By Claire Muller, University of Sydney, Australia
So, I wanted to talk to you guys about my personal experience at the start of semester 2. So, to give you a bit of context, I have been studying at the University of Sydney since July 2018 and I am currently completing my second semester here. Now, before semester 2 started, I was feeling slightly apprehensive, because I wasn’t sure how it was going to turn out compared to semester 1. In my opinion, semester 1 was absolutely amazing: I met so many interesting people and made unforgettable memories along the way.
I was thinking to myself: ‘Will semester 2 be just as good as semester 1?’.
To be honest, I wasn’t really looking forward to semester 2. One reason was my friends from semester 1 all returned back to their home universities at the end of the semester. Being the introvert that I am, I thought that it was pretty much going to be a replay of semester 1. Trying to find a new friend group and going through the awkward stages of friendship again was not something I was particularly looking forward to. To add to that, there was a large cohort of new exchange students, who had just arrived and were getting to know the place. The problem was that I wasn’t new anymore, which made it a bit hard to connect with other new exchange students. I also missed Orientation Week, most of the introductions to the University and the chance to get to know people. Therefore, during the first week of lectures and tutorials, I found it quite hard to talk to new people, because most of them had already made a friend group.
Now, it’s now been quite a few weeks since Week 1. People are much more talkative than Week 1 and I’ve gotten to know some new people through my tutorials. However, I’ve also learned that making friends isn’t that important in the end. I can still have fun without people around me (#independentwoman). The whole point of this blog post is to say that you don’t need to make friends in your first week (and that’s completely okay), it might even take a while before you settle down with a particular set of people, even if you have been there for nearly 8-9months already (and that’s also okay).
Don’t pressure yourself to have or create the perfect exchange, because in the end, your exchange experience is completely subjective and no one else will have that experience.
Semester 2 has taught me a lot about myself. I’ve learned that I don’t need to rely on others in order to explore Sydney / Australia, I’ve learned that solo traveling can actually be quite fun. The pictures below are from some solo traveling I recently did to Melbourne and the Whitsundays.
Okay, well that’s me done with the cheesy stuff. Hope you liked the post and see you again soon!