These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things: MARCH

March Madness. March really was a bit of a mixed bag. Ups and downs, exciting nights out and boring essays to write. I guess that’s to be expected with uni kicking off, working 30hours a week and trying to maintain some sort of ‘normal’ social life. Overall, it was pretty damn good. However I have to admit, I had a week or two where I was completely flat. It was a good reminder that I need to be taking more time to myself and allowing myself some time off every now and again. (you can read about how to overcome a bad week here). But, over to some good news… this post celebrates 1 year of ‘These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things.’ How exciting! If you’ve missed my previous few, you can read them here. Et voila! Here are my highlights from March!

Mardi Gras

Ah Mardi Gras – the happiest day of the year. I wasn’t sure I could top the excitement of Mardi Gras 2015, but I have to admit, I had a pretty damn awesome time! You can read all about my experience here!

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My awesome housemates embracing the Mardi-madness

Garden Party

So by now, most of you would probably know how much I love my music. So when I saw the tickets to Garden Party at UOW Unibar were only $30, I bought one straight away. It was such a good night with such a good crowd. Dune Rats were amazing, but I must admit that Mansionair stole the show!!!

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Front and centre for Mansionair.

Home for the long weekend

Because uni’s kicked off again and I’m working ever spare hour I’m not at uni, I usually can’t justify making the 6hour journey home just for a weekend. And then God gave us long weekends (or should I say Jesus?). I had such a lovely weekend at home. Sunrise walks, swimming at the beach, spending time with my friends, playing with my dogs and chilling out watching nature documentaries. It was so good to just switch off for a day or two and relax. Something I’ve really been needing to do for a long time.

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Let Them Stay Rally

A few weeks ago I attended the Let Them Stay Rally. Not only is it about the refugees currently hospitalised on mainland Australia from Nauru, but about all refugees. Letting them know that they’re welcome. That we’re all the same, and we all have the right to live without fear of prosecution or abuse. I’m so glad that I went to the event because I felt apart of a wider community who genuinely cared so much about this massive issue. And then we held the Let The Stay Banner on the beach and there I am holding the banner above the L.

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Let Them Stay: Wollongong

Netball

This session, we’ve started up our awesome KB Banditos team again. We’re only in week 3 and we’ve already won a game! (I’m not the best netball player out there and we’re in it for the fun, so for us to win… that’s a big deal!)

Tunes

I’ve been playing this song on repeat!!! My housemate introduced me to Urthboy’s music and for that, I will always be grateful!

Plus… Violent Soho’s new album came out this month WACO, and I’ve been listening to it on repeat! I’ve been waiting for them to release this album for a long time coming!

Blogs and Vlogs

Tiphaine Marie

I am absolutely loving this girl! She’s a fashion/travel vlogger from Switzerland and has such a cute and chic sense of style! Her videos are short and sweet and I always enjoy watching them of a morning! Definitely one to subscribe to!

You can check out her blog here.

Lives Abroad

I also stumbled across this cool blog. It’s focused around education through travel. I absolutely love the concept and have spent many hours reading through the content!

You can check out her blog here.

Live-Abroad

Quote

“A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.”

I’ve been loving this quote this month, because I definitely had a few rocky seas to get through. But it’s reassuring knowing that these setbacks, these challenges and these fears are actually helping me become the person I’m supposed to be.

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Fin!

These Are A Few of My Favourite Things: August

The last month of Winter! Winter I love you, but I won’t miss you at all.

Running the City2Surf. Something I’d only been dreading for months finally happened and I couldn’t have been happier at the finish line! Just helps motivate me to push my comfort zone and never stop daring to achieve something great!

At the finish line soaking up some sunshine
At the finish line soaking up some sunshine

Banks. Goddess. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, this album is the real deal! Definitely helping me get through those study blues.

Sad airport trips. This month we had to say adieu to two of our favourite English exchange students. These boys know how much we’ll always love them, but it really does suck not seeing them every morning and every night. I look at the photo below and am so grateful for everyone’s unconditional friendship. You guys make me feel at home, safe and completely loved. Cheesy I know but deal with it.

Our beautiful little KB family
Our beautiful little KB family

Adventures with the family. Sadly I don’t get to see my family all that much. So when they come and visit for the weekend, we truly have the best time. We went out to the Sea Cliff Bridge which is an absolute must! Plus a lovely tour of Wollongong’s best restaurants and bars. Please come and visit more!

