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« February 2009 | Blog home | April 2009 »

March 2009

Yeehaa!

27 Mar

What a weekend!!

This weekend I had my 21st party. My birthday was actually in November, but because I’ve just got back I thought: ‘Why not combine a coming home/21st party?!’. It was an amazing extravaganza!

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Moving home is a daunting activity for any twenty something, especially those who are extraordinarily lazy and inept at all things domestic. I have thought about moving out for a while, but the whole process takes a lot more time than I ever had to devote to it. It got to a point where I was spending more time on campus, studying/ being involved in the Union and the SRC/ generally larking about, that I thought the time was nothing if not nigh to harden up and fly the coop. A lot of people think that moving to college does not really constitute ‘moving out’. Maybe they’re right; the fact that I recently marvelled at buying laundry powder for the first time in my life just goes to show how sheltered and cushy my life has been (it was a huge four kilo box, I lugged it around with my on the bus and felt mature and self directed in a way that I never have before. Surely this is the power of purchasing…). At least I know this. College, for me, has resonated as half sea change, half halfway house. It’s not quite being out there on your own, but it is certainly not like living at home. It’s not the same as a share house, but it’s not a boarding school. It’s definitely a lifestyle, but it not necessarily a mindset. You meet a lot of people who might seem the same, but scratch the surface and everyone’s got their own thing going on. College is an existential quandary that can only be defined by that which it is not. Confused? Don’t worry, I was too. But you quickly learn. I know you would have to be incredibly soft to think that the Women’s College of the University of Sydney is a school of hard knocks (we do indeed enjoy many a privilege here, even if we have to BYO the laundry powder…) but there is still a bit of an adjustment in acclimatising yourself to this new home. College certainly brings with it its own brand of daunting. So I am going to give you a list of things to consider if you are thinking college might be your future home. This list is wrenched from my own arduous experience, so cherish it, dear readers.

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For those of you who have been reading my profile updates with a keen eye, you may have noticed that it now says that I live at the Women’s College. Although I’ve started my third year of uni, 2009 marks my first year at College – which means that I am technically a “Fresher”. What does this mean? It means that during O-Week, I was juggling the main campus festivities with the ones at College. How is College O-Week different? Well, for one, it’s the start of your new life living on campus – so it involves tonnes of activities to help you get to know freshers in your own college as well as at other colleges.

basically, I now live in some crazy amalgamation of a sorority and Enid Blyton's "St. Clare's"... except there's no curfew + I can come and go as I please. note: I live in the uglier building that I have strategically left out of this photo.

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It’s been there, done that fourth time now for me, but for many, it’s their first time, and the first time is always the most special. What am I talking about? None other than…first week (back) at uni.

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And, after the best nine months of my life, I’m back in Aus!!!! To be honest, it feels a little weird – I can understand everything that’s going on, everyone has my accent and people drive on the right (or wrong now for me!) side of the road. But, it’s home.

It’s a little strange to think that none of my friends and family from home have met the people I’ve spent the majority of a year with, or, to be honest, know close to nothing about Denmark. There’s a group of us from Arhus though who are Sydney-siders who each know what we’ve all been up to, and can help each other in the transition home. We’re not ready to give up Europe just yet – we’re heading out to Scu Bar tonight to meet backpackers!! Haha.

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So to attempt to kill jatlag, I spent a week in Japan on the way home. Amazingly, my brother had flown there as a surprise – the whole staff of the hotel were in on it and found the arrival very exciting!

The Japanese people are so wonderful! I’ve never heard the word Thank you (oragato gazymus! Totally not how you spell it, but going for phonetics here! :p) said repeatedly so many times! As soon as you ask a question or ask for something, they’ll run off to help you, and they have hilarious sense of humour! We were heading into a temple and had to take our shoes off, some people on the tour were hesitant and the guide just goes ‘Don’t worry, no-one will steal them – you’re Western feet are too big!!’

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Unlike many aspects of life, the cost of travelling is inversely proportionate to how many relatives one has. Five hundred relatives in Penrith will not even help you in New Zealand. Therefore, I must at this point recall the immortal words of Paris Hilton in her bestselling book ‘How to be an Heiress’ - “Rule Number One: be born into the right family”. Please note that I am not as rude as Paris and have no intention of simply parading my superior family ties. You see, the “right family” in travelers’ terms extends beyond all known extensions. The only condition is that somewhere down your ancestral line someone got jiggy and bore the child of someone deep down the ancestral line of someone living in another country. A’ight?

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Leaving Denmark and saying goodbye to Europe definitely wasn’t the easiest thing to do. Simple things, like: ‘But wait, you can’t get Tuborg beer at home!’ or ‘There’s no H&M in Australia’ even, ‘You mean, I’ll be in one place for more than just a number of days?!!!’ kept popping into my head. But it wasn’t just the leaving of the place, most heart-breakingly it was leaving the people.

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