Yes I know its been a while since I have done any updating on this blog, honestly, I’ve just been trying to hold it together these last six months. Coupled with financial strain and I guess a lot of personal stresses with my own mental health and social circles, the second half of 2017 has been a steep learning curve.
What have I been doing you may ask, and funnily enough, I’m asking myself the same question. The short answer is not that much. I finished second sem of uni, and I enjoyed most of it, apart from Torts, which I did find interesting, but I found it archaic and inaccessible for everyday people, who can’t afford to hire a private lawyer and take things to court. Also, the subject was taught poorly, literally 2 sentences worth of feedback on the one assignment we had during the entire semester and the exam was just ridiculous. I wasn’t that prepared for it, but having two paragraphs of facts for four different torts and making students go through negligence twice, is just cruel.
In amongst actual academics; I’ve felt absolutely ostracised at Halls, my grandmother passed away, I’ve ridden in ambulance after a friend self-harmed, I broke up with a boy, my friend’s fathers suicided and felt utterly useless because there are no words you can say, nothing you can do to make it better, a boy dumped me, two close friends betrayed me in ways I didn’t think were possible, I realised that my anxiety existed outside of high school, tried self-harming myself and the relationships in my extended family have completely broken down.
I guess that sounds like I’ve had a tough 6 months, and yes it has, I’m sure people are going through worse but my problems are still real and they still matter. But there have been good things going on in my life, I’ve found the people who stick around when the times get tough, I didn’t fail any of my subjects, I went to things even though I wanted so badly to curl up in bed to avoid the people who were there, I’ve had some life-changing conversations with other people, competed in MUNs and Moots, I got my license, I had two very different relationships and gained so much insight from both, I got a Residential Adviser scholarship for next year, building towards bigger and better things.
Taffy, Natalie, Sana and I at Turner Ball
What would I do without you Clauds.
There are some things I cannot explain this year and I guess one is that is some eerily well-timed run ins with people I used to know, at uni, and reminiscing with them for forty minutes about our old lives and talking about our lives now, and still feeling the same pull you felt towards them you did back then. And driving, I mean, fuck I would have got my license a year ago if I had known driving myself around felt this good. The other thing is Scouts, I should go back and I want to, it’s just hard to go back after your time in the wilderness.
Since uni finished though, I have been sitting on my ass a bit, fgs I made it through the entire of Friends and How I Met Your Mother. Like last year, I am not looking forward to an underwhelming Christmas and hoping that NYE will be slightly better.
Do I have a plan for next year? Well vaguely, but I haven’t written anything down. Off the top of my head, it’s having enough money to live, managing my time better, improving my grades and exercise habits and having more self-preservation- I guess open-mindedness and trust will only get you so far. Vague enough for you heh. My host sister from Aarhus is coming to Melbourne soon, and its whats getting me through the days, I look forward to it every day, I’m tearing up just thinking about it.
Dave, Taffy and I at MRS White Ribbon Night
I went to go see Hannah Gadsby at Hamer Hall not long ago, and it was fucking sobering. She just demanded the audience to hear the brutal story that the lightness of comedy tethers in its reins. I mean this in a good way. She’s funny af, but this woman will not be silenced and I applaud her. Also shameless plug to the TV Show Please Like Me by Josh Thomas, it gets me through the hard times.
Anyway friends, as always this is an odd, non-structured blog post, I promise I’m trying to be more positive. Night x
Yes, it’s been quite some time since I’ve updated my narrative, and I suppose now is a better time than any other, i.e 11.22 at night.
Since last time, I moved out of home, I started University, I am shedding some of my skins or perhaps they are just becoming thinner. In short, life happened/ is happening.
I worked two jobs over Summer, actually I think the second job helped me realise how terrible the first one was. I don’t really want to dwell on it, but safe to say I won’t be going back to the hospitality industry in a hurry.
What ultimately drove my decision to go straight to Uni, was my desire to get as much independence from my family as possible. Little Flinders and property for so long have felt like a very stifling and restrictive place for me.
