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February 24, 2014 | by  | in Features | [ssba]

H’all about Hostels

Living away from home for the first time is always going to be a daunting prospect. There are millions of questions milling around in one’s head. Will my neighbour be that douchebag whose overwhelming body odour perturbs the whole floor? Or will I be seen as that pretentious bitch who no one likes or wants to talk to? Chances are, most people will be going through those exact thoughts. Living with other people in a Hall of Residence for that first year has its perks, especially in an all-encompassing and accepting city like Wellington. The syndicate of Halls in Wellington can be compared to that of a family. And, like all dysfunctional, warped and crazy families, there is a place and title for each one.

Weir House is the granddaddy of the Halls. Those white pillars staunchly placed in the green garden, the rooms that are older than most of the other Halls put together, and the age-old myths told by photos lining the walls. But the quirkiness of new and ancient combined almost reflects the people inside the white marble mansion. The people here are not quick to judge, and have a strong academic focus but can balance this equally with the use of the double-sized bedrooms for a good time, party or… other. Just like one’s grandfather, the Hall is the dominant player in most of the inter-Hall events, but tends to let everyone know this as well.

Boulcott is the new addition to the family of Wellington. It has only had one year to make a name for itself, and that it has. It can be noted as the rebellious cousin of the family, kicking off the year with the label of ‘that Hall that had a guest-ban within the first two weeks of the semester’. It made a name for itself by making new drinking games, new traditions and new memories. Boulcott is close to town, thus (like the dropout cousin) rainy days would be spent in bed as opposed to walking up to University.

Te Puni is the ultimate little sister. It is the Hall that has all the refinements of the spoilt youngest child. There are beautiful views, modern décor and common rooms to start, not to mention a turf to play on just below. They are the closest to Uni, no doubt thoroughly thought through by the Vic Hall of Residence supervisors, learning from the mistakes of the elder children and lecture attendance. Te Puni also has a reputation of taking advantage of all these perks; they know how to utilise space for parties, and Te Puni gets away with a lot, just like the youngest sibling in the family.

No one really knows where Helen Lowry is, or who lives there. Let’s be honest: the Hall can be compared to the old uncle, the one who you are meant to call, but can’t really be bothered. We all know it’s somewhere in Wellington, because we are constantly reminded of its existence in things like Stage-Off. One would assume it’s somewhere in Karori, but to most of the first-year Kelburn-based students, that is too far away to even fathom walking.

Joan Stevens can be the kind aunty, the Hall that lets a stranger in when other Halls don’t. Because it is so conveniently placed before the hill that the Uni is on, it makes a great stopover when one is coming back from town at 3 am. It is also very earthquake-proof, a great asset to have in Wellington. Therefore, it acts as a shelter, much like those aunties you go to when you just need to chill out and have some space away from home.

Victoria is the mother of the Halls. The namesake of the Hall kind of reflects its character; aptly named and aged to suit the University. It might have had character in its glory days, but now the shine and glimmer has very much faded. Needless to say, the children of Victoria House have not. They are very much spirited and are a guaranteed rowdy time. The Dixon St liquor store’s close proximity may have something to do with this.

Then let’s not forget about Everton, the second-year Hall. This place is comparable to the grandmother of the family, taking in students who don’t know if they can flat yet, or haven’t thought about their futures. Everton is warm and everyone is in the same boat, much like the grandchildren to the grandma. It is close to Weir too, and reasonably close to both Pip and Kelburn, so is central to the second-year Hall of Residence living.

Last but not least there is Cumberland, also known as Willis Street. This is the stepbrother of the Halls; noticed and valued, but a bit out on the side. The Hall is on Willis St, closest to town and the Architecture campus, which is a bonus. Cumberland has big spacious rooms and is very central, a benefit for the creative types that attend there. The Hall is quiet and undisturbed, like the stepbrother that you are kind to but don’t go out of your way to see. But alas, this is mostly because it is too far away from the other Halls.

There you have it. The family and collection of Halls that will be a first-year’s living premises for their initial experience away from home. But don’t worry, all the Halls are a guaranteed good time, and you will come away at the end of the year feeling like you are leaving behind a bigger and crazier family than the one that you started off with.


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  1. bigdaddy101 says:

    what the fuck is this shit. Cumberland quiet and undisturbed – lolol. also what about 222 Willis, huh? eeeeeh

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