It’s official, I’m in a new chapter. Everything is different out here, right down to the soil.
Some days are better than others, I’ve been here just under a month at this point and have been keeping a tally of Canada Vs. Australia for some reason in my head. I’ll share a few of those differences with you:
Language (obviously): More so than I expected for some reason. Tons (or heaps as the Aus. would say) of differences. My favourites so far are:
“Rocking up” – where we would say roll in, or show up, or whatever.
“____ as.” -insert anything, hot, cool, rank. I first heard it in terms of “Hot As” and I was like, are they saying ass? Or are they saying as, but then leaving the last word out for some reason. Turns out it is the latter, I find it super endearing for some reason.
My least favourite is definitely calling the washroom toilet, though to my happy surprise yesterday I met some southern Australians who also say bathroom. And were clear that it was because Southern Australia does not originate from convict stock and uses more old english influence in the way they speak. I’ll tell you I’m not about to get into any debate with anyone about convict status, but I am happy that I don’t have to say Toilet, ever. It sounds ridiculous and prudish but just say it out loud. Yeh, gross.
** One little blurb here, if you like coffee… get ready for a wild ride. You can’t get drip coffee out here, it’s all espresso. That’s all they drink. I bought a french press finally and am able to make coffee at home. It might not matter to you but I am not a fan of espresso so I thought I would just tell you now. They have a short black-espresso shot or a long black-and americano. I had a long (4 minute) awkward conversation with a barista about what I wanted and then ended up taking a long black and feeling like a jerk. I have come around a bit to a flat white (which is a latte no foam essentially).
I’m living in the Deirdre Jordan Village with two roommates (so I have a townhouse if you look it up on the Flinders website.) and I’m liking it so far. The campus is about 45 minutes by bus out of the city, so that is both amazing and annoying at the same time. I like to go to the market to get my produce and that can take the whole day with transit. But the Market is worth it! It’s huge and amazing, like think about our Markets, then double it. There are mostly food vendors which is amazing, but at the same time can be overwhelming, I got lost for a solid half an hour the other day trying to find where my friends had parked… So get a map if you’re going, also maybe don’t be stubborn and assume that your above average memory will get you through. I promise you, it won’t.
So I get along with my roommate really well which is awesome because if I didn’t I would lose my mind being out here. She has really supported me in the past few days as I’ve been going through homesickness that I thought would never affect me. Its a weird feeling and its manifesting in big time anxiety and depression and wanting to withdraw from everything. It can be terrible at times honestly, so restless and uncomfortable. But I’m getting through it, in some way its the reason I came out here. I knew I would be displacing myself and that would be a challenge, and now I am paying the piper so to speak. I don’t have internet in my townhouse and have to come to the community centre to use it AKA FaceTime with anyone but then I feel weird if there are people in here hanging out, plus the time difference makes it really hard to get through to people back in Canada. I’m getting up early in the mornings and that is helping, the campus is still quiet and peaceful and I really like that. I’ve also started running, and there is a free week at the gym on campus right now so I’m going to hit up some yoga and get my chill on. I’m learning a lot about myself and what I need and I think that is pretty priceless.
The campus is so gorgeous, all built up on hills with trees everywhere. That really helps when I’m feeling down, last night I walked to the beach with my roommate (an hour each way) and watched the sunset and it was amazing. Any Canadian reading this will appreciate a beach sunset in march when it’s still so cold back home. I like the idea of leaving you with a list of what I’ve learned that can help you so I’m going to do that every post. Today the topic will be homesickness and how I’m coping (albeit not that well some days)
1. Talk to someone -My poor roommate, in medical school mind you with enough on her plate has been so gracious in listening to me complain about everything until I get to the root of my problem which is homesick that I didn’t want to admit.
2. Get out of the house- sitting around feeling sorry for myself has made it so much worse, getting up and even going to the grocery store to shake it up a bit has helped reset my brain a bit.
3. Make time to talk to people back home -I just woke up early made a coffee and came to the Community Centre and facetimed my friend. Seeing her face, hearing her voice (and her sweet sweet Canadian accent) lifted my spirits immeasurably.
4. Positive self talk- I feel overwhelmed with the smallest task (read anxiety) at times and I have to get myself in check. I have to tell myself I’m good and it’s going to be good and pick myself up and get out and do something.
5. Routine- I’m a morning person, since I’ve been out here I transitioned into nights and it doesn’t work for me at all. I am getting back to mornings and I feel better. I run every second night, and that is helping because exercise naturally helps with Anxiety, but also the routine of getting dressed and getting out there helps me a lot.
I hope that helps, if you ever get homesick. Even just to know that it’s happening to me and I’m telling you it’s okay.
Growing pains right? Not growing unimaginable fun and joy.
Until next time!
I look forward to telling you how I’m going.