So there has been a request for a room/flat tour, but I’m a fan of minimalism (and by minimalism, I mean the only decoration I have is a giant calendar, and even that isn’t very exciting), instead, I thought I would talk a bit about why I chose to stay in halls even though I live in Auckland!
Them: So where are you from?
Them: Ahh so you must live really far away, right?
Me: Hmm I would say probably a 1.5-hour bus ride?
Them: Choose option:
a) *sideways glance* 🤔
b) *sympathetic nod* 😧
c) “ahh…..right….” 😬
Before coming to UoA I was strongly against living in halls. Why pay extra when I had a perfectly nice (rent free) room at home? Why opt for a stranger’s cooking when I could enjoy my mum’s? Why launch myself out of the nest when I was perfectly snug, wrapped up in a duvet, hot cocoa in one hand, book in the other?
I won’t deny that I was a mild sceptic when I first stepped foot into O’Rorke in first year, but after my first week there, you could say that I was a convert.
Let’s first list some pros of living in halls as a first year:
- The people: I met one of my best friends at O’Rorke last year (I think we met on the sidewalk haha!). Even though we weren’t immediately close, ranting to each other after a particularly bad exam, more rants during summer school and grocery shopping together now that we both live at Carlaw, really helped us bond (shout out if you’re reading 😜, and stop gagging). This beautiful friendship (vomit noises aren’t ok either 😡) wouldn’t have happened if we weren’t always bumping into each other while walking back to O’Rorke.
- Even though I wasn’t much of a partier last year, I heard that it was common for people studying the same degree to head out to town together after a test/exam, sometimes spontaneously. This type of comradery (not just for partying but for hall life in general i.e. meeting people studying the same degree outside of the lecture theatre) wouldn’t be possible if you’re heading back home straight after lectures, tests or exams.
- Speaking of parties though. I do have a friend who moved to halls, *cough* just for the party life. 😜
- The distance: I experienced travelling to and from uni during summer school, and after the first day I was already defeated. To get to uni I had to either take two buses, or a bus and a train then walk, or a bus then a train then a bus. Factor in the waiting time between each transfer (which I swear is the most annoying part of travelling in), and you’re looking at a minimum of 1.5 hours (up to 2) per trip. That’s a minimum of 3 hours everyday spent on public transport. Not to mention it costs on average $7 a day for transport, that’s $35 a week. $420 a semester. 😡
- The waking up: I like to sleep in. If I wanted to make an 8am class, travelling in from home, I would have to leave a 6:30am. Enough said.
In addition to this, my second year in Carlaw has:
- Taught me how to cook for myself: The only things I knew how to cook before moving into Carlaw were eggs (scrambled and sunny side up 😎), steamed rice, and instant noodles. Now I can confidently add stir fried meat and vegetables on there 😂. I know it doesn’t sound like a lot, but I promise you that it isn’t what you can cook, but how well you can cook, and the confidence you have in the kitchen that defines you as a chef. I no longer cringe away from splattering oil and even my dad has noted that I pour egg into the pan with confidence (😎). It might be small, but it’s still something I’m quite proud of 😊.
- Made me one step closer to being independent: Budgeting? Cleaning? Co-existing with people that aren’t your family? I reckon that these are essential skills to have as an adult, and while I’m still a while away from being an adult (#denial) I reckon that the sooner I start, the more prepared I’ll be.
Since I am a person that likes to convey both sides of the picture, I will list some of the cons that might be helpful to consider:
- The cost: No way to sugar coat this, living in halls is expensive. $374 per week for O’Rorke (catered) and $282 per week for Carlaw (uncatered). Especially if you live in Auckland already, it might not be worth paying this much more when you already have accommodation at home.
- Being away from family: Homesickness is a pain, but perks of living in Auckland is that you can go back every weekend.
- Living with strangers: It’s sad to say that flat disagreements do occur (I’ve heard some pretty bad horror stories), especially since second-year halls are not catered and we don’t have cleaners like we did in first year. I’ve been blessed with some pretty awesome flat mates this year, but we’ve still overcome some obstacles together (notably, running on a severe tissue shortage 😬).
- Hall food: At this point, you might’ve heard a lot about first year hall food already but let me just say its not that bad. Sure, it’s no home cooked meal but you get huge portions of hot food everyday and that certainly beats…
- Cooking for yourself: I’ve grown to enjoy cooking for myself, but at the start, and sometimes even now it can be a massive, massive, pain. Especially when you’re studying and you’re on a roll, you can hear your stomach rumbling but you put off eating until you’re on the verge of fainting (it’s happened before so always, always make sure to eat at regular intervals!).
At the end of the day, its up to you how you weigh up each of the pros and cons. Still unsure? Try out both! Here’s a link for more details about UoA accommodation: https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/on-campus/accommodation/how-to-apply.html
Until next time!
P.S. the egg theme was intentional…🥚🍳!