Once upon a winter

winter-snowflake

Last winter, I was an Otago undergraduate student, eagerly counting down the days until I could strip away that title and leave the little town of Dunedin behind me. I had a dream, of finally being ‘Lennie, the yo-pro’, living it up in the big smoke, living up large. This vision was the light in every dark I-can’t-believe-I’m-pulling-another-all-nighter tunnel and/or I-have-no-money-and-ASOS-is-having-a-sale moment, and it was also the (very imaginary, very non-existent) warmth getting me through those damp, dreary Dunedin days. This vision has now materialised, and it is officially my first ever winter as a yo-pro. For the record, it’s probably the warmest one I’ve ever had too- thank you Auckland.

Now that I’m in my third month on the job, I’ve done my training, learned (some of) the ropes, and have settled into a nice routine. Yo-pro life now has the key perks I was hoping for: an income for me to save and dispose, a 40 hour work week, and weekends on the traditional Saturday and Sunday. Yes, it may be simple, but it is a really good time. I can’t, and don’t want to complain about my situation right now as I’m loving every minute, but I can’t say I don’t miss life as a student (some of it, anyway).

It’s classic isn’t it? You want what you can’t have, and you miss what you did have. I don’t wish I’d continued studying, and I don’t want to turn back time, but I just want to appreciate a few things about my past winters as a student. As follows, I want to take a moment to remember:

Fresher year. In my first year at Otago, I lived the hostel life at Carrington College, and it was everything it was supposed to be, #bestyearever! I remember waking up one frosty winter morning, to everyone excitedly dressing for the settled snow outside. Apparently one of my friends still remembers my disgruntled, dismayed reaction to the news: no, I wasn’t happy that it was snowing outside, as we lived on a steep hill, there were classes to get to, and I would have to wear tights. But it all turned around, when I saw the snowy view outside. Meal times in the dining hall that day had a very Hogwarts-esque feel to it. It was a pretty special time.

winter-snow-dunedin
View from the flat, and footsteps in the snow

Second year, aka. first year of flatting. What was supposed to be ‘a great year flatting with friends’ quickly turned to ‘a terrible year flatting with ex-friends’ (yes, it’s a long story). But long story short, it was one of the most miserable, mouldy, moody winters of my life. I remember that the shaded side of Dundas Street had icy pavements for one whole week, because yes, it really was that cold.

Third year. I lived in a flat that was completely opposite to the year before. It was fun, supportive and full of late-night life chats, occasional drunk voms, snack-runs to the supermarket (we didn’t actually run, though we should have, to prepare for the sugar we were buying to consume), and a few charity sausage sizzles on Saturday nights (we lived in between two student bars and were on the way to/from town, #cha-ching!). One winter’s night, a big storm hit and I remember things being thrown against my window. When I woke up, I discovered that we were proud owners of a feijoa tree, and when my flatties woke up, they were welcomed to the sight of me in my slippers, picking away at our soggy, but fruitful front lawn. We all enjoyed feijoa icecream that night.

feijoas-in-garden
Self explanatory, but a very fruitful discovery.
dunedin-flat-facade
The flat, featuring the feijoa tree on the right.

Cheers to my past winters, when I was living life a student, because I wouldn’t be where I am now without them. Hear’s to this winter (which doesn’t really feel too wintery), living life as a yo-pro. And to the next winters, for bigger, better, different things. How is the cold treating you?


This post was inspired by my current life (#missobvious), and the prompt in #BlogGreatness by #NZBloggers: “Winter”

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