Chances are, you probably don’t know much about me. So before I start blogging about my first experiences in the weird and wonderful world of uni, I thought it would be a good idea to tell you a little bit more about Charlie:
- I’m an 18-year-old kiwi-brit. Born in England, I lived in London until the age of 12. My family moved to Wellington 7 years ago, and I can safely say it was one of the best decisions we have ever made.
- After finishing school, I took a gap year in 2016 and went travelling, going on a choir tour to Canada, backpacking around Europe, and volunteering for a child-centred charity in Odisha, India for four and a half months.
- I’m a keen singer and cricket fanatic.
- This year I’m studying a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Psychology and living at O’Rorke Hall.
Anyway, onto the interesting stuff.
The hall life
After the getting the first few days of awkward small talk, forgetting people’s names and mandatory icebreakers out of the way, I began to realise just how fun living at O’Rorke really is. It’s refreshing forming new friendships and meeting so many people from different cities and towns, with similar interests and aspirations, people who I may not have had the opportunity of getting to know if I wasn’t at O’Rorke.
O’Week was flippin awesome. Mental dance raves in Shadows (finest student bar around), inter-floor quizzes and chanting competitions, countless card games, a few too many floor horror movie nights, and glorious midnight Maccas runs with mates. The Toga Party and the Halls Day Out were definite highlights as well. After a crazy week, it was quite a shock starting courses and actually having to do some work!
Do what you like, like what you do
From the lectures I’ve been to so far, it’s obvious to me that I chose the right courses. I’m studying what I genuinely want to study, not what I feel I should be studying. As much as I loved school, there were always a couple of mandatory subjects I had to take that I didn’t find particularly stimulating. At uni, you’re completely free to choose whatever courses you fancy (obviously some courses require prerequisites) – and that’s pretty exciting! When you’re passionate or interested in something, you tend to work harder at it, so all the more reason to choose the courses you want to do, not the courses other people want you to do.
- It’s a great idea to join some clubs and societies, sports teams, and music or cultural groups. Great way to make friends and also have a life other than study. I’ve managed to secure a part-time job (come eat fried chicken with me at Mexico Ponsonby – shameless advertising), joined the Auckland Youth Choir, and signed up to a few societies and clubs. That feels like a win.
- At first, amongst lots of us, there was a general sense of ‘Am I doing this right? Am I taking enough notes? Am I doing enough readings? Am I correctly interpreting what the lecturer is talking about?’ It felt, and still feels a little confusing and overwhelming at points, but over time you start to find your feet, your own way of doing things and become more settled in your study methods.
- Time management and self-motivation are vital. The independence and freedom that come with being a uni student are very liberating. Nobody telling you what to do or standing over your shoulder. Yet at the same time, you’ve got to hold yourself accountable. When it’s raining outside, you’ve only had a few hours sleep and your 8am lecture starts in 10 minutes, that’s the ultimate test of willpower! I’m not trying to preach or sound like I’m good at doing any of this because I’m seriously not. I’m the king of procrastination. These are the skills that I need to improve on the most. Use your time wisely.
A few things I don’t like so much about uni:
- Textbooks that cost $140 – hit up the ‘Second Hand Books – Auckland Uni’ FB page or UBS Second Hand Books for cheap, quality deals.
- Lectures that finish at 6pm three nights a week.
- Getting back into the habit of waking up at 7am every morning. I’m not an early bird.