As the time for choosing a first-year hall of residence is now here, I thought this would be the perfect time to share my wisdom and input. 

This time last year, I spent hours researching every hall Auckland university had to offer. Almost deadset on Waiparuru Hall (enticing due to the brand-new facilities), I handed in my application and, to my disappointment, was rejected and offered a place at Grafton instead hall. 

Grafton? I thought. Yes, it was new and pretty damn cool but being further from campus was not something I was too excited about. This was when I thought “stuff it,” took a gamble, and decided to apply for University Hall – Towers, aka UHT. I fully well knew that if I was rejected again, I would not have a hall to live in, but this gamble turned out to be the best decision I have ever made.

After being accepted, I was over the moon. My excitement at finally moving out of home and living with other first years was tremendous. I watched a trillion moving-in vlogs from students all around the world and even more videos on packing lists and “what to bring to halls.” But none of this could prepare me for the reality of moving into UHT.


First off, did you know they provided you with carts to bring your belongings into the building? So don’t worry if you have a million things; there’s a way to get it all in (it took me 2 cars and 3 trolleys to get all my stuff in). Buuuutttttt you can’t bring them into the elevators, so maybe don’t bring too many loose items because you will have to drag them to your room. 





Secondly, parking is an absolute nightmare on move-in day. UHT and Waiparuru are very close in distance and annoyingly their move in day was the same this year (whyyyyy?). If you have a choice, move in as early as possible to avoid the traffic or as late as possible, which does the same job. I moved in at around 9am and it was pretty smooth sailing but I know others who came later did not have it as easy. 

Thirdly, at UHT you use your student ID keycard (which they will issue to you when you move in) to open the sliding doors into the building and actual keys to open your rooms. This is slightly different from Waiparuru which uses only ID card. Remember to keep your keys on you as there is a fee for getting locked out of your room (first few lockouts are free though). 


Fourthly, don’t be anxious about moving in and meeting new people. I know this is oversaid, but extremely true; everyone is in the same boat as you. Yes, some people would know others from high school and such, but the majority would be feeling the exact same as you. Be open and kind and you will be just fine. Even if you don’t know everyone on your floor straight away, don’t worry, within a few weeks of living together and seeing each other every day, they will start to feel like family.

 Finally, here’s some additional information about UHT; 

  • Washing machine costs are included in fees.
  • You can grab a coffee, hot chocolate or mocha from the dining room anytime during the day.
  • Your room comes with a desk light, a large pinboard next to the bed and a pinboard above your desk.
  • There’s 4 different room layouts you can get depending on what the window placement is like in your room (but this is all up to chance).
  • The rooms are bigger than Waiparuru’s.
  • There is an unmovable block behind the bedframe that you can use as a bedside table but if you want one next to your bed you have to buy one (I got mine from Kmart).
  • The wardrobe consists of 11 cubby holes (that fit normal sized baskets from the Warehouse) and one clothes hanging section thats uncovered.

Additionally, I have included below my packing list for moving in (not including clothes). It is pretty thorough so edit it how you like!


  • Wallet
  • Headphones
  • Mask
  • Sunglasses

Desk / stationary 

  • Stapler/ staples / hole punch
  • Pens and pen holder
  • Tape 
  • Glue stick
  • Ruler
  • Calculator
  • Scissors
  • Pencil case 
  • Refill pads
  • Magazine file 
  • Blu tack
  • Highlighters
  • Sharpie
  • Makeup organiser and makeup                                                                                                


  • Pillows/pillowcase
  • Blanket
  • Duvet
  • Duvet cover
  • Sheets


  • Pins for pinboard 
  • Galaxy light / neon lights
  • Plant 
  • Printed photos


  • Organiser baskets
  • Clothes hangers


  • Portable speaker (and charger)
  • Phone charger
  • Laptop charger
  • Powerboards
  • Extension cords
  • USB stick / dongles for computer


  • Toiletry bag
  • Shampoo, conditioner
  • Body wash 
  • Razor
  • Hairbrush
  • Hair ties
  • Hair curler and drier
  • Sunscreen
  • Moisturiser
  • Dry shampoo
  • Nail polish and remover 
  • Nail clippers and file
  • Makeup wipes
  • General wipes
  • Cotton pads and buds
  • Sanitation products
  • 2 towels 


  • Cutlery/plate/bowl
  • Mug
  • Plastic containers
  • Tissue box
  • Clothes horse
  • Laundry basket
  • Laundry liquid / powder
  • Sewing kit
  • Chip clips
  • Tote bag
  • Handbag
  • Duffle bag
  • Drink bottle
  • Instant coffee / tea 
  • Snacks
  • Playing cards
  • First aid kit yellow (bandaids, Panadol, antihistamines, inhaler, medication etc)
  • Iron
  • Fan
  • Mini vacuum