I can finally confirm that I am officially in the land down under! My irritating visa experience concluded when I received my visa Tuesday night, just a few hours after my original flight departed. If the medical center had sent in my results a few hours before, I would have easily made my flight and everything would have worked out. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen, but it’s over and I can put it behind me. Meanwhile, I have had an incredible time getting acclimated to the University of New South Wales and exploring the city of Sydney.
Much like in America, all new students participate in an Orientation weekend, or O-weekend (Australians abbreviate everything). O-weekend was led student leaders, most of whom are younger than me and was very laid back. Since it is the beginning of the spring semester here, there are only 50 new kids here out of our dorm (or college here) of around 200 students. The first game we played set the tone for how the rest of the weekend would play out. The first game involved holding a cucumber between your legs then hopping to exchange it with one of your teammates across from you. Then, we essentially played the same game but with toothpicks and lifesavers, where one member had to slide the lifesaver from the toothpick in their mouth to their teammates. It became very clear that we were going to get very comfortable with each other whether we liked it or not.
We then were given the news that each dorm has a certain song that when it comes on, everyone must gather like a flash mob and break into a synchronized dance. So we spent a sweaty, exhausting hour practicing the moves to our song. Since, I’m not the most rhythmic person, it was quite a struggle but its still a work in progress. The shower will be my practice ground to perfect the moves. After dance practice, we walked around the campus familiarizing ourselves with all the buildings and popular locations. Then we began preparing for the retro party. Our dorm was 80’s themed so we all went out and bought as much neon and aerobics wear as we could. I was also a lucky new student to be chosen to carry around a bouncy ball with me. I made the most out of it and even incorporated it into my dance moves. It was great way to kick off O-weekend.
Friday and Saturday were both action packed and unbelievably fun. Friday we walked through Sydney on a secret pub-crawl because they are frowned upon by bar owners. And Saturday we chilled all day then took a ferry through the Sydney harbor to a nice burger joint. It was a great way to cap off a fantastic O-weekend. With the closure of the weekend, reality is beginning to set in with classes kicking off this week. Although, I’m going to start having to get back into the school grind, I’m excited to see what the school life here at UNSW is like!
Until next time,