2013 | First Year

Nine Lives-3

2013 | First Year of Uni

2013 started off with a trip to Nanjing, Beijing, Shanghai and Taiwan. When I got back in January, I remember thinking I needed to find myself a job but since Christmas had passed, it was unlikely any retail stores were looking for new staff. I decided to try my hand at tutoring and promptly signed myself up on a few websites where I basically advertised myself as a tutor looking for students. My first lesson was conducted at Epping Library; I was nervous but it was a successful lesson. I started receiving more messages from potential students until I was teaching enough students to earn a solid weekly income to support myself.

Semester 1 of 2013 was uneventful. I didn’t go to ANY of the Uni parties/camps because I didn’t know anyone else going LOL. I also didn’t join any societies because….it was too much commitment. I paid close to $40 during O-week signing up for each and every society that I found interesting, but legit didn’t end up going to any of the events. I therefore didn’t meet very many people; I probably made a total of 5 friends during my first semester, ALL of whom were introduced to me through a mutual friend.

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In July 2013, I made a huge decision to join BSOC’s Ski Camp. I can’t remember exactly why I decided to go; maybe it was because I’d missed out on the BSOC camp, cruise and other Welcome Back parties and I wanted to do something society related, or maybe it was because I genuinely wanted to go skiing/see snow. I don’t know. But I did sign up and went with a high school friend of mine. It was at BSOC’s ski camp that I was allocated a cabin with several other first years whom I’d never met before but quickly became friends with. Now, I don’t remember what I wanted to get out of Ski Camp; maybe it was simply to learn to ski, or maybe it was to meet new people, but whatever my intentions were I definitely did not expect to become so close to 10 other people who have ultimately shaped my Uni life.

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I’m going to be completely honest here and say that at first, I didn’t feel as close to these friends as the world believed. We were this massive group that posted photos every other day where ALL 13 of us were tagged and some of the people in this group were very active within societies and therefore had a huge social media following. I’m pretty sure we spammed half the first year Commerce population with our frequent updates, photos and posts on each other’s walls. Everyone thought we were this really close bunch of friends who met up every day and spoke to each other every day, which was true, but initially I wasn’t close to anyone. I was close to them all as a group , but definitely not individually. These were some of the nicest, caring and considerate people I’ve ever met in my life and I soon realised this when I started getting to know them individually. I honestly don’t have words for how grateful I am to have met them; I was a shy and awkward girl who had no idea how to navigate this complex realm of University and out of nowhere these 12 super cheerful human beingss literally infiltrated my life and showed me this whole new world of clubbing, eating out, road trips and basically going to every University event and Sydney event as a group. I love them. Seriously. My life would have been a dull, black abyss without them.

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It was thanks to #SeriousYOLO that my University life became more wholesome and fulfilling. I went to BSOC’s annual ball, BSOC’s BSXC dance party, Round House party and a whole heap of other events in Sydney at their encouragement. Suddenly, I wasn’t staying at home everyday or dining out at the same places. I was trying new things, eating out at new places and just stepping out of my comfort zone in general.

If I could use only one word to summarise 2013, it would be #SeriousYolo. I became more adventurous and outgoing thanks to these legends ❤

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Goodbye Uni!

I received my 2017 Semester 1 results yesterday and I can happily say I’ve passed everything and I’m set to graduate!!! My ceremony will be in November but according to the email I received this arvo, my “graduation date” is 31st July 2017. 

The last 4.5 years have been life-changing for me and I’m considering writing a few posts reflecting on my time at Uni, starting with detailed summaries of each year. I’ve come up with a few topics I’d like to reflect on:

  • First Year Summed Up 2013
  • Second Year Summed Up 2014
  • Third Year Summed Up 2015 – 2016
  • Fourth Year Summed Up 2016 – 2017
  • Regrets
  • Biggest Achievements
  • Happiest Memories
  • UNSW vs UBC
  • High School Grad vs Uni Grad 
  • Plans for the Future 

Of course, the list isn’t exhaustive and I will be adding more to the list as more ideas come to me.

For now, I’m going to start writing/reflecting and hopefully the posts will be up soon!!

2016// Review [PART 3]

February // Went up to Grouse Mountain to ski and for the first time in my life I thought I was going to die. Celebrated CNY with friends from all over the world – yum cha for brunch and hot pot for dinner! During spring break, I set off to Mexico with a bunch of new friends and had a fantastic time! I was also the only person who didn’t get food poisoning after  eating street tacos. Came back to UBC only to be bombarded with 3 consecutive exams (all of which I passed – thank god!!) Went up to Cypress at the end of February.