I decided to move into a uni residence, which is great because it’s a max 10 minute walk to class. I’ve met lots of interesting people here in all their tangled glory. It hasn’t all been positive experience, that’s to be expected. I’ve made some intimate, intense friendships with beautiful, kind people and I’ve also lost one due to forces beyond my control. Upsetting but inevitable.
As for academics, Law is tough and Global Studies is very engaging but also difficult to pin down.
As the seasons are changing, I am really starting to miss Summer and the endless tan days. The cold, although something that does not bother me, is already wearing a little thin, even though it’s only May. Right now it’s difficult to articulate everything that’s changed, things aren’t resolved clearly in my mind.
I’ve left a lot of the ways I’ve identified behind me, for example, I realised at the end of School that I’d so long identified as a high-achiever that I didn’t assign much meaning to my education without being so. Which quite frankly, really bothered me, I don’t want my self-worth or my who I am to be boiled down to how I perform in institutionalised structures.
Scouts is also another thing that’s changed. I haven’t been to a meeting since December. It’s in one way very nice to be free of Scouting for a while, but lately, I’ve realised just how much of my identity was formed around it and my relationships. I was with some friends out in Healsville, it just hit me how foreign it felt to be without people who had known me for 10 years. I do have a support network at Uni, but it’s very different and needs much more articulation than the one I had at Scouts and at home.
My friend Jess, is leaving on her gap year in less than 2 weeks and isn’t coming back until October. I’m pretty emotional about this because Jess and I have been through a lot, we’ve been best friends for the last 10 years and there’s barely been a week since we met that we haven’t seen each other at least once. At the same time, I’m really excited for her to be travelling. But it’s so bloody scary to think that we won’t see each other for 6 months.
Life without Scouting, which I think is good for me at the moment, has nevertheless left me feeling overwhelmed by the weightlessness of it.
It’s definitely not to say that I haven’t been seeing my friends from vents, but it’s different now, I live in a different area and everyone else has different things going on in their lives.
On a more cheerful note, I have been doing lots of things this year; I went to my first protest, picnicked at a beautiful dam, White Night, watched Circ Du Soleil, had some excellent late night walks on campus, danced until I dropped, participated in Live Below the Line and so many other things that I can’t remember right now. Enjoy some photos, honestly, I think they’re a better reflection of life over the last 6 months, although I can’t say that it entirely accurate because a lot of my everyday experiences on campus and in halls, I forget to photograph really.
Picnic at the Dam
White Night- Swanston
White Night Abstract
Circ Du Soleil – Australia Day
I guess it comes with the territory of uni and moving out of home, but romantically, I’ve had a few encounters. I don’t care to elaborate too much on the internet, but I feel a startling conflict between my desire for intimacy and self-preservation. I’m trying not to be so controlling and analytical, I want intimacy but I think so far the desire for self-preservation is winning out. I don’t want to be that person who disconnects from such vulnerability, but there we have it, I feel like a young Michael from The Cat’s Table.
Anyway, that’s going to be all for now, maybe I’ll have reconciled myself a bit more next time I write (and finished more of my assignments). Its 1am, I’m meant to have a tute in 9 hours (which I haven’t prepared for at all) and to top it all off, I’m going to a Ball with halls friends the same night.
If you’d like to donate to Live Below the Line, the educational charity, then just follow this link. I’d really appreciate your efforts, even $10 can go a long way in changing a child’s educational future.
So the end of the year is fast approaching and I haven’t written on this blog much, but I have been pretty busy, and the three goals I set out this year have been achieved, even in a very roundabout way. Buckle up, prepare for a long, rambling blog post.
Okay, I am not going to lie, I am still kinda bitter about this. For anyone who doesn’t know, UWC stands for United World Colleges; a group of 16 international schools around the world that aim to bring students together from all over the world to educate for peace and a sustainable future. I applied to UWC Australia (the National Committee) in 2015, I got to the interview stage, but no further. I applied again, much to my parents’ frustration and contempt, got to the interviews to find Alanah from last years interviews there again, as well as several other siblings of last year’s applicants. I can’t articulate how gratifying it is to find “One’s people”, talking to people who aren’t small-minded and unconcerned about the state of the world. Maybe two, three agonising weeks later, Mairi, the Victorian coordinator and coincidentally my school librarian called me and told me I’d been offered an unfunded place in UWCCR, that is in Costa Rica. Note the UNFUNDED in that last sentence. Tuition for two years alone is AUD $86,000, now I don’t know about you but my fam nor I have that kind of money sitting in the bank or in their mortgage. So on the money account, going to UWC was a no.
