I’m going to be honest, I’m a serious procrastinator. This was prevalent in the week leading up to my “big move” to Auckland. I didn’t start getting organised until Thursday afternoon, and even then not much was getting done. Fast forward to Friday night, it’s 10.45, and I’m still not fully packed. Let’s just say, there was a bit of tension in the Wilkinson household, as we had to be out of the house at 6.00 the next morning. It did all work out in the end though!
I got my first taste of independence on the plane to Auckland; I found out that I was sat at pretty much the other end of the plane from my parents due to the fact we booked our tickets separately. An hour and twenty minutes later, we touch down in Auckland Airport. I had Premier Women’s hockey trials at 11.30, so there was some rushed car swapping and bag dropping to make sure I got to the turf on time. I must say, the heat nearly killed me. There’s a reason hockey is a winter sport!
I moved into Whitaker Hall nice and early at 8.30 on Sunday morning. However, I spent most of the day buying bits and bobs for my room, like linen, washing powder and other practical things. When I got back to Whitaker, I was a bit frazzled because there was a block meeting that I was running late to, so the goodbye to my parents was very rushed. As a result, the reality of it all didn’t really kick in until later that night when I was lying in bed after a crazy evening of encountering a countless number of new faces and watching the fireworks at the Chinese Lantern Festival.
I’m not going to lie, the homesickness hit me hard. I couldn’t stay in my room for too long for the first few days because I would become aware of the feeling that I had a giant hole in my chest and I would yearn for home. I come from a really tight-knit family, so the move to Auckland was seriously hard for me, but I found that as the week went on and I got to know people a bit better, that hole in my chest started to fade away.
What helped me settle in the most was getting involved in everything that Whitaker Hall and Auckland University O-Week had to offer. Since there are different faculty orientations every day of O-Week, there weren’t events organised for during the day, but there was an event every night of the week to keep you entertained and engaged. There was also the Auckland nightlife that called to many students. However, as I am too young to enjoy the clubbing aspect of Auckland, I would head to bed around 10.30 to make sure I was as rested as possible for the following day. I’m responsible 😉
Of course, O-Week came to an end and reality set in. The first week of lectures came as a bit of a shock to the system. I hadn’t done any schoolwork of any kind since my final NCEA exam last November, so my brain was a bit slow to get going. Luckily the first lectures were mainly introductions and administration, but after that, the content comes hard and fast. There is so much information to take in; what would take a week to cover in class gets covered in just one lecture, and readings, textbook exercises and revising notes all take place in your own time. Appreciate the steady pace of school, because you’ll miss it once you get to university!
All I can say is, so far so good! I’m attempting to keep on top of lecture notes and readings as much as I can without getting distracted by friends or Facebook, and I think I’ve settled in nicely to the student life at Whitaker Hall, so let’s hope it continues getting better from here.
Until next time – Emily