April 2013. I was an ickle first-year, adrift in the big wide world of university assignments, keg stands, noisy lecture theatres, goon bags and overenthusiastic health science students.
Tinker Tailor Student Spy
Four years ago, I was a skinny, struggling teenager in my first year of university. I hated what I was studying, where I was living, and who I was as a person.
Picture this: grey walls rising up on three sides of you as you sit, hunched over your schoolwork - a science worksheet repudiating the theory of evolution, using the Loch Ness Monster as an...
On Friday, October 13, at about 11.30pm, a blood clot travelled up from my father's heart to the left side of his brain. Here, it lodged itself in an artery, and promptly caused a stroke.
''Toughen up.'' ''Stop complaining.'' ''You're just looking for attention.'' How many of us have heard these insidious excuses for dismissing our mental health concerns? How many of us have...
A few months ago, I received a rather enigmatic message on Twitter, asking me whether I'd be interested in helping with the Young Writers' Festival.
Recently, the University of Otago has come under fire for an alleged lack of response to sexual assaults on students. Last week, two students, Kyra Gillies and Monique Mulholland, published a...
When I was 6, my family moved to Mangonui, a little fishing village in Doubtless Bay. Besides the world-class fish and chip shop and the clouds of sprats flying around under the surface of the...
Mention the words ''surveillance'', ''DCC'' and ''North Dunedin'' in one sentence, and a swarm of toga-clad scarfies will melt out of the undergrowth, angrily muttering about ''Big Brother'', '...
When I woke up last Tuesday morning, I didn't expect to find myself in the hospital by the end of the day. I certainly didn't think I'd be losing an organ (my appendix) or enjoying a complimentary...
It was three in the afternoon and I was curled up in bed, feeling rather dusty and full of self-pity. I lay there, cradling a half-empty pizza box, wishing sleep would overtake me and cure me of my hangover. Then came the knock at the door.
A few years ago, driven by boredom and a desperate need to pay my rent, I applied for a waitressing job at a newly established American diner in a dusty corner of Edinburgh.
Jokes about topping yourself, about walking in front of a bus or borrowing your dad's handgun are horrifically commonplace. They're a quick and effective way to dramatise the situation. I know I've made suicide jokes, unthinkingly.
It seems however, that my childhood is an anomaly in today’s world. Work and Safety guidelines combined with ‘‘responsible’’ parents worried about little Jimmy’s bruised knee have immobilised childhood, rendering it risk-free, bland and boring.
Browse Facebook or Twitter and you'll immediately be presented with a deluge of thrilling ''new scientific discoveries''.
Being born into a bigger family has its merits, but wasn't always easy, writes Jean Balchin.
Growing up as a minister’s daughter, I was regularly taught to cover my body as a mark of spiritual integrity. But purity culture is anything but pure. It is inextricably intertwined with oppression, lies, fear and mistrust.
The internet is truly redefining the grief process. Our profiles might not have the same crumbling grandeur of Dunedin’s Southern Cemetery, but our old statuses and selfies will preserve us indefinitely.
Every so often, well-meaning relatives and family friends ask me where I study. ‘‘Oh, you’re from Dunedin?’’ they cry with fascinated delight, ‘‘how are the toga parties going down there? Do you actually get any study done?’’