March // My first frat party was rather….underwhelming. At least pre’s was fun 🙂 Had the time of my life at Blank Canvas though 😛  Also went on my first hiking adventure in Vancouver – one of my regrets is not going on enough hikes during my time there. Celebrated St. Patrick’s Day by getting woken up at 6am by drunken neighbours and then spending the rest of the day periodically drinking. Watched my first UBC Thunderbirds Basketball Game (too bad we lost!!) Went up to Cypress again and tried snowboarding for the first time. I failed badly, but at least it was fun!! Later in March, the crew and I went on a cruise hosted by the Exchange Society and then spent hours at a nearby casino.  Joined my curry mates for an arvo full of fun at Holi! During Easter Break, I went to Victoria with a bunch of other mates; it was honestly the most boring place ever and tbh, I never want to go back hahaha.

April // Started off April with a bonfire with the ENTIRE crew. Everyone was sad about our inevitable departure. Went skiing one last time at Whistler and had a blast! Celebrated the end of another semester by  attending this music festival-esque event hosted by UBC. Exchanged ended with fine dining and dress ups (men in suits, women in dresses and heels). Took one last group photo with the UBC sign. Went hiking at the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge park. Wrapped up April with Jessie, Ben, Simona and Zacq by flying off to the States for our West Coast adventure!!

2016 // Review [PART 2]

In my last post, I mentioned that my life had changed. 2016 has been the best year of my life so far, and I’ll forever be thankful for all the ups and downs that happened this year.

January // January 1st – I embarked on an adventure of a lifetime (literally). I left my parents at Shanghai International Airport and ventured into the unknown. To be honest, I can’t remember how I felt. I’m sure I felt a multitude of emotions inside – excitement, fear, nervousness, joy, anticipation and trepidation all at once but a year later, I honestly can’t remember exactly what was going on in my head. I met a high school student from a small city/town? near Toronto and we chatted about Canada. I was surprised everyone recognized my ‘Australian accent’ as in Australia, an Aussie accent…isn’t an accent.

I arrived in Vancouver on the 1st of January and I remember thinking the streets were so empty. The taxi driver said it was because it was still early and/or people partied hard the night before so they were all inside asleep. The streets, buildings and trees were all covered in layers of snow and I’d never seen anything so beautifully fascinating. The motel I stayed at looked tiny from the outside, but I was given a whole apartment to myself. It was literally an apartment!!  I spent the first and second day wandering around Downtown by myself. I bought instant noodles, and ordered pizza at 2am in the morning. I still remember after uttering 2 words, the pizza guy was like “are you Australian” and I just felt kinda exotic???

I wandered around Stanley Park and walked 15km each day. This is why I love travelling – I don’t know what public transport to take so I just walk and absorb every little thing around me. Nothing goes unnoticed; not the benches with writing carved on the back support – a dedication to a family member/friend/loved one who had passed away, similar to an epitaph; not the exquisite colour of the water and the families strolling leisurely through the park. While I enjoyed experiencing all this by myself, it was another story when I went inside a restaurant. I’ve never liked eating alone inside a restaurant – I feel so lonely while everyone else is chatting away and I always feel like I don’t belong. I remember because of that, I bought food from the local supermarket and ordered takeout.

Jan 3rd – I moved in to UBC. I remember tipping the taxi driver $10 because we couldn’t find the entrance to my house and he went around asking for me. We eventually found an entrance (not the entrance though haha) and I walked with all my luggage from the other side of Fairview to my house. That day was probably the most homesick I’ve ever felt in my life. I walked in to a house with 3-4 people lounging in the living room. They were polite and we exchanged pleasantries. One girl was actually from Melbourne and she lived in my room the previous semester, so we talked a bit. Then after a while she said she was going to leave to go to a bar. I felt….lonely. There was no one else in the house – the girl downstairs is a local and she left the house early, another local girl lived upstairs with me but she was at home with her parents, and the last girl hadn’t moved in yet. After reading all my YA books and watching romantic comedies, I had envisioned moving in with someone I’d become immediate friends with. Obviously that didn’t happen. I remember leaving my doors open to seem ‘inviting’ in case anyone came back home. No one did. I suddenly realized I didn’t know anyone at UBC – not my roommates, nor anyone from UNSW. I started imagining spending my entire semester at UBC locked in my room because I didn’t know anyone. I can’t begin to describe how traumatizing that was for me, but because of the sudden epiphany that I could end up wasting my time at UBC without any friends, I decided to message the only person from UBC who had messaged me several months back. Luckily, he was nice and agreed to meet up with me the next day. Turns out, he’s one of my closest friends now 🙂

Early Jan – Met a bunch of people from around the world who will later become some of my closest friends.

