I used to be one of those uni students who would basically go to uni, then go home straight after. The next day I’d repeat the cycle again, unless I had work after uni, making it uni + work + home. I vividly remember walking to a Biology lecture with a close friend S in 1st year, saying, “My life is so boring. I feel like I live under a rock. It’s like I’m waiting for something to happen. Anything.” She responded, “That’s how we all feel”. I think she said that because we had piles of assessments due at the time. We were like stress balls filled with pressure bouncing off from wall to wall. However, now I realise that’s not the way things should be. That’s not the way you should feel. There should be a balance. You’re the one who has to create the change that you’re looking for. Looking back to that time, I think I believed that my life was boring, didn’t do anything about it, and so it became ‘normal’ to me. Sometimes I’d fit in a little retail therapy if I finished class early. I think I used shopping (mainly window shopping because I was broke like most uni students) as a way to escape my somewhat boring and dreary life. I was still breathing, but I wasn’t ‘living’.
If shopping was a cocktail I’d call it Break Free. Here’s the recipe:
Mix together in a shaker
1 shot of happiness
As much peach schnapps as your heart desires
A Splash of grenadine
Followed by a larger splash of go-crazy
Add a generous amount of dopamine
Together with a dash of pink lemonade
And finally top off with a a garnish or pineapple and maraschino cherry, or simple add a twist of lemon, depending on the status of your mood (i.e. sweet or sour).
At the beginning of the year, I made a pledge to myself, which was more like a prayer (and I rarely pray) on the top of this breath-taking site called Tiger Temple, somewhere in Thailand. It went something along the lines of Dear God or Jesus, whoever is listening, for my mind to be at peace with itself, I want to learn how to let go. When I get back to Sydney, I want to take myself out of my comfort zone, and live life to the fullest! But I’ll save that story for another time because it’s a pretty long story. It was a defining moment in my life, that’s why. It helped me change things around. That’s why I took up extra-curricular activities that I had never done before like taekwondo.
I always used to get see overly eager uni students having bbqs. They’d all wear t-shirts that displayed the name of the club or society that they were actively involved in at uni. They’d have a massive banner in big bold letters of their club/society, while enjoying some chit-chat amongst other members. I used to think, “How do they find the time to cook sausages and mingle, when I’m running off to polar ends of the campus going off to one lecture after another?” It was as if they were rubbing in my face that they had a life. Well, funny enough, today, I was the one cooking the sausages and mingling with members of the the taekwondo club and other hungry uni students eagerly awaiting their sausage sizzles. After more than 3 years of uni, I’m proud to say that I now have a rich and colourful student life. I guess I can now say, I no longer crave shopping expeditions after class. Instead, I look forward to seeing their happy faces during taekwondo training. We endure the pain together during training, we laugh at the inside jokes we’ve created, we all wait for each other after training to walk down to the bus stop, but above all we’re a family.
Here are some photos from our taekwondo club’s BBQ and jelly fundraiser today. We made $200 profit, which means that’s 1 Jetstar plane ticket to Brisbane, where we will be competing in the Australian University Games. I still can’t believe we sold our sausage sizzles for $2 each and our jelly cups (which were masive must I say) for only $1. In saying that, I think the most valuable lesson I learnt was just have fun! Wait…another equally valuable lesson I learnt was that barbecue sauce and mustard is an awesome combination! Yolo!
Yours truly, from a 21-year-old girl who’s learning what it’s like to have an amazing student life, the kind that you miss after you graduate.