No, I am not turning fifty-five. I am, however, turning 20 on 11th November. But 11th November 2016 is also special for another reason – it is the day I am moving out of Whitaker Hall.
I’ll be moving from this vintage heritage brick building, into a brand new modern apartment that is still being built. Those shared meals in the dining hall will blend into evenings spent cooking in my little studio apartment. One thing will stay constant though – my free gym membership to the University Sports and Recreation Centre.
I can’t say how thankful I am to be able to enjoy #unigym. Apart from transforming me into someone whom no longer huffs and puffs at the top of the steep hill, it has brought me innumerable joyful moments.
For much of my year in Whitaker Hall, I have been annoying my friends to go to the gym with me. I’ll rally them with cries of ‘Come to Zumba with meeeeee!!!’, which they eventually caved in to, much to my elation!
So the Zumba squad (which, for the first time, included five guys) trooped to the gym last Friday, with a total count of 11 Whitaker wolves. We even took a photo with Chris, our awesome Zumba instructor, just to celebrate this momentous turning point.
Another thing I’ll miss from Whitaker would be the birthday celebrations. Caitlin’s birthday was on 25th September and we ‘ignored’ her birthday for much of Sunday, surprising her with a birthday bash at the end of the day.
It was a mega one, because Caitlin’s warmth has touched every single person in our friend group. We scurried around writing on a beautifully made birthday card, to get her a mud cake from Countdown, and to even get her favorite Iron Maiden merchandise from Trademe!
These are some memories I have been musing on for the last few days, as the reality of moving out drew nearer and nearer. There is a mixture of fear and excitement at the prospect of being on my own, again, when I move into a new uni accommodation next year. But yesterday, I saw a Facebook post that my friend made which really resonated with me.
To me, this was exactly what happened in Whitaker Hall. I remember writing in my blogger profile that this introvert was nervous about making new friends.
I’m just hopeful that I will bring the same positive energy to #55Symonds. I really hope that us, 55 Symonds residents, will not equate studio apartment living = isolation. I want to get to know my neighbours and have potlucks with them. (Really love this article – ‘A Neighbourhood Revolution in a Pot of Soup!) I want us to feel like a community of people living together, and not simply residents of just another university apartment.
I’m slightly worried about staying in contact with my Whita-peeps (<3), cuz, much as I love them, I’m not known to be great at keeping in touch. I realize that I like to remember my friends in a different kind of way – by sending them sporadic, spontaneous letters, books and small gifts. (I love sending snail mail :)). I like to hang out in a very different kind of way as well – catch-ups at social change events/ working bees/ fitness sessions/ backpacking adventures, not so much the typical ‘let’s-hang-out-at-a-cafe’ or ‘let’s-go-to-Bar-101’ kinda thing. I love deep talks, instead of small talk.
All that being said, I’m still largely contented because I know that worrying ain’t gonna get me anywhere. As this Festival for the Future exhibition pointed out, the future is a canvas. I’m gonna embrace it now with a session at the gym; catch ya later. 😉