It also didn’t help that my father had been against UWC from the start, I don’t wish to bad-mouth my family, however, I can’t ignore how he insinuated that UWC was a cult school and that “You are going to do well anywhere, so why would you need to go to UWC”. For the benefit of non-UWCers, completely ignored the desire for the experience of UWC, the chance to interact with such a diverse student body and allow for a kind of tangled transformation. My Dad flat-out refused to consider what it meant to me, even after I made some of the most well-reasoned arguments I have ever made. Angry doesn’t even begin to explain how I felt feel, I think heartbroken, furious, disappointed more accurately conveys how I feel. I can’t tell you that much more about our exchange; it was that stress-inducing that I unknowingly repressed the entire episode. I realise now that I feel like part of my identity; my values more specifically have been rejected by my father, in the way he behaved to me during that entire saga. Even writing about it now has tears leaking out of my eyes, my throat constricts and leaves me feeling humiliated.
Aside from all that, I could never regret finding UWC, I regret my fam’s reaction and that the Australian National Committee is a non-tax deductible charity. But finding UWC allowed me to give a name to the ideals that are important to me and to find “my people”. I’ve met very interesting, lovely people in the process. Not getting into UWC in 2015 also allowed me to go on exchange in Denmark with the loveliest family in the entire world, those two months were the best of my life
So for my friends who might read this on the off chance; this explains my headspace better than I could ever express to you verbally. To those who follow the UWC tag or those looking for advice about UWC. APPLY, you only have something to gain. Despite the funding inequality in the system, if the ideas and values light you up from head to toe like a Christmas tree, then apply no matter how small the chance of getting in is. Because even applying can completely change your outlook on this life and our world. You will meet fantastic people at the interviews, who motivate you to continue to make a positive change in the world.
Queen’s Scout Award
This has been a long-term goal I have been working on since mid-2013, I have been part of the Scouting movement for nearly 10 years now. The Queen’s Scout Award is the highest award you can get in youth scouting. It is a series of badges that involves, adventurous activities, community involvement, leadership development and personal growth. Trust me it sounds a hell of a lot harder than it sounds. The first thirteen badges, involve a minimum of 10 hours of work *read 15 hours work with paperwork*, the other four involve 30 hours of work *read 50*. Amongst all that, I organised and ran 2 hikes, over 40 hours of community service, leadership and unit management courses, acting as the Unit Chairperson for 6 months, initiative (even when I had UWC interviews early the next day) and first aid courses, working with conservation groups, caving weekends, debates, visits to churches, mosques, councils, police stations, community centres and more, learning photography, yoga classes, job interviews and industry research activities. *Three and a half folders of paperwork later* I finished my Queen’s Scout in August with three months spare until I was 18. However, I would never have finished my Queen’s Scout with all the help and support of my leaders and parents, as well as Jess, who really motivated me to finish mine when the going got tough. it was tough finishing it in August thus year, smack bang in the middle of Year 12. Where I definitely could’ve spent more time studying and not stressing about my Queen Scout.
But it was totally worth it, I am really proud of myself for doing it and showing myself that I have the potential for leadership, hard work, dedication and commitment. It’s been a long time coming, so I am really pleased with myself and I can freely say I have earned the right to be. Also being presented something by the Governor of Victoria at Govt House was awesome!
Scouting has seriously moulded me throughout the years, my friends in Venturers have always stood by me through the years even when people at school were horrible. Much love.
Jess and I at Govt House with leaders
Jess and I waiting to be presented with our Queen Scout
Hanging with some cubs
QS Hike: Great Ocean Road
Anything Goes 2016
Saved the ugliest til last. Writing this at 2 am in the morning has really reminded me of why I disliked VCE. It’s been a tough year as Year 12 is meant to be. Last year I took Legal Studies and poured my life into studying for it, but at the end of the year, I was exhausted and had such a high expectation of myself that I screwed up the exam. So I ended up with a 35 (out of 50) which was highly disappointing for me and with scaling (that is rife within the ATAR system) it came down to 33.
