Moving from Napier up to Auckland I really had no choice other than living in a hall of residence. For those of you who have no choice or are trying to decide whether it is worth the cost of living in a first year hall, I have compiled what I find to have been the greatest benefits so far.
When you go to lectures you literally walk in, take a seat (preferably not next to anyone), listen for 50 minutes, then pack up and leave straightaway. From my experience there is very little chit-chat, and if there is, there isn’t enough to develop a friendship. Living in a hall gives you that opportunity to easily interact with others and form relationships because you are all living under one roof, it’s really quite hard not to find someone to talk too. The friends I have made on my floor are already some of my favourite people and I can’t imagine my university experience without them.
2 – Food
By starting university, things are already so different from high school. Moving out of home, having to be independent and starting a course that you have no background in is enough, let alone having to feed yourself. Flame Tree has got you covered with that in a hall. Three decent meals (most of the time) on weekdays, and brunch and dinner on weekends. Just be prepared to eat a lot earlier than normal. It’s very common to oversleep and miss breakfast. You are then hungry and eat lunch at 11.30 when it first starts. As a result of the early lunch, you are hungry again by 4 or 5, therefore you have dinner at 5.30. By 10pm the snacks, uber eats, or the Sensational run occurs because you are hungry again.
All first year halls, excluding Huia which is a few minutes
further away, are located right in the city. What else is also
in the city? University. Do you know what that means? You
can leave with 5 minutes till your lecture starts and you still
make it on time! It also makes it easier to go back and forth
between home and uni which means that timetable planning
isn’t as important. Plus, you don’t have to pay transport costs!
Location is not just a win for going to University, but going to
town or shopping. Walking to Queen street takes about 10
minutes and Britomart about 20, if that. (Just know now
that a slight hill is involved.)
4 – RA and Activities
Every floor has a Resident Advisor (RA), if you’re lucky you will get a cool one and as a result you will have a good experience. Since RA’s are all second year or older, they know how things work and can explain them to you. Whether it be where your new tutorial classroom is, how to use the general library or how to reference, they are the go to person. If you don’t know anyone else from University or want information easily, having an RA helps a lot. (Just don’t break the rules like no spirits or partying after 10pm in your room, or your experience with RA’s won’t be a good one.) RA’s in first year halls also host activities which provide a good distraction from Uni and especially in the first few weeks will keep you distracted and help you avoid feelings of homesickness. Assassins week, and might I add winning assassins’ week, at Uni Hall has been a personal highlight of halls so far. I would recommend participating in as many activities as you can, as they are a great way to meet new people, explore the city and sometimes even learn a thing or two.
5 – Academic
Every week, one or two older students in your faculty come into the hall for mentoring. They explain the content from lectures and answer any questions you may have. For no extra cost, these are worthwhile sessions to attend, something you wouldn’t receive if you weren’t in a hall. Also living in a hall with 500 others there will definitely be someone else doing your degree. Being in such close proximity to so many other students means that it is easy to form study groups and study sessions at a minute notice. Plus, when you don’t understand, you can just chuck a message in the group chat and next thing you know there will be a knock at your door from a willing teacher.
There will be reasons why halls aren’t possible for some people and others may not be interested in them at all. That doesn’t mean you won’t love University and the whole experience that goes along with it, in my opinion it just makes life that little bit easier!
Any questions about halls, just let me know and I will try my best to answer!