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March 5, 2013 | by  | in Uncategorised |
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Issue 1: Orientation

Hello and welcome to Victoria University of Wellington!

Wherever you are from, whether you are a returning student, new to the city, or you’ve just moved from one Wellington learning institution to another—Salient is your student magazine. Out every Monday, and absolutely free (you’ve already paid for it!), it’s been “an organ of student opinion” since 1938. We’re here to question, inform, and provide you with some lols. And, as a student magazine, everyone is welcome to help fill Salient’s pages. We are Molly and Stella, editors of Salient for 2013. In 2009, Molly moved from Auckland and enjoyed O-Week with 300 perfect strangers in a hall ofresidence. In the same year, Stella was welcomed to Vic with a couple ofhigh school friends, but at least enjoyed the comfort of her parental home. As such, their experiences of O-Week were pretty different.Wherever you’re placed this Orientation Week, remember that this is just the beginning—the best is yet to come.

 

Hall life:

One fine Saturday way back in 2009, I packed all of my worldly possessions into the car and moved to Wellington. I was extremely hungover. (This is not advisable, especially when your Dad’s a vegetarian so there’s no stopping at McDonald’s for a hungover Big Mac.)Finally arriving in the city, the novelty of my great plan to flock the nest and migrate south quickly wore off. I was surrounded by hundreds of people I didn’t know, a city I didn’t recognise, and a pile of boxes full of shit I didn’t need. (Hint: If your load includes high-school art projects or anything deemed a ‘Fancy Dress Costume’, YOU’VE BROUGHT TOO MUCH). In short, I was scared shitless. I was homesick, it was windy, and I was drinking warm goon.But somewhere over the course of that year living in a hall, between learning cringe-worthy house chants and gaining the obligatory “Fresher Five” (the rumours are true), I stopped missing Auckland, got used to the wind, and learned to mix my goon with lemonade. If this issue of Salient finds you at a crowded dining table, eating stale corn flakes, or in your floor’s common room, already littered with Mi Goreng packets and safe sex pamphlets, welcome to the quintessential experience of first year in the halls!Soon enough you will realise that the shared experiences of questionable hall food; having to face up to regrettable one-night-stands for the rest of the goddamn year, and a hallway that never ceases to reek of stale beer are foundational blocks of memories like no other.And somewhere, amongst those hundreds of people you don’t know right now, will besome of the best friends you’ll ever make. [Disclaimer: there will also be some dicks, butyou only have to live with them until November.]

 

Home Life:

Dearest Stella (circa 2009). You naive, bright-eyed wee thing.Oh how reluctant you were to even go to university, and now you’re finally here! Nocareer goal in mind, rather fearing the alternative which was a ‘gap year’ to ‘exploreyourself’. You picked your majors from the NCEA subjects you were good at and weren’ttoo hard. Steven Joyce wasn’t the Minister of Tertiary Education, so there was no websitefor your Mum to make you consider your projected future earnings. Geography, whatwere you thinking?Following hours of last minute ‘StudyLink’ organisation, which you will never learn to start earlier, you go to the new students’ welcome. All the halls look like they’re having fun—together—in their matching tees. You feel isolated, lurking at the fringe with other students who also decided not to leave the comforts of home. Fortunately, in 2013 the University will create a metaphorical hall for the hundreds of students like you (WGTN Hall), so that you can feel a part of something, meet people, and wear matching tees, too. The air of excitement surrounding the out-of-towners doesn’t really capture you, Wellington is your home. You’ve already been to all the bars with your fake ID, drunk mochas at Fidel’s, and ‘discovered’ op-shops. You do perk up by hoarding as much free stuff (see: VUWSA) as your new faux-leather satchel can carry. Optimistic, you take lots of condoms as you check out the hoards of potential suitors, eyeing up which ones you’d like to take that lingering virginity. “Too much of a woman for high school boys,” you reassure yourself. Reading the O-Week calendar, doesn’t appear to have much scheduled partying—something even your nostalgic parents would expect. Facebook has photos of your friends readily adopting their scarfie lifestyles. Once you eventually overcome the jealousy, you’ll see your university’s location for what it is: full of potential.This proper city with adults and it’s own swag (see: Mayor Celia Wade-Brown’s speechat students’ welcome) has so much more for you to explore than couches to burn andSTIs to contract. So go and try something new, there’s bounds of potential for learning,fun, wining and dining—not to mention those liberating sexual experiences.Though of course, Stella, you won’t listen to me. Trying new things makes you anxious,and it’s much easier to stay within the comfort of those who shared your uniform. But thesooner you get over yourself, the faster can ‘Get Amongst the Best’. Yolo.

 

Love,
Molly & Stella

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