In case you didn’t already know, I live at O’Rorke Hall, one of Auckland University’s first-year hall of residences (applications for school-leavers are OPEN! Apply here).
PS. The balloons will be explained later in this post
PPS. I cleaned my room just for you guys 😉
WHAT ON EARTH IS A “POD”?
Here’s a quick tour of my floor, pod and room at O’Rorke! Short and sweet (like me 😉 ). I filmed this to highlight the pod-structure of O’Rorke Hall which is the main difference between O’Rorke and the other hall of residences which all have a corridor-style structure (a long row of rooms). When you walk down an O’Rorke floor, each door is not a door to a room, but a door to a “pod”. Each floor has 6 pods; each home to around 6 students, who share one bathroom (with one toilet and one shower). I like to think of our pods like mini 6-bedroom flats.
O’RORKE SECRET ADMIRER’S WEEK & BALL
Last week was O’Rorke’s Secret Admirer’s Week. We basically got given a name of someone on our floor by our RA (resident advisor – usually a second/third-year student who looks after each floor) to admire for the week while someone else admires you. My secret admirer (thank you Jen! <3) did the most adorable things, every. single. day.
To mark the end of Secret Admirer’s Week was the O’Rorke Ball which was pretty damn amazing. It was nice to still have that community like in high-school and have the ball experience all over again! (professional photos not out yet 🙁 )
Being a hall with over 300 people, you’re bound to meet some rad human-beings to watch movies in the SKY Room with, knock out a study sesh in the Study Room, or go on a cheeky Sensash run with (Sensational Chicken is right opposite O’Rorke Hall and is a crowd fave 😉 ).
O’Rorke Hall is one of the closest Hall of Residences to the Auckland University City Campus being just a 5-8 min walk away, which is amazing if you’re anything like myself, where lateness is literally a part of your DNA! The location is so convenient because it means you can come back to the hall in between lectures and labs. It’s also very centrally located in terms of Auckland City, as it’s just minutes away from Queen Street which is great for going to the supermarket, going shopping and heading out to town on Friday nights 😉
All the food at all the first-year hall of residences is the same as it is catered by the same company. Breakfast on weekdays is continental style with cereals, fruit and toast. Lunch has two options from which you can choose one: 1 meat option and 1 vegetarian option. Dinner has three options from which you can choose one: 2 meat options and 1 vegetarian option. Eg. tonight our main meal options were: Lemon and herb baked fresh fish (meat option 1), Harissa chicken and chick pea casserole (meat option 2), and Thai Yellow Curry w/ Tofu (vegetarian).
You get served the main meal option, and for the rest (eg rice, salads, dessert) you can help yourself to as much as you like! You can usually go up for seconds of the main options around the end of the meal time. On the weekends, we just get brunch and dinner. You can also order packed lunch and dinner if you’ll be out and about.
Each floor also has a kitchen with a fridge so you can store some of your favourite foods that might not be part of what is already catered. Sometimes I just grab some avocados from the supermarket (less than 10 minute walk away!) and make some avo on toast for brekkie (because I’m a millennial who’s never gonna own a house 😉 ). So even though O’Rorke is a fully catered hall, you still have a bit of freedom with your food (especially if you’re a picky eater like me!).
If you live in Auckland like me, you save a massive commute into Auckland City each and every time you go to Uni. Sometimes, I go home every now and then because I live in Auckland, and when I’ve bused in from home back to O’Rorke, it can take 45 minutes to get to Uni on a good day all the way to nearly 2 hours (nearly missed my lab that day!).
You also save time not having to cook or buy ingredients for any of your meals, and time cleaning up too! (That’s right, you don’t have to do dishes at a hall 😉 ). It all makes for a good transition into second-year accommodation and more time to focus on what’s important in your first year (which is especially helpful if you’re in a course where entry into second-year programmes depends on how you do in your first-year like Law, Engineering, Biomed & Health Science). On that note, all the halls also have an Academic Mentoring programme happening every week for most of the common courses run by second-year students to give you advice and tutoring which is really helpful.
LIVING AWAY FROM HOME
I know everyone doesn’t have the luxury of being able to visit home every weekend like myself, and if you’re moving to Auckland for university, being in a hall is a great option because you’re still surrounded by your hall ‘family’. At University we have heaps of breaks (two week mid-semester break in Semester One, one month inter-semester break between the semesters, and another two week mid-semester break in Semester Two), which makes for plenty of trips back home to visit friends and fam!
