Touching down in the city of sails, and the only thing in my heart was my own choices and freedom. As I sauntered solo along the streets and alleyways, walked in the wee hours of the morning around the harbor and often until late in the night, my views of the western world being so welcoming, friendly and secure strengthened. But along with this, the longing desire for company became increasingly acute.
The next few weeks went by finding my way around Canvas rather than the campus, cruising through packed lecture halls, missing tutorials to attend workshops, submitting half done assignments and finding warmth in old photographs. This gave some respite from the cold, dark and grey weather which had more than ever added to my loneliness in this land far away from home.
A break from the rigmarole of my everyday routine, I found myself in lush gardens and parks, walking on freshly cut grass, sprinkled with mist and embellished with cherry blossoms, I felt a new kind of joy and freshness, which was undoubtedly the arrival of spring. The impromptu walks along Mission bay, exploring art galleries and museums and the sheer joy of being my own person, filled me up with unmatched happiness.
While stoically answering calls from home, where the reinforced wisdom was to keep a young girl in the family and not send her to foreign shores, I assured myself by constantly pressing how I was the first in the family to be working towards an international education and be a part of such a diverse culture. This gave me a way to challenge the misogyny that was being put forward.
As summer dawned and the rays of the sun fell on me, I found myself between cerebrate and celebrate and how the last few months had changed me as a person for the better. I reflected on how imperative it is to take risks and face challenges boldly by unfolding the dreams and passions one has.
Starting with university might seem mind-boggling at first, with the extremely long lists of goals that you want to accomplish. Here are a few lessons that could come in handy, ostensibly easing your way at university and helping you to acclimate in a new city.
- Once you have finalized your courses for the forthcoming semester, make sure that you know about the referencing styles each of those follow. Attending essay writing workshops, in addition to online modules can be hugely beneficial.
- Check Canvas regularly and make a comprehensive list of dates when the assignments are due and try completing them a week prior to the hand in day.
- Whilst it is imperative to attend lectures, also make sure to be present at tutorials. As groups get smaller, more room is created for conversation.
- Reach out to your lecturers, may be during office hours or make an appointment, to talk about a missed assignment, exams, or just to have chat about other different papers.
- There exists a plethora of clubs at the University of Auckland, offering you a stage for debate, innovation, and current issues facing the planet and also supporting and working on a myriad of pivotal causes. It is better to sign up to a few in the beginning and gradually join more. I signed up to more than 15 in my first semester and then hardly showed up at any.
- Joining the recreation center is also a good idea, wherein you can exercise regularly and meet new people.
- Keep a lookout for CDES workshops, as they do a lot of stimulating events throughout the year, on finding your career path, CV checks, seminars about internships, networking events and much more.
While no checklist can do justice to the feeling of being at home and with loved ones, make the most of the opportunity and your time overseas. Step out of your cubbyhole, and you shall be greeted with travel, food, culture and lots of thrilling activities in this spectacular island nation. Ask out a friend and take a day off to Bay of Islands, or catch a ferry to ones in the vicinity, Waiheke and Devonport, spend a few hours at the museum or go exploring the art gallery. You could also check out the farmer’s market over the weekend, go hiking or kayaking. I could go on and on but I best let you discover this Eden at your own pace.