top of page

Welcome to the ‘auuuugugfhfhgfhdgh’ times, freshers!


Written by Liam Hansen (they/them) @liamhanse.n | Editor-in-Chief

Alrighty gamers, listen the fuck up. There’s a 99% chance that I don’t know you personally, but I know that you’re one of three types of Debate readers:

  1. Brand spankin’ new students, fresh out of high school or a gap year, and ready to make the world your sub.

  2. Returning students, back after a summer, a semester, a year, or a lifetime. Like Winston Peters, this is not your first ro-day-o.

  3. You’re one of my mates, a part of the aforementioned 1%, reading this out of pity for me. Cheers.

If you’re a part of the second cohort, then you know the gist. Debate Magazine is your voice on campus, we’re a part of AUTSA but we’re editorially independent, we aren’t a debate club, blah blah blah, yap yap yap. But really - what’s the point of all of this? Does AUT really need its own student magazine?

Well, yeah, it does. Let me keep my job, dude.

Seriously, though - student media is an incredibly strange blessing to tertiary education. It holds the people running some of the most powerful institutions in Aotearoa to account, creates spaces for stories directly affecting young people to be told, and for their voices to be heard amidst consistent silencing. It’s a breeding ground for emerging talent, giving folks the freedom to share their writing, journalism, poetry, art, comics, photography, or whatever else your heart desires. Without sounding too pretentious, Debate is its own little world, packed to the brim with stuff to inform you, entertain you, distract you, and maybe slightly disturb you.

Enough about us, though - let’s get back to you, ya little rascal. I bet you’re all packed up with a refurbished MacBook Air in a silly little AUTSA-branded tote bag you got at O-Week. You might be expecting to make lifelong friends, discover your passion, and party like there’s no tomorrow. It’s gonna be like the start of Saltburn, except the campus is less pretty than Oxford and you will NOT trust the kid that offered you his bike after yours got a flat tyre.

Take these Pinterest-board fantasies, breathe them all in, manifest them for a moment… And then throw them all out of the window. I know that’s a bit harsh, but you need to understand that uni really isn’t a fairytale, and Jacob Elordi with an eyebrow piercing can’t save you. For all of the best moments, there will be plenty more periods of stress, anxiety, frustration and boredom. This all takes work, and it isn’t easy to get through.

Remember that this is well and truly your time to shine. You have the freedom to discover yourself, to discover other people and new experiences, to start a band, join a sports team, make a zine, or do whatever tickles your fancy. The sunk-cost fallacy is real - you’re allowed to learn what makes you the most happy, and doing so will not be a waste of your time. You’re allowed to change your degree if you hate it, spend Friday nights buying groceries and studying, or spend Tuesday mornings on the piss. I’m not saying you should do all those things - but you have the freedom to do so (and live with the consequences).

Beyond getting the degree, there are no rules on the right way to do uni. This is your time to discover yourself and to take your life in the direction you want - even if you have no idea where that direction leads to. Just keep moving. Stop to take a breath every once in a while, take a break to appreciate the surroundings, and then keep going. You’ll be okay.

One last note from me: Some of you might remember the song recommendations our 2021/2022 editor, Nam, would put at the end of a couple of his editorials. I want to bring that back, with a particular focus on the tunes that felt like a release at the most difficult times of my degree thus far. Sorry in advance for all the emo shit.

Shannengeorgiapetersen - Home Again 4 (NZ)

Mousey - Pudding and Pie (NZ)

Years Gone By - Avantdale Bowling Club (NZ)

Colourbox - Amamelia (NZ)

Cheshire - Phoebe Rings (NZ)

something soon - Car Seat Headrest (USA)

Comfort - Hans Pucket (NZ)

2:45 (Getting Old) - K M T P (NZ)


bottom of page