Tony Maera

Tony is studying for a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Theological and Religious Studies.

Tony Maera

“I come from a small village on the west coast of Northland, called Opononi. It’s ‘famous in New Zealand’ for sand dunes and dolphins. It’s got beautiful beaches and miles upon miles of wonderful native forest, but not too many world-ranked universities.

“So, when I made the decision to go to university to study theology, the University of Auckland was the most natural choice to make.

“I love the amazing depth of knowledge that my lecturers have in their respective fields of expertise. I could listen and learn from them for hours on end. Unfortunately I can only have them for just a few lectures and tutorials each week.

“I’ve narrowed my possible career choices down to Chaplain, Consoler, Teacher, Social Worker, Consultant or Electrical Engineer.

“Studying in the Faculty of Arts is like nothing else I have experienced. If you were to combine getting lost in a giant maze of dusty library books and painting an exact replica of the portrait of the Mona Lisa while completing a Rubik’s Cube single handed… I think you’d get a pretty good handle on what being a student in the Faculty of Arts is not like.

“Being an (ever so slightly) older student, I’ve really appreciated the opportunity to get to know some wonderfully talented and inspirational young people, many of whom are coming straight from high school, in their late teens.

“I went straight into the workforce when I left school, so I haven’t always been in contact with academically-minded young people. The experience to date has been insightful and motivating. I have often been in awe of all the diverse opinions and perspectives alive at the University of Auckland.

“Do what you love and the rest will sort itself out in the wash. I’ve spent so much of my life doing what other people said I should be doing, which left me feeling bored and unfulfilled. But now — even at this early stage in my academic career — I wake up energised and excited about what I’m going to learn each day, wondering how much more is out there yet to be discovered.

“Life ought to be filled with epic adventures!”

Find out more about studying Theological and Religious Studies