Living with your friends and being able to constantly go to their rooms to hang out is one the of the greatest things about University. You realize very quickly who ‘your people’ are and all of their quirky traits and annoying habits. However, when you are stressed with university, tired from not sleeping enough and are hitting the down periods of what is called the emotional rollercoaster, it is helpful to take some time out.  It’s not just helpful but important.

I’ve been very fortunate that my hometown Napier is only a 5-hour drive from Auckland or an hour flight! Going home for a weekend, when I have the time and the funds, has been the best way to remove myself from the constant go-go-go nature of living in a big city. Seeing family and friends, my dog and being able to sleep in my own bed does wonders for refreshing yourself. Plus, as much as I love flame tree dining, nothing beats a home-cooked meal or snacks straight from Mum and Dad’s pantry. (Don’t waste the opportunity for free food and snacks when living at home, they are expensive when you have to pay.) Going home also makes the saying “absence makes the heart grow fonder” true. Being separated from my friends for only 48 hours helped me realize just how close we have become and how much we rely on each other.

Unfortunately, time and funds are not always on our side so you have to make do with what you have in Auckland. Exploring Auckland City for a few hours is always a good way to get out of the university mindset and experience the world around you. Literally just walk, it’s easy to get lost but just embrace it and see what you can find out and about. There were so many places that I’d never seen before or shops and food places I’d never entered. You may just find your new go-to place. When it does come time to try and make your way back, snap map is the best invention ever or just follow the sky-tower, it’s hard to miss.

Let’s be honest though, nothing beats the comfort of your room and your bed. Netflix and naps are my two favourite words. Really busy with work? Netflix or nap. Bored? Netflix or nap. You get the gist. Sometimes you just really can’t do work or interact with other people and there is most definitely nothing wrong with that. It’s important that you know when you need to be alone. Just tell your friends you are going to your room to relax, put a sticky note on your door to say you are napping so people don’t wake you up, and then you are good to go. The hardest bit of this is limiting your nap to the recommended 20 minutes or choosing something to watch.

Lastly, University has the stereotype of being all about partying. I’ve found that Auckland has broken this stereotype. Partying is not the priority for a majority of the students in my hall. We go out about once a week if that, and even then getting a good night’s rest is the most important thing so that we don’t waste the next day. Sometimes we don’t even go out, especially when work or tests are coming up, and even though FOMO (fear of missing out) is there, you have to remind yourself why you are even at University and that should be enough to resist. Degree > Night out.

So just remember, friends and your study are important, but you are more important so put your needs first!