Sivu on muuttanut uuteen osoitteeseen

Starting uni in Melbourne & the cognitive overload

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Starting uni in Melbourne & the cognitive overload

So much new information and so many new people that it’s almost too much, it’s exhausting! It’s impossible to remember everybody’s names and what they study and where they are from! The orientation week is going to be fun but exhausting, we have lots of school and every night some activities that always include some drinking…

I met Heli, a Finnish girl from the same university at the train station. We hadn’t met before, but we had been in contact via facebook and email. We took the train and the bus to the uni. Outside uni we met another Finnish girl, Yvonne. After some pancakes and coffee (yes, it’s normal here to have pancakes and ice-cream or muffins for breakfast) we had a few hours of lectures about Australia, the bushfires, accommodation, public transport, enrolments and so on. It was loads of fun, quizzes in the between, fun games and people throwing candy to us every once in a while. If lectures were like that in Finland, I might go there sometimes!!!

A man from Singapore talked a lot about culture shock, which hits everyone sooner or later. We went through the phases, symptoms and what to do and what not to do. I’ve been having all of the symptoms: I’m homesick, missing everybody, appreciating Finland in a whole new way, getting easily frustrated over minor inconveniencies and problems, getting irritated over things easily if they don’t run smoothly, everything feels superior and feeling like giving up… Sometimes feeling sad and depressed and wondering why I did this in the first place and having difficulties in concentrating and doing the normal everyday stuff. According to him it’s normal…Then the lecturer listed the things that do NOT help in getting over the culture shock, and they included drinking, smoking, partying, not sleeping and eating properly….................  He told us that it’s going to get better in time and you just have to keep an open mind and remember the reasons what you are there for. Also, everybody keeps telling us all the time that this is going to be the best times of our lives and we have to take the most of it. The lecturer from Singapore also told us how he had been dating for 6 years in Singapore before he came to Australia and after 3 months in Australia they broke up. And he never got over it! 

In the evening Philippe, whom I had met in Amsterdam a year ago came to pick me up from the hostel. We went to buy some more wine for the picnic that we had at Royal Botanical Gardens. It’s a huge beautiful park with a beautiful view of the city. The picnic was arranged by the uni and again I met lots of new people. From there we went to some bar. I had one drink and after that Philippe took me home. I was so tired that I slept without any sleeping pills or even ear plugs until the late afternoon the next day and missed uni.

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