Hello friends, the last few weeks have been quite the turbulent ones, both literally and figuratively. You may remember from my last post I talked about the importance of chilling out and taking it easy over the exam period. Now this was followed by an uncomfortable three weeks of panicking, and like a deer in headlights, staring blindly at the incoming SUV about to knock me cold. But now I’m thirty thousand feet in the air, in the mid leg of my twenty nine hour flight to Kuala Lumpur. More to come after the break.

So the topic of exams seems to come up again and again. Well I don’t think my performance was exceptional, and that’s mostly due to the fact that moving to a new city and sort of uprooting my life was quite difficult. I might have spent a bit too much time socializing in the common room as opposed to studying, but at the end of the day I can’t complain. I’ve met some great people and made some delightful, yet unnerving memories. It’s a trade off that I’ve made, and I think I’ll be happy with my decision as long as my grades aren’t too shabby.

But even if there’s been a trade off in terms of academic results, I think that first semester was a good way of learning how the whole university system works, as well as the fact that nothing quite motivates you to work harder than bad grades. It’s given me a bit of a realization that I should put more effort into my classes. I took five papers in first semester; I thought it would be fine since two classes only had one lecture for two hours a week. Although they require less work than my most strenuous class (PHYS 121 which occupies six hours a week in class), the workload wasn’t as small as I would’ve hoped. Nevertheless, I will probably take five papers again. If Aunty Jacinda is footing the bill, we should take as many papers as we can in a year right?

And there brings me to my travel. In the inter-semester break I’m fortunate enough to be part of Auckland’s squad to Australs, the Australian-Asian Intervarsity Debating Tournament as a judge, which is pretty cool I guess. I’ve been told by many that debating was the way that they travelled the world, and with the many breaks that university offers, there’s something to do during almost every break. I would advise you to book your tickets early though, so you don’t get stuck with two nine hour layovers on what should be an easy flight from Auckland to KL. The free plane drinks help though.

If you find yourself without a job, I find that travelling is one of the better ways to spend your time. You’re only young once, so you may as well spend it having a blast right? Well the downside comes through cost. Travel surely isn’t cheap and as I’ll tell you about later on during the year, being a student isn’t cheap either. I guess it’s mainly a matter of taking advantage of the opportunities presented to you. The tragic irony is that if you have a job, you can afford to travel, but can’t find time to get off work. It’s a balance, and I think it’s especially important to find an employer that’s fairly understanding. I’ll talk about money later on in the year, when I’m stressing about it more, but right now, I’m in spend mode.

Until next time.

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Chenchen Huang

Hello! My name’s Chenchen, and I hail from Lower Hutt, although I’ve been fortunate enough to call Southampton, UK, as well as Taiyuan, China, my home. This year, I’ll be working towards a BCom/BSc, majoring in economics and physics whilst living at O’Rorke hall, being a resident cynic. I’m known to be found hunched over in my room reading or playing video games, as well as over a chess board, under a car, or anywhere that Steely Dan is being played. Other than that, I dabble in debating as well as discuss politics like a sport. Blogging for the Inside Word should be an interesting experience to say the least; I’m sure many misadventures will be documented here. Come give us a yell if you see me around Uni!

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