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The university starter pack: How to save money, make money, stay healthy and find your tribe

Here’s a handy guide to getting in on all that’s good around campus.


How to make ends meet as a student

Make the most of student life without breaking the bank
If having a permanent part-time job is a little much, or you want to supplement your income, download Sidekicker. The app lets you apply for one-off jobs or shifts in areas like hospitality, events, business admin and promotional marketing, so you can choose when and where you work. Jobs will pop up on your phone as they become available, letting you apply when you want. The app keeps track of your shifts, and you’ll gain valuable work experience. |
Shop Around
Mum always told you to shop around – and as always, she’s right. If you’re after something particular, go to PriceMe and enter the product, and the site will search the nation’s retailers, and offer you the best price. You can save hundreds. |
Use Your Discounts
Students are lucky enough to get some great discounts from hundreds of places around Auckland. The easiest way of taking advantage is by getting a Student Card. Pay 20 bucks for the year, and you get a heap of discounts and freebies – like 30% off Dominos, free nachos at Mexican Café, and free Sim card or $19 credit with 2degrees. Transport, entertainment, health and wellness and stuff to help your studies are also included. |
Similarly, Unidays is another website that offers heaps of student-only savings, from Apple Music to The Iconic and ASOS.
Shop Smarter
For years, students have sworn by their local Asian supermarket for cheap fruit, veges and meat – try Lim Chhour on K’ Road if you’re in the city. If you’re keen to save a bit of money on food, always go to the supermarket at the end of the day – you’ll have more lucky mark downs if you’re buying fresh stuff. 184 Karangahape Rd.

Get connected, stay well

Finding the services you need at uni
Adapting to uni life can be tough – for the first time in your life you’re on your own and you’re making some pretty big decisions about your future. No dramas – there’s a heap of services and organisations that are on-hand to help you out so you can live your best life, whether it’s academically, socially or physically.
Campus is a massive place – whether it’s finding where your classes are, figuring out what building’s what, or making new friends, it can be tricky getting used to your new normal. The UniGuide programme is a free service that buddies you up with a student mentor who’ll help you sort it all out, from transport and books, through to general uni life – plus, you’ve got a ready-made coffee buddy. Email
You can also drop in to one of the dozens of Wellbeing Groups, which will help you stay on top of uni life – from mood management, mindfulness for academic success, or social confidence.
Health and Counselling Services
There’s a doctor’s office on campus, and if you enrol with them as your Primary Health Organisation, you get discounted medical care. They can help with all the usual stuff you’d talk to your GP about, like medical certificates, ACC consults, family planning and minor surgeries. Counselling is also available, whether you just need a half-hour chat, or something more in-depth. Also, there’s a stack of self-help resources, like tips for dealing with anxiety, study skills, harassment and alcohol online.
If you’re Maˉori, Pasifika, have a disability or identify as LGBTI+, there are support systems in place just for you, if you need them. Tuaˉkana is the university’s learning community for Maˉori and Pacific students, which offers small-group learning, meetings and workshops, while there are a heap of rainbow groups for LGBTI staff and students.

Go clubbing

With more than 200 clubs and societies active at the University of Auckland, you’re guaranteed to find a group of pals that tickle your pickle. Alongside the usual offerings like religious, sporting, cultural and political groups, there are also some slightly more quirky options for the discerning first-year student. We profile some of the more niche clubs below.
The Meat Club
Its mission is simply “to provide an exhaustible supply of meat, thus creating peace and prosperity throughout the world”. If you’re a keen carnivore, this one’s for you – and even if you’re not that committed to a good hunk of meat, the club provides regular BBQ’s around campus.
Anime and Manga Club
Get your manga on – this club seeks to promote all forms of Otaku-ness and Japanese culture, so if it’s anime, manga, fanfiction, drawing or VNS, they’ll have you sorted.
Egyptological Association
For all those interested in ancient Egypt, including language, archaeology, pop culture and literature. Turns out, it’s more than just pyramids.
Engineers without Borders
A great one to support, even if you’re not mechanically inclined, these awesome guys and gals connect, educate and empower people through humanitarian engineering, ensuring as many people as possible have access to the skills they need to live free from poverty. EWB also hold networking opportunities as well as pub quiz fundraisers.
Dessert Club
Literally, what it says in the title, Dessert Club is one of the largest on campus for obvious reasons. Movie nights, Easter egg hunts, and a whole lot of chocolate – it’s the most delicious setting to make new friends.
Acrobatics and Circus Club
Because, why not? If you ever wanted to run away and join the circus, now’s your chance. Learn the basics of acrobatics, plus they also run free juggling nights. No need to worry if you can’t do a push-up or touch your toes – the club caters to all levels of experience. Upskill those party tricks.
Glee Club
If you’ve dreamed a dream to sing on stage with like-minded musical theatre buffs and dance in sync to some mashed-up show tunes – or maybe you’ve just busted out ballads in the bathroom – then the Glee Club is right up your alley. They also host glow in the dark karaoke nights at uni bar Shadows.

Photos: AUSA, Rebekah Robinson and Supplied
Illustrations: Anieszka Banks

This article was brought to you by The University of Auckland.


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