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March 11, 2019 | by  | in Ngāi Tauira |
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Ngāi Tauira – Ngā hoa, ngā whānau

Ngā hoa, ngā whānau

Aunty Laura“University is about making lifelong friends”

People come in and out of our lives all the time, but those connections close enough to become whānau are made by those who leave an impact long after they’ve left.

If there is anything that I’ve learnt about whānau, it is that they are the people who change you, uplift you, but also pain you. When you form a bond with someonewhether they’re related or notthis bond will be incredibly multifaceted and heavily complicated.

The connections we form within a university setting are no different; however, they can turn out to be vastly different from those we previously manifested during our time at kura.

You might also discover that the relationships you have formed during your marathon time at school have been strongly influenced by that space and the experiences you had there

hierarchy, classrooms, rejection, heartbreak, sports teams, partying, rebellion, freedom, etc. These are all aspects which have facilitated the people you have met and grown closer to.

Change, I feel, is something that sentimentally reveals the importance of quality relationships. When we leave kura, we are leaving one environment and immersing ourselves in anotherthis transition also causes ourselves as individuals to experience change. We are facing new obstacles which foster new parcels of knowledge and perspectives for the future, so it is not something to feel maemae about if those friends you formed in kura are not able to change and transition with you. Just appreciate the time you’ve had with them but always keep the waka moving forward.

The question, however, is how do we facilitate “quality” relationships? The type of bonds that will withstand hardship and crisis, that are built on sincere honestly (rather than jealousy), and are heavily infused with aroha, tiakitanga, and more importantly, whanaungatanga?

I think university is the space where you will get the most exposuremostly because you are one fish in a big wide ocean and are free to roam wherever you please and thus you are not limited like you were at kura. This is when tauira will seek people who they can relate to and who can fulfill that one main aspectto simply be there for each other.

As Māori, and furthermore as an indigenous people, we will always be able to depend on one another for those unconditional relationships. It is these connections that extend beyond the physical face-to-face conversations to reach an emotional and spiritual understanding, motivated by our history, our language, and our future as people.

However, e hoa mā, you may also find out after being at uni for a bit that connections don’t always need to be defined by ethnicity, your upbringing, financial situations, or gender. Essentially, they’re based on who you can count on and who you can really trust.

Trust is not a light wordit’s dense and it’s meaningful. The people you meet who possess that “quality” we need are there to stay for a long time, not just a good time. They do what real friends should dothey keep you in check and they keep you humble.

Nō reira, e te whānauyour whole āhua around relationships changes here at university because we realise no person is perfect, but the value they offer to your life is immeasurable and in many circumstances intangible. Tertiary education will exhibit to us all a microcosm of the outside world and thus it will hit you hard from all areas and all facets of life. So when it comes down to those deep and dark moments in our time here at university, we need more than friends, guyswe need WHĀNAU.


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