About the halls – Julian Brazier

29 October 2019

'My Burton and Garran Hall Experience'

Moving to the ANU to live at Burton and Garran Hall (B & G) has been an incredibly enriching and positive experience for the past two years. Everyone, especially those living on campus, can attest to the mixed emotions of anxiety and excitement of move-in day as a first year.

Fresh off my gap year overseas, I knew no one coming to university in 2018. Coupled with the thought of leaving home for the first time, anxiety was just one of the emotions involved. Everyone had their reasons for leaving their home town or city - whether it was to study a certain degree or leave their high school legacy behind, everyone was in the same boat (more or less). We all yearned for that independence from our parents, we all wanted that fresh start in a new city but most of all we wanted a chance to prove it to ourselves that we could achieve something.

I distinctly remember that first night at B & G, lying in my bed with a strange feeling in my gut, not quite sickness. Unnerved by the thought of making new friends and finding my way at university, I couldn't get to sleep.

After O-Week, the first classes and making some friends I gradually felt more and more comfortable with living on campus, I began to call it a home, not an accommodation option. Classes were close by and you could manage your time whichever way you liked - it was what most wanted.

It's this sentiment of home and comfort which I think is the highlight of living at B & G. Not only the sentiment of home, and as clichéd as it sounds, but the sense of inclusion and wide options of collegial events catering to those with interests in sports and arts make the place seem open and welcoming. It's more than just a place to sleep, it's your place to come back to after a long day at work or a place to spend time with your friends. More than anything though, something which I will always remember and carry with me for the rest of my life are the people of B & G, my friends and others who make up its culture.

Never have I met people so driven to succeed, so eager to realise their goals and dreams yet so kind and generous. I'd never met people with such unique passions and skills and a knack, or an intelligence if you will, for discussing the most thought provoking and complex topics, or people that run close to 100 kilometres a week. People determined to make a change in the world in their chosen way, be it increased awareness for LGBT issues or highlighting work rights for students in campus newspapers. Coming from school, and having this time to reflect, I've come to realise that it's these people which have made me grow. Making me reflect upon my own strengths and weaknesses, giving me that drive to succeed and to constantly challenge myself in unprecedented ways.

I'll have to say goodbye to B & G at the end of the year and these are the experiences which will make that goodbye harder than I thought it would be at the beginning of last year. They're signs that I've enjoyed my time and that I should be appreciative of them, but emotional nonetheless.