In a three-part series, we look at the different phases of flatting life.
Although Gus MacKenzie revels in the lifestyle of his flat (naked man on couch; empty 42 Below bottles atop the fridge; a series of TV screens attached to various Xboxes), he’s ready to let go. He’s moving on from the party house and into a place with only one other, seeking a sense of solitude that with enable him to focus on career goals, rather than vibrant Saturday nights.
“I actually lived at home until I was about 24,” says MacKenzie, who is now 26. “My parents wanted me to stay there for as long as possible.” He says he has the opportunity to stay at home forever, for which he feels grateful, but considers flatting crucial to his development as an adult. “If you don’t become independent then you’ll never really grow up,” he says. “I was a lot more introverted ... less self-assured, much less confident.” He credits his newfound ability to mix and mingle with the best to the discomfort of confronting housing and lives that he never anticipated.
It’s easy wonder if MacKenzie will be happy in a quieter, more stable environment. But his reasoning is sound and speaks to the natural evolution in the life of a flatter - the parties grow less entertaining, the mess grows in one’s eyes to become filth and, as MacKenzie says, “it’s...very difficult to focus on things that you want to do.”
It seems MacKenzie’s next great adventure is one of career growth instead of personal. But if an end to flat-life is nigh, it’s an end he’ll meet with all the gusto of the muscle-man statue perched above his computer.
Story produced by Kirsti Whalen with help from Rose Archer. Video shot and edited by Connor Strati.
This content is brought to you with funding support from NZ On Air.