But this year I decided that I would put less pressure on myself and try and achieve my other goals (UWC and QS) just as much as getting the ATAR I need to get into my course. It also made me reconsider how much my sanity is worth to me. I still got very little sleep but I had more fun and was much less stressed about it than the year before.
Btw my goal was to get into a double degree in Global Studies/Law at Monash University which requires a score of 98. Which is really high for people who are unfamiliar with ATAR system. I ended up getting a 96!! Which is incredible and I still can’t believe that I’ve done it and I’m able to go straight to Law School next year!! (No I don’t go to a private school or a selective public school, I went to an averagely unfunded public school, so yeah I got there without being spoonfed :D) This is because Uni’s take a large percentage of students from people under the clearly in score, the two people I know doing the same course actually got the 96 and 97 so I know there is a real chance of getting into my course. Also, Monash Guarantee of 94 for underrepresented schools basically guarantees me a place there. YEEE!!
As well as that, I had some great friends throughout this year at school, Leela, Zac, Max, Julia and teacher who rule like Basto and Brownie. I had Valedictory a couple of nights ago and it was so nice just being able to hang out all together one last time.
Zac, I and Leela
Kelas bahasa Indonesia 12
Model UN Summit: Climate Change
So what next…
Well, I don’t know that exactly either. I want to do so many things that I am not sure where to start. Now that I have a score, that will guarantee me a place in my course. I am thinking about deferring a year and working and travelling for a year. As I want to return to the DK to spend some time with my host fam and master Dansk. Also, there is a big camp there next year. But for now, I actually need to find another job for Summer because my boss now let me know 8 days before Xmas that he didn’t have any work for me
Since finishing High School I haven’t really done much, just hanging out, experimenting with cooking. going to the beach, going to gigs ( Saw Allday at the State Lib for free WOO) and spending hideously long times on the internet.
7.30: still sleeping because I was finishing my notes at 1am last night
7.50: drags self out of bed, gets dressed, makes lunch.
8.30: in the car waiting for my brother to hurry up.
8.33: finally leave and I drive to school on probably the most inappropriate tire air pressure…
8.55: arrives at school and stuffs life ie my 15kg bag into locker.
9.05: English Class: today we’re talking about the essay we sat yesterday in our free period, and talking about what we did do and we should’ve done.
10.15: Australian History: probably my most boring subject purely because answering comprehension questions does not help me learn about history. I need discussion. On the bright side; our homework is interesting because we have to present an argument about why Europeans were either settling in Australia or invading Australia. :
11.27: recess: food finally yay!! Mentally preparing for the Literature SAC next period.
11.50: Literature: Today I have the first half of my Transformations and Adaptations SAC; which I didn’t get as much on paper as I expected it to. So I better hurry up tomorrow 😐
13.00: Lunch: Sat in the study room and finished some History cue cards and bitched about the difficulty of methods (i dont even do it anymore!!!!!!!) Also had a lovely Iced-Coffee (perks of being in Year 12)
13.50 Indonesian: Best class of the day because a) my teacher is a legend and b) my class is fabulous. Today at least my teacher is in a meeting do our Indo assistant, Iqbal talks us through grammar of the ter- prefix. Which is interesting because even he is confused. We then do our daily listening; which was pretty good and then we have to do the grammar exercise.
15.00 end of classes. Well I say end, but I have after school classes on thursday. So today some me and another Indo student stay back and work on embedding grammar into paragraphs by writing a story from a stimulus. Anyway the stimulus is a super hero fighting and a villain so I, very originally call the superhero Pak Asyik and the villain Raksasa Jahat and my main character gets eaten by a lion while Pak Asyik is saving the rest of the city. Anyway its a bit of a laugh but it all helps, as I am pretty bad at putting grammar into my sentences.
16.15 today I also have a driving lesson, yeah I know busy. So that’s good I have another hour on my L’s and more experience in the suburbs.