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!
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!