This time next month I will be back home in Napier after completing my first year of university. I am still in shock with how fast this year has gone and questioning whether it will be possible to ever beat this year. Unfortunately for you guys, you will be/almost be in the midst of NCEA exams. You may not believe me (I wouldn’t have when I was year 13) but your NCEA results do not define you or make a huge difference to your life after high school. I admit it is nice to receive that excellence endorsement, or to pass that paper you 100% thought you would fail, but if everything doesn’t go to plan, just know you have so many options and things will work out! This is your last step before coming to university so enjoy it and make the most of it. Instead of being stressed about this move into the unknown, I’ve collated a list of top tips and things you should know before you start.

1 – If you live in a hall, make sure you have an hour slot free between 11am and 2pm so you can have lunch
2 – Don’t leave hour gaps between lectures and tutorials because you have plenty of time to get from one building to another (even from law school to the science centre)
3 – Don’t put more than 4 or 5 hours of lectures in a day, you won’t be able to sustain it like at high school, instead spread your workload out evenly throughout the week
4 – If you aren’t a morning person now, it will only get worse at university so don’t choose the morning stream if you don’t have to
5 – After O’Week you will very likely start going to bed after midnight (I went to bed at 9.30 at high school and now that is like 6pm for me now)

What happens when I have 9ams or more than one lecture a day


6 – Certain bars and clubs charge an entrance fee which can be between $10-$15
7 – Wednesday night is student night which means cheap drinks, giveaways and free entrance
8 – If you like to party, don’t timetable anything for Thursday morning
9 – If you are in a hall, the RA’s will kick you out at around 10pm when you are partying
10 – Shadows (or Shads for when you become acquainted) is the student bar on campus and will likely be your first stop on your night out
11 – Enter all club promos on Facebook and Instagram because it’s so easy to win free things and who doesn’t love free things

Shout out to Shadows for the fun times!

12 – Be prepared not to eat breakfast because it finishes at 9am
13 – Since you miss breakfast, you will eat lunch at 11.30 and dinner at 5.30. Then you will be hungry by 9pm and hunt for snacks
14 – Always have a snack collection and keep it topped up because you will be hungry
15 – Flame-tree meals can be quite hit or miss, you will soon realize what you avoid and when the cold meat option or toast is the best choice
16 – Download the apps for fast food places like McDonalds and Burger King because you can get some really good deals
17 – Sensational chicken opposite O’Rorke is a staple that is passed down through the generations of hall students

Pizza day is the best day

18 – Lectures are all recorded, which I used and abused this year, don’t fall into the bad habit of relying on this because it’s hard to come back from
19 – Have two sets of towels and bedding for when you are too lazy to do washing
20 – Try and do washing during the day because the washing machines are more likely to be free
21 – Bring all kinds of stationary – pins, blu-tack, scissors, stapler, permanent marker, wall hooks, blank refill etc– they will all come in very helpful
22 – Download Microsoft office for free with your university account
23 – OneNote is really helpful for keeping all your notes in one place, you can also use the search function to find a key word when studying

You will soon learn this off by heart, the beginning of a lecture recording


24 – O’Rorke has the reputation of being a party hall however, I have found University Hall can also be classed as party hall. However, this is all dependent on the type of person you are and who you hang out with, if you want to study, then it is very easy to do so no matter what hall you are in
25 – If you didn’t get into the hall you wanted and it’s really important to you, don’t be scared to go on the waitlist. I did, and within a week or two, I got an offer. It is stressful but can be worth the risk
26 – If you aren’t from Auckland and don’t want to drive the whole way here and move in the same day, look for a hotel asap because they book out

Hall event – Rhythm and Hounds

27 – Get involved in everything during O’Week, it helps you make friends and keeps you distracted so you won’t feel as homesick
28 – The Uni gym is free when you are in a hall
29 – Good places to go for walks when you need a break include the viaduct, the light bridge, and the domain
30 – This is cheesy but put yourself out there and come in with a positive attitude, this will help you start the year strong and hopefully begin the best year of your life

Exploring Britomart

These are all things that I’ve learnt throughout the year, so I’m giving you a head start. I truly believe your year will be incredible if you allow it to be, so get excited!! But first, try and ace your exams, enjoy the rest of year 13 and make the most of summer with your friends!!