It’s not the end, just yet.
Recently, IFSA–Butler organized a farewell dinner for all the students to see each other before heading home. The dinner consisted of students from different universities in Sydney, which gave me an opportunity to meet others that I haven’t yet. However, the dinner was also a minor reminder of our departure back home, leaving Sydney. At the dinner, we went through a long slide show that showcased all of our adventures in the past couple of months. It was interesting to see how my friendships had developed, or rather changed over time, how many adventures I had taken on, and my changing attitude over the course of the semester. In the beginning, I had been friends with a whole crowd of different people, which then slowly condensed to merely three or four close friendships. It was quite funny to see my first koala picture, in which I looked scared and uncomfortable, transform to me diving in the shark cage at Port Lincoln. The slideshow was a reminder of how much I had changed, yet remained the same. I had changed through my thinking processes, my way of experiencing adventures, and learning to enjoy every moment. However, I realized that I had maintained my value for quality friendships, lasting relationships, and a desire for learning.
A bit later in the program, we received the letters that we had written on the first day. I remember writing the letter in the hot February weather thinking about all the crazy fun I will have and all the cool people I would meet. I had thought about learning, but exploring was my main focus. After opening the letter, I felt so immature. The letter started with, ” It’s not the end, just yet,” which made me smile. In the letter, I had written myself encouraging notes, talking about crazy adventures, sky diving, getting my first tattoo, and making heaps of friends while abroad. The reality was that I had only accomplished one of the things-getting a tattoo. I did not make lots of friends, but made some really close friends that I would want to visit sometime. I did not go skydiving, but went to the tallest tower in Sydney. I did have crazy adventures though, just not the ones I had originally planned for myself. My adventures consisted of visiting mostly all of Australia, getting lost on the streets of Sydney, taking a 5am train from the city to Newtown, meeting random people on the streets and having long conversations, and creating lasting memories every step of the way. I actually was right. Even though I have only 2 weeks left until I leave, it’s not the end just yet. I have lots to see, lots to do, lost of places to get lost at, and lots of conversations waiting to happen.