Mid-January (exact date is engraved in my memory) – I met a guy; a guy who was vastly different from all the guys I’d previously liked. He stood out amongst all the other guys I laid eyes on at the pub. This guy was very….different, which was probably why I found him so intriguing. He was self-assured in a way that people might mistake for cockiness; he knew how to have fun and didn’t give a crap about what anyone else thought of him. I initially thought he was the irresponsible type who actively sought out attention but after observing him I realized he was the opposite. There’s something so attractive about a guy who knows what he wants and doesn’t try to impress those around him. He was straightforward and sometimes too blunt and honest, but he was real . Not once did he try to be someone he wasn’t, nor did he pretend to be nice to the people he didn’t like. I’d never seen someone who could talk so easily with everyone and knew how to have fun the way he did. I fell for him…and I fell for him hard.

Late January –Went skiing for the first time in Canada and second time in my life!!!!!!!

 

2016 // Reflecting on Life [PART 1]

2016 may have been an absolutely horrendous year for many people, but for me, it has been the most challenging, rewarding and unforgettable year of my life thus far.

2013

In high school and for most of my Uni life, I’d been hesitant to try new things. I was afraid of failure and embarrassing myself so I thought if I didn’t bother trying, then I couldn’t fail, right? In 2013 (first year of Uni) I sat back and relaxed while my peers applied the heck out of societies as subcom members. I thought ‘well, it’s ONLY my first year so there’s no need to be so worried about my career right?’ The truth was, I was too afraid of being rejected because I had no leadership/teamwork/time management skills whatsoever to talk about from high school. The only thing I was proud of doing in 2013 was going to BSOC’s ski camp, where I met a bunch of people who have since shaped my Uni social life.

2014

In 2014, I realized the severity of my lack of participation in Uni societies. My friends were applying for internships at renowned firms and at 18 years old, they received multiple offers to said firms. Meanwhile, I was still too chicken to admit I had issues that needed addressing. In my second semester, I applied to become a marketing subcommittee member of Project Hope, a not-for-profit organization that raised money to assist disadvantaged children in rural China. I’d heard that almost everyone who applied got in (don’t quote me, but truth is everyone from my interview did get in) so I thought the chances of me being accepted was extremely high. While I admit I was disappointed in the lack of actual work assigned to me as a subcom member (there were simply too many people in PH Marketing), the tasks I did complete helped me significantly in future interviews/online applications.

In late 2014, Amy and I decided to start the Real Estate Society. For Amy, Real Estate was her ‘career passion’, but for me, the society was a way for me to catch up to where the rest of my peers were at in terms of career progression since I felt I was lagging behind. I thought it would be an exciting venture for me as I’d never done anything like it before and it would force me to stop being so afraid of trying new things.

2015

In 2015, I stepped out of my comfort zone by applying for GAP and the intensive one week program gave me a peek into the life I’ve always wanted. [Did I mention as a clueless 3 year old, I wanted to be a teacher and/or business woman? A teacher because I liked having people listen to me while I gave instructions HAHA and a business woman because on TV they looked so polished, well spoken, respected by everyone and seemed like they were conducting important business all the time.] Obviously my reasons for wanting to enter the corporate world have changed and my passion for teaching has intensified for other reasons but it felt good to be able to fulfil those dreams of mine, ya know?

In 2015 I also applied for a few internships but unfortunately I was rejected from all of them. I was at a pretty low point in my life in early 2015; I had gone for a director interview for a society and completely bombed it. Now I think back, the questions were standard but I stuttered, rambled and had a mind blank after every question. I was ashamed of myself and too embarrassed to do anything about it. I was truly terrified of interviews from then on.

After submitting a bunch of online applications for various internship roles, I was invited to complete psychometric testing online. My self-esteem and confidence plummeted again after doing those. For weeks I felt stupid and incompetent. 90% of my penultimate year friends/acquaintances/people I’ve heard of/seen around received offers while I was struggling to progress to the next round. Deep down however, I was slightly relieved as well because I didn’t think I was ready to face more rounds of interviews.

Sometime in March/April I decided to do something with my life. Late 2014, I had the idea of applying for exchange but after reading the instructions online and realizing how much time I needed to dedicate to research/filling out forms, I dropped everything and forgot about it. I was lazy and wanted everything to be handed to me on a silver platter. In 2015 however, I decided to just go for it and booked an appointment with someone from the Exchange Office. Not going to lie, I thought about giving up again but the night before the deadline, I spent 3-4 hours researching different Universities in Canada and matched up courses. I didn’t tell a single soul I was applying for exchange for fear that I would get rejected.

Once I received my nomination email, I gradually opened up to my friends and family about exchange. I wasn’t 100% sure I’d get in as a nomination from UNSW didn’t guarantee an offer from UBC. My official offer from UBC a few months later was a wake up call for me. I was going to spend a semester abroad, in a country with no friends, no family and I only had myself to depend on.

Hopefully my life would change.

And I’m proud to announce my life did change.