“Smile when your heart is aching, smile even though it’s breaking” Charlie Chaplin.
This time last year, I was walking in to my first class at university. This year has so far been filled with a lot of very difficult times for both myself and my family. There has been heartbreak, it’s been the year where I did not go more than a week without crying and the year I had 2 quite horrific panic attacks. With all that being said, this has also been the year I decided to study journalism, the year I finished my first year of university with a distinction average (i’ve never been the best of students so this is kind of a big deal) and the year I met some incredible people that I’m sure will be in my life for a long time.
Settling in to university has been much harder than I ever thought it would be. Personally, I have never been someone who has had any problems making friends or adjusting to new situations so coming to Melbourne and not being able to do that knocked my confidence a little. When you think about it, moving halfway across the world to a place you’ve never been, with no family and only knowing one person prior sounds rather insane. Yes, people do it all the time but that certainly does not make it easy.
When you hear people talk about university, specifically their first year, you always hear about the good times, the new friends and the countless number of nights out. No one ever talks about all the not so fun parts of moving away to university. No one talks about the intense loneliness you feel (even when you’re surrounded by people) or the homesickness that hits you – sometimes even months after you’ve arrived. No one ever speaks about feeling like an outsider or how scary the whole thing can sometimes be.
It took me about 10 months to finally feel like I was starting to properly settle in to my new life at university and my life in Melbourne. For some people, the settling in process takes even longer than that and for others, they settle in a month after moving. Never compare yourself to others, everyone has a different and unique set of circumstances which determine how well you adjust to such situations. No two people will have the same story and the same experience.
It’s important to remember that it’s a bad year, not a bad life. All the shitty things that have happened this year have taught me that:
a.) Not having your support system around you is really shit but at some point you have to learn how to deal with things almost entirely by yourself because no one will ever take care of you the way you can.
b.) Life is indeed a bitch sometimes but everyone has their own thing that they’re dealing with – you’re not the only one with problems honey. There’s always at least one thing to be grateful for.
Having said aaaaallll that, I’m grateful for the things this year has taught me and incredibly grateful for the adventures i’ve been on and the places i’ve seen. I’m looking forward to seeing what my second year of university has in store for me.
“One day you’ll look back and wonder how on earth you ever made it through” Annabelle Olum.
Sending you lots of good vibes,