The Diary of a Freshman Chapter 9
It’s a known fact among those around me that my sense of direction is far from amazing. I am a chronic daydreamer, and it seems that whenever I am trying to get somewhere my mind drifts too far away for me to remember how to get to where I am going. This is fine in Matamata where Mum is only a phone call away and the town is so small, it is difficult to lose your way (though I still did many, many times). Having this problem in Auckland however has proved a little more problematic, and has got me in some rather difficult situations, much to the horror of my mum. But like all mistakes in life you learn from them, and I can proudly say my sense of direction now has improved from abysmal to a solid below average. Therefore I am dedicating Chapter 9 to these incidences which are probably more laughable than helpful… but here it goes.
The Halls Hiccup
You know that moment you have among your mates that defines what you are known for from that point on? Well this was mine, and it definitely takes the cake for my most pathetic “where am I?” moment.
It was one of the first times I had gone clubbing since moving to the Land of Auck, which makes it seem acceptable that I got a bit lost right? Wrong.
Because we only went out to The Ferguson, a place on campus not even a minute walk away from the halls of residence. Of all the rooms in Te Ohanga, mine is literally the closest to Fergs, so how on earth did I get lost might you ask?
Shamefully, it wasn’t even on the walk back to the village that I lost my way… It was in the social hub, on my floor on which I had been living for at least a week. All that stands between my room and the social hub is a hallway, and I still felt the need to ask “hey guys… where are we?!”. I could try and blame it on the amount of alcohol consumed, but I think I should just own it and accept that I was an absolute novis.
My new mates (who I had known for a few days at most) somehow had a better idea about where my room was than I did, so after a roar of laughter they very kindly walked me back. They became three of my best UNI mates after that night, so maybe it made a good first impression? Either way, they aren’t letting me live it down anytime soon.
Learning to read
My number one piece of advice to any Country Bumpkin moving to the city is to learn the bus system, quick. It was late at night after I’d been catching up with friends in the city, and the bus I was on zoomed past a sign so quick, all I could catch was an “A”. I was still pretty nervous about the bus system at this stage, so I rushed off the bus thinking I must have been at my stop at Albany station. Like a Pretty Little Liars episode I realised “A” wasn’t what I thought, and I was left very far away from where I needed to be at Akoranga station, alone, with a dead phone. To top it all off, it was the last bus heading north for the night.
Long story short, with the help of luck, kind strangers and a lovely taxi driver, I made it home. I now know all of the stations by heart.
At home it didn’t matter where I was or how late the time, my amazing Mum would always be there to pick me or any of my mates up if we ever needed it. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciated it so much at the time, but I didn’t realise what a subconsciously safe feeling that was until I moved. It sunk in very quickly on the very first night we all went out in the city when I found myself in BK with people I had just met, with no more buses left heading North. After ringing what felt like 50 taxis, we finally found one willing to drive all the way to the shore. I text Mum first thing in the morning to tell her how cool she was.
To conclude, if anyone is as much of a fruit loop as I am when it comes to finding your way, keep that phone charged, keep google maps running and know your buses. I didn’t click at the time how unsafe these situations could have been, but I have definitely learned my lesson.