Fun Fact: An oxymoron is a figure of speech in which apparently contradictory terms appear in conjunction (a.k.a second first). If you like constantly learning new things like this, come to university!

The first few weeks of uni are a constant barrage of new experiences, new knowledge and new people. I present to you part II of my inner musings pertaining to my newly acquainted life.

He aha te mea nui o te ao?

He tangata, he tangata, he tangata!

What is the most important thing in the world?

It is the people, it is the people, it is the people!

“Hi, I’m Anneke…

Where are you from?

What are you studying?

Nice to meet you.”

Hello blog reader, We have just had the conversation we probably would’ve shared if we were meeting for the first time in the last few weeks. I cannot even count how many people I have met recently and let me tell you meeting so many people is surprisingly tiring.

Inevitably I have:

  • Mixed up peoples faces and stories.
  • Forgotten the persons name before the conversation has even finished, literally in one ear and out the other.
  • Had the same conversation with one person multiple times.
  • Asked someone their name 3 times in the space of 5 minutes.

But however intense meeting new people is, I would strongly suggest making an effort to get to know as many people as you can in your first weeks. After all, the people you meet are one of the most enjoyable and interesting parts of uni and the friends you make will probably have more of an impact on your life than the piece of paper you get at the end of it all (i.e. your degree).

As for avoiding the awkward, what was your name again? These are my top tips for meeting people and remembering their names.

  1. Say their name as much as you can in the first conversation. E.g Hi Anneke, Nice to meet you Anneke. What are you studying Anneke? Yes it sounds a bit weird but it is a great way to remember names.
  2. If their name is a little unusual or hard to pronounce, ask them to spell it.
  3. If their name sounds interesting ask them if it means anything. You’d be surprised about some of the ones I’ve heard.
  4. Smile at people. 9 times out of 10 they will say hi to you even if you are strangers.
  5. Make an effort! The more friends and acquaintances you have the more people to walk with, wait with, eat with and talk with. You + Friends = Happiness.

There are so many more people in Auckland than where I’m from which is pretty obvious I know, but it does take some getting used to. When you’ve never crossed the street with 50 others or had to wait in a crowd of 600 students before every class, the sheer number of people can be quite overwhelming. Auckland’s large array of diverse cultures and characters is pretty eye opening too. But don’t worry, most of my encounters with people so far have been pleasant.

What happens when you panorama the Symonds St crossing

What happens when you panorama the Symonds St crossing

The Climate

All I had ever really considered with regards to Auckland weather was that it would be warmer than Otago (my other university option). So far this has held true, but for me the climate has unexpectedly been quite an adjustment. Mostly its very hot and humid. But other times the Auckland weather is best described as 50 shades of grey.  In the space of 20 minutes it varies from a semi-tropical rainstorm to a frustrating drizzle that makes you just damp enough to be uncomfortable in your lecture. We uni-haller’s have also experienced the frequent and frightening phenomena of raining acorns thanks to the oak trees in the Fine Arts School.

The Transport

Walking, all the time, everywhere. Also hills, all the time, everywhere. I would recommend investing in comfortable shoes. Thankfully being in university hall is great location wise because everything you need is within a 5-15 minute walk. This means I haven’t been on the buses much yet, nevertheless I would still recommend getting an AT Hop Card with the tertiary concession all sussed out. This is a surprisingly long process involving many stickers and more walking –  be warned.

First Auckland bus ride ft. me on the floor

First Auckland bus at ride at 11:30pm, feat. me on the floor

The Campus

At first the campus seemed quit large and confusing. But after a few walks around and an excellent tour from our RA I have become pretty familiar with where everything. Most of the buildings are huge and really nice and modern. The new science centre is close to being finished which is also pretty exciting. But I can’t really say I’ve seen inside many of the buildings because all the Biomed classes are taught in the same lecture theatre (this is getting very old very fast).

Where I spend most of my life these days

Where I spend most of my life these days

Happy Easter!

Till next time, stay breezy!


(P.S If your one of those pre-premed students who just wants to hear every detail possible about biomedical science, stay tuned for my next blog.)