This month has been full of firsts:
- My first birthday in another country. Turning 26 away from home made me homesick but I am so thankful for the friends I’ve made here.
- My first hammerhead dissection. Which was so amazing to be a part of. The focus was to study parasites that are found in the nose, gills, and stomach of hammerhead sharks. A very smelly, yet incredible experience.
- And unfortunately my first late assignment. With two presentations and a paper due within 3 days, it made for a difficult week.
This month has also been full of lessons learned. I had set the bar so high coming back to school and realized I had set unrealistic expectations on myself. It added too much stress, so I decided to make this a semester of learning how to be back in school and to be better prepared for the semesters to come.
So, I thought of some tips for the end of semester:
- Don’t wait until study week to start studying for finals.
- In regards to my first late assignment, even with an overwhelming schedule, start your assignment early. Especially when you don’t want to.
- Even if you don’t know what’s happening (like me) ask so many questions until you do. I guess I can take this semester as a learning semester and as a way to improve for next semester.
Before coming to Townsville, I had a plan that I wasn’t going to get a car and just rely on public transportation. Then I arrived and learned how unreliable the bus system is here. For example, a 20-minute drive but the bus takes an hour to get into town. On top of that, the bus only comes once every hour. Very inconvenient. So naturally, I had already wanted a car within a week.
Then the most amazing thing happened, I met a wonderful family getting rid of their car and they gave it to me! All I had to do was pay for registration. At first, the car barely made it to 80 km/h, but after warming her up, she can make it over 100km/h! Needless to say, there have been many coffee shop visits and driving friends around since.
It’s been great living so close to uni, but my time here is done. The ocean is calling my name and I must go. The experience of being so close to campus made my first semester much easier, but now with a car, I’m saying goodbye to Douglas.
The best place (in my opinion) is the Strand and the City. What makes it better is that it’s only 20 minutes away from campus….and has the beach, restaurants, and coffee shops. (Can you tell I love coffee?) So two of my housemates and I found an apartment close to the commotion. It’ll be an escape from uni with a great view, the ocean. We will be a 10-minute walk to the beach and 5-minute walk to restaurants!
With my first semester nearly completed, I look back at how much I have learned. The experiences and classes have been priceless. It may not look like it with the loans but I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything.
And just like that, 4 months have flown by. Next stop summer (or winter in Australia) intensive subject and a much-needed trip to Sydney!