By Ishan Karanjit:
“Mom, Dad I got my Visa!!”
This was the first slice of happiness that I shared with my parents on my journey to Australia. It definitely wasn’t easy to leave my family, friends, relatives and those beloved memories that I had in my 21 years of lifetime back home in Nepal. But somehow adding up some more guts, blending up some more emotions and having the far sighted look at the future, I packed my bags, hugged my parents, carried my memories with me and decided to start the journey of life which is definitely very far away from the life I used to have.
It was my first trip away from home and amazingly my first flight on any aircraft too. Although I had few of my brothers and sisters here in Australia, it was a really shaky feeling to be in a place far away from home, that too for the first time, alone. It wasn’t a good feeling to see your home from up above the sky sitting in the aeroplane and that urge to go back right away when I saw that scene from the top really ate me up within. After a 13 hour flight, I landed here in Australia along with few new faces I met in my transit. It felt good to see my brothers and sisters come to pick me up at the airport. It was summer during that time and on our way home, we stopped by a café and chilled ourselves. I still didn’t know where I was during that time. I was so lost to be in a bigger, newer and hotter environment of Sydney. Until a few days, I took some rest, relaxed myself and tried to get used to the much different environment and lifestyle of Australia.
The day came when I had to attend the first day of my university. The very different public transportation system, the train rides, the routes to reach my destination was all very complex and the hassle I had to get used to as it was really nerve wracking to a newcomer. I even got lost a lot of times in the huge city of Sydney and every time I lost my way, I put up a status in Facebook, only to get called by my sister and give me the directions to get home. In this way, struggling and crawling, I was trying to get used to the environment away from my home.
Reminiscing my university life, Western Sydney University was definitely a huge place for me. It was comparatively bigger in size than the university I used to study back home. One of the difficult situations I had to face was when there were no one from my country on the very first day I joined the lecture and I had no idea what to do next. The teaching, the lecture halls, the tutorial classes and the computer labs all were very huge, unique and modern. e-Learning or self-learning was another new aspect that I took in the university. It definitely took quite a bit of time for me to get used to the educational system of the university. It was a frustrating period to seek help in every step with the University staff while enrolling, paying the fees and the tutorial registration processes. Those pressure situations when I had to finish the assignment in the last moment, sitting in front the of the computer the whole day brainstorming the solutions of the problems, the fear of plagiarism, the examination stress and rushing to the early morning classes became all the part of my life within a few months. On a lighter note, it was a very delightful and blissful experience to meet and make lots of new friends from all over the world, all under one roof. The staffs, the lecturers and the tutors are another bunch of friendly and helpful people to share your problems with, to learn new things with, to get help in your studies and of course to get assignments from. All in all, the university life was the major part of my career development in Australia and it was the reason why I was here in the first place. Today, when I stand at the end of the university days, I feel that I have learnt a lot from my university and hopefully can apply them to get a good job and brighten up my career.
Another big part of my life here is the work. Now, being an international student, apart from studies, work is another big mountain of life in Australia which needs to be done for survival. I’ve had some really sour experiences and gradually, the sweeter ones working here. There were times when I have worked the whole night without sleep and there were also times when I have slept eating only a packet of chips. Running all over the shops of the cities with a resume in your hand the whole day looking for job is really a hectic thing to do in your student life. Once you get used to the lifestyle here, you will soon learn that making connections by talking to new people and making friends gradually increases your network and makes your life easy and I was really fortunate to get a good job this way. Again, all the struggles will definitely pay off when you can step on your difficulties to climb the ladder of success by means of struggle and hard work. This is what I learnt from the work struggle I experienced here.
In between all your work and studies, there will be those sad moments when you miss your family, friends, relatives and all the ones close to your heart. Dissatisfaction with the people around and not having the things go your way in the house, like it used to be back home creates even more headache and stress making you miss your home more. There were definitely such moments in my life, when I got sick of everything and wanted to go back home and hug my parents leaving everything. Those season of festivities, those good times you used to have and the moments you had spent among your friends certainly brings tears on your eyes resulting in sleepless nights. On the brighter side, when you look at the future, these sacrifices will definitely pay off and result in the glorious future and this encouraging push has always helped me step out of my sadness whenever I miss my dear ones. I am also fortunate enough that I have few of my relatives and friends here with whom I celebrate the festivals, have some gatherings and shake a leg. These moments with my friends and relatives serve as an icing to my pain and helps me come out stronger than ever.
In the end, what I have learned from my student life in Australia is that, you need two wheels balanced to keep a bike moving. In the same way, there are two wheels of study and work and you need to keep them strong and balanced to keep the bike of your life moving. Also, whenever you feel you are weak, you always get that support and love to fuel up your bike from your relatives, friends and the teachers in your university. I also learned that there is no place as pleasant, satisfying and peaceful like your home and no one as helpful, loving and understanding as your parents.
When I look back at this journey of 3 years, I have fallen down, I have reached to brink of quitting, I have felt lonely but in each of those moments I feel fortunate that I had the love and care from my brothers and sisters here in Australia. On top of that, I had the friendly hand from my friends and teachers in the university, I had encouraging advice from my work staffs and manager at work and above all, I always had the blessings and never-ending support from my parents back home in every aspects of life. Finally, with my struggles, hard work and dedications that I had carried and will still carry on, I believe I will definitely have a bright career and a shining future.