Hey there! If you are a school leaver and wondering if staying in halls is even worth it, I’ve got your back! I was very much in your position last year, deciding if I should apply to halls, considering I was already staying in Auckland at that time. I was weighing up everything I could think of, ranging from the cost to convenience while staying in the dorm. In the end, I applied for Waiparūrū Hall. Before I moved in, I was still in doubt and was always second-guessing my choice. But… trust me when I say, ever since I moved into Waiparūrū Hall, I have never regretted my decision! 

Waiparūrū Hall is one of the 4 school leavers’ accommodations that first-year students can apply for, besides Grafton Hall, O’Rorke Hall and University Hall – Towers. Waiparūrū Hall itself is divided into Towers 441 and 442 and Whitaker Block. Like all the other school leavers’ halls, Towers 441 and 442 provide catered meals and are solely for first-year residents. On the other hand, Whitaker Block is a self-catered residence hall and may include non-first-year students, but students from the Whitaker Block can also buy meal packages from the Waiparūrū dining hall. Personally, I’m in staying on the highest floor of Tower 442! 

Here’s a list of pros and cons that may help you decide if staying in halls is right for you…


  • You’ll meet new people and make new friends. 
  • You’ll learn to be more independent and responsible. 
  • Close proximity to campus making your life to and from uni much easier and convenient!
  • Great meal plan. Since food is provided, you won’t have to worry about what to eat for your next meal.
  • EXPERIENCE!! This was the main reason that convinced me in the end. Even if I were to apply for accommodation in the future, I would never get to apply for Waiparūrū Hall or any other first year hall of residence because I would never be a first-year student again. (Yep, read that again.)


  • You’ll most likely be away from home (homesickness)
  • The cost of staying in halls is much higher than staying at home. (In my humble opinion, though, you can always earn back the money, but you can never earn back the experience.)
  • Sometimes, halls can be noisy, but it mostly depends on your floormates (not really a problem for me, but I know people who have). If you have problem, talk to your Hall’s Resident Adviser. They will make sure it’s swiftly sorted.
  • If you’re used to having your own bathroom, you would have to share bathrooms with a few other people.
  • Personal rooms might be smaller than your room at home. 

At the end of the day, it depends on you! If you think you would enjoy staying in the halls, go for it! If you’re sure that staying at home with your family members is best for you, don’t feel that you must stay in the halls (trust me, uni life is more than staying in halls, it’s just… the icing on the cake!)

Here’s a Waiparūrū Hall tour that I managed to film before the week of level 3 lockdown. Hopefully, this can help you make up your mind if halls are for you. If you have any questions about hall life, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below! 🙂

Here’s the link for the Waiparūrū Hall tour: