My last few days in America were beyond hectic. Believe me when I say you do NOT want to know how packing went. Despite all six weeks of preparation, I still didn’t even finish packing until an hour before leaving for the airport. The night before I even went to Rutgers University to cheer on my a cappella group, The Lehigh Melismatics, in a big competition. I’m just happy that I somehow managed to not get an over-weight baggage charge. Hoorah!
I had been dreading the flight over more than anything else. I’ve been flying all of my life, but last year, when visiting my best friend Shannon in Barcelona, I developed an irrational fear of flying. I literally have spent every flight since gripping the arm rests and square breathing. I’m not sure what it was – perhaps my friend Sarah talking to me and keeping my mind off of things – but I made it through the flights with no problem. I slept a lot, and it only took me a day or so to stop feeling jetlagged. All in all, I’d say it was a success!
We spent the next four days at the Sydney Academy of Sports and Recreation in Narabeen. Truthfully, I was a little antsy to get to my apartment in Coogee, but orientation ended up being pretty fun. We had time to get to know our roommates, housemates, and people in our program, which was really nice. We went to the Taronga Zoo, walked around Circular Quay, took surfing lessons, and had some aboriginal bands perform for us. The orientation was a really great way for us to get over our jetlag, get to know each other, and introduce us into Australian culture.
On Friday we finally got to move into our apartments. My expectations were more than exceeded. Our apartment, which is brand new, is about a five-minute walk from the beach, and has a ton of security. It’s fully furnished with a big living room, kitchen, two bedrooms, and two bath. We have four balconies in our apartment alone. How crazy is that?!
This past week my friends and I have been doing a lot of exploring. I think we’ve eaten at pretty much every restaurant there is in Coogee, have done shopping in Randwick and Eastgartens, gone to the Sydney Aquarium, of course gone to the beach, and have gone to UNSW a few times for orientation-related things. I’m actually off to our last day of Orientation Week now!
That’s all for now. It’s funny to think that there’s snow on the ground at Lehigh University, and I’m about to walk out of the house in a sun dress. I’m not complaining ☺