Official Stuff: About O’Rorke Hall, O’Rorke Hall Residence Tour, Hall of Residences Comparison Chart
If you’re around in Auckland next week, you can come meet myself and the other Inside Word student bloggers at the Auckland Uni Courses and Careers Open Day (Saturday September 2nd). Click HERE for more deets. Can’t make it to Courses and Careers Day? Just ask me anything below!
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Hi there, im staying in ororke next year and was just wondering about moving in day. I noticed the street its on has not alot of parking, so will this be a problem. Also do we find out before move in day what floor we will be living in.
What do the kitchens on each floor have in terms of equipment.
Final question, what are your tips for writing a sample blog to apply for the inside world.
O’rorke has an underground carpark on level 0 which will be open on move-in day so parking should not be an issue at all.
Yes you find out your floors a week or so before move-in day, and will usually be added to a floor Facebook group and email and/or call from your floor RA.
Each kitchen has a toaster, boiling water tap, microwave, and a fridge. There’s also coffee/hot choc machines downstairs in the dining hall.
Tips for blogs would be to add lots of pictures. Or even make a vlog!
Enjoy your holidays!!!
Wow! Thank you so much for this. I will be going to O’Rorke next year. I had only went to Huia Residence and University Halls and Apartments tours this year so I was questioning whether I made the right choice to come to O’Rorke as I hadn’t actually gone on a tour there and seen what it was like for myself. But now after reading about your experience it’s definitely made me excited to go to O’Rorke. Thanks again 🙂
Thanks Brianna! Great choice 😉 You’ll love it here next year!
Hey, so since you originally lived in Auckland but you’re staying in a hall, I was curious as to whether next year you would be moving back home? 🙂
Hi! Next year’s accommodation haps is still in the air at the moment. I’ve loved the halls so I’m considering some of Auckland Uni’s second year and above residences, other apartments in the city, flatting, or moving back home with my sister!
I’ve heard that O’Rorke is the “party hall” compared to the others like uni hall – is that true? Can you please tell me a little about the culture of O’Rorke?
Hi 🙂 I can’t really describe O’Rorke as a whole as it really depends on the people you hang out with but if I could I’d go with a “work hard, play hard” kind of culture. Although, I’m sure every hall has people who enjoy partying 😉 All the halls have to be sort of quiet after 10pm and the RAs (Resident Advisors) go round the floors every night to check this. If drinking is not ya thing, then you might be interested in staying in an alcohol-free pod at O’Rorke Hall. I know Uni Hall also has alcohol-free floors too. You can choose this when you apply or even contact accommodation services if you’ve already applied/got an offer.
Hi there! This has been so helpful I can’t thank you enough!! I have been accepted into O’Rourke Hall for the 2018 year- except the only issue is, I cannot afford it. Is it worth it putting both student allowance AND living costs towards the weekly fees? Are you able to get a student loan to cover the costs?
If you were in my situation, what would you do?! I live in East Auckland (about an hour by bus one way)- so I really wanted to be in halls to avoid the tedious travelling everyday!
Hey East Akl friend (I’m from botany!) 🙂 I go back home every now and then and I totally agree that the one hour journey is tiring especially with the unpredictable Auckland buses and traffic…although I do know of heaps of people who do it every single day.
The halls may seem pricey but the weekly fees includes your room rent, ALL your meals every day of the week, power, water, academic mentoring, social events, and more…and of course the priceless social atmosphere! Since you wouldn’t be living or eating at home, your parents could chip in for a bit, or there’s also the entire summer to get a job and save up!
Regarding student loans, you could also contribute the $1000 course-related costs from Studylink Student loan towards accommodation if you aren’t using it for anything else, as well as living costs & student allowance. Since you mentioned student allowance, you might also be eligible for accommodation benefit because you would be living away from your parents (https://www.studylink.govt.nz/products/a-z-products/accommodation-benefit.html). I’m not too sure how this works, but I reckon calling up Studylink would be a good idea 🙂
I think the hall are a great experience but the decision really depends on you and having a chat with your parents!
Could you please comment on how O’Rorke compares to other first-year halls? 🙂 Especially in terms of convenience, social atmosphere and actual physical environment.
