!
If any local Aucklanders have any suggestions on what to do for free in Auckland please please comment below (and help out all stereotypical ‘poor uni students’ 🙂 )
Until next time guys!

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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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