Hey Tez! I haven’t been to all the halls but I can offer a bit of advice. In terms of convenience, O’Rorke, Uni Hall & Whitaker Hall are definitely the closest to the city campus (5 – 10 min walk). Huia Residence is a bit further out in Grafton (15 – 20 min walk). Physically, all your halls are pretty much the same, high rise buildings with heaps of floors, with a dining hall, study room etc. The only difference would probably be that O’Rorke has pods which I mentioned in this blog. But all the halls have plenty of social events, and resident advisers to look after every floor, and a friendly and accommodating atmosphere for sure 🙂
Thanks Sonna! I just found out I’m going to be living in Whitaker Hall next year 🙂 Very excited! Like you, I live in Auckland but got a schol to live in halls, so I only recently found out I will be living in halls instead of at home.
Congrats Tez!!! (I feel like a proud mum right now haha). You’re going to enjoy it so much 🙂
Haha thank you 🙂 I’m looking forward to it.
I am interested in blogging next year, I was wondering how I could apply for it? Thank you so much. I very much enjoy your blog 🙂
Aw thanks! Around the end of the year a post will come up on the Inside Word about how to apply. You usually just have email in a sample blog post about whatever you like, due in early January 🙂 I definitely recommend it!!
Hey could you do tips on getting into O’rorke? How do we like describe ourself? Also the physics paper, is it easy for someone like me? (below average according to UMAT)
Hey! First things first, UMAT is by NO means an assessment of your capabilities and potential at all! (in fact, i think it’s a rather stupid test 😛 ). Assuming you’re in Year 13 (because you haven’t done physics yet), you still have next year to improve 🙂 I sat UMAT in Year 13 too and I improved considerably this year! It plays a very little role in entry to medicine at only 15% with raw score being used (NOT your percentile!).
The physics paper is mostly NCEA Level 2 & 3 Physics with a little bit of extra stuff. I know plenty of people who have never done physics in high school and are doing it too! If you have any other questions, I’d be happy to answer 🙂
My best tip for getting into O’Rorke would be to be true to yourself! They just wanna know more about you so they can place you with pod mates you’ll love <3 It's a good place to mention your aspirations and goals for uni, study/sleep patterns, whether you're a 24/7 people-person or maybe like to have some time to yourself. Don't be scared to show off any talents/hobbies/things you're involved in too 🙂
How have you found the adjustment from High school to University? is it hard to get those A+?
Hi! I did NCEA in high school and have found University learning, content and assessment style very different but the adjustment is easily doable 🙂 In terms of content there’s waaay more – what we learn in a week in school, we learn in one lecture! (sounds scary I know, but trust me you’ll get used to it 😉 ) Also NCEA, I feel like we have multiple opportunities to improve – eg practice test, then mock exam, then the real exam – whereas at Uni there’s only one chance at everything! The best thing is to adapt the way you study..in high school you may be able to get away with revising material near the end of the year whereas with Uni if you put in consistent effort, you will definitely be able to get your A+ 😀
Thanks for the video ! Very helpful … I was thinking do you ever feel like claustrophobic in your room ? Also, is the whole showering situation weird ? Would you be able to talk about the whole first week of moving in?
At first I thought the room was kinda small (I never came to the tours oops!), but after a while you realize it’s actually just the right size. I’ve even had 2 people crash on my room floor for the night before, so there’s plenty of space!
Hi! The pod bathroom will literally be two to five steps away from a room which means easy access to the shower yay (perks of living in a pod!!), and avoids the whole walking down the corridor in your bathrobe situation haha.
You can arrive anytime on move-in day (which is a week before uni officially starts) and you’ll be greeted by your RA (resident advisor) for your floor who’ll take you up to your room. The first day is mostly unpacking and meeting the other people in your pod, and a floor meeting to meet the people on your floor.
Throughout the week there’s activities organised by O’Rorke like the pod scavenger hunt, quiz night and speed dating. There’s also activities which residents from ALL the first-year halls go to like a UniSmart talk on how-to-uni and halls day out (games/sports day!). The week before uni officially starts is also UoA’s O-week (orientation week!) so sometime during the week you’ll also have your faculty orientation and the first years Toga Party (highlight of O-week!). The night before uni officially starts is the O’Rorke welcome dinner 🙂