My sister and I on the Sea Cliff bridge
My sister and I on the Sea Cliff bridge

How to Be Parisian. One of the most beautiful little books that I own. For more reasons why I love it, read here.

My favourite French things; Coco Chanel Mademoiselle, red and black nailpolish and my gold plated Pierre Laniere watch I bought in Paris for my 19th birthday.
My favourite French things; Coco Chanel Mademoiselle, red and black nailpolish and my gold plated Pierre Laniere watch I bought in Paris for my 19th birthday.

Orange is the New Black. I have a problem. I’m addicted. Like seriously. I watched 2 seasons in just under two weeks. For anyone that’s been thinking about checking it out and has put it off (like I was) DO IT!!! Though it’s definitely not recommended during the middle of session when you have a million assignments due. But honestly, it’s such a quality show and I’m loving it!

So that’s about it from me. I’ve been ridiculously busy with work and uni so I’m glad I got to squeeze in this much excitement. September is looking even more scary with many assignments due but… just keep pushing on!

When Will We Learn?

The recent violent storms which shook New South Wales, claimed lives, destroyed property, communications crashed and more or less shut down the state. While the state prepares to clean up and carry on, a bigger problem emerges. The C word. Climate Change. 

Image from
Image from here

Climate Change is real. There’s no denying it and there’s definitely no avoiding it. It will affect each and every one of us. But the poor, helpless and the people who contribute least to to climate change will be affected first.

The Kiribiti Islands are being claimed by the sea, Australian rural areas are in serious drought, ice caps are melting, glaciers are retreating, we’re cutting down forests, causing extinctions, polluting our oceans and our air, sucking, drilling and digging out natural resources and it is believed that World War 3 will be over clean water and food…. and why? For money. But at what cost? We sacrifice our time, soul, patience, kindness, happiness, respect, excitement, passion and love… is it really worth it?

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Image from here

Don’t believe me? Don’t believe the science? Don’t believe reality? Then I have a challenge for you. Go to the sea. By yourself. And sit in the sand. Immerse yourself in the water and float. Water blocks your ears and you can heart your heart pumping blood through your chest. Your weightless as the ocean supports you, slowly moving up and down. Feel that? Freedom? That is the immense power, beauty and tranquility of nature. If you can’t believe in that, then I guess there’s no hope.

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But what can I do? I’m just one person in this world of over 7billion people. One person may not be able to change the world, but one idea can. And the idea of healing the environment is one that we must believe in, in order to make the world a better place.

For more news and information about the NSW storms, click here

UOW Skydiving Club – Tandem Event 4

The UOW Skydiving Club held their 4th tandem event yesterday (19th November 2014) at Sydney Skydivers Picton dropzone. There were 7 nervous yet eager students from across the globe, ready to face their fears, conquer new heights and experience the rush of free falling. We left Northfields Avenue at the University of Wollongong at 10am and arrived at the dropzone by 10:30. Luckily, there weren’t many other people at the dropzone so things moved very quickly and efficiently. After filling out all required documentation, the group was suiting up, getting their photos taken and jumping on the plane.

The group and their instructors about to jump on the plane
The group and their instructors about to jump on the plane

Charles (the president of the UOW Skydiving Club) and I prepared the complimentary BBQ whilst staring up at the sky in search of our group. Soon enough, brightly coloured parachutes were popping through the clouds. Their smiles reached from ear to ear! Two students even went again straight afterwards! Talk about an adrenaline rush!

Coming in to land! The clouds were a perfect backdrop!
Coming in to land! The clouds were a perfect backdrop!

We returned to the University of Wollongong at approximately 1:30pm, but I think the silence coming from the back of the bus said that these courageous students had had enough excitement for one day!

If you’d like to find out more about the UOW Sydiving Club, check out their Facebook page here. 

Some students after they landed!
Some students after they landed!

The Things You REALLY Learn at University

University. That big scary thing that you’re expected to go to once you finish school and you want a good job. After deferring my university offer for my amazing Gap year in London, I was really torn between returning to Oz to go to that big scary place or stay in London. And tah-dah, I was university bound. This has honestly been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made! I had my time in London, and now it was time for something equally new and exciting. I’m nearly finished my first year of International Studies/Communication and Media Studies at the incredible University of Wollongong. This year I lived at a college, International House (iHouse) and learnt a lot more than just course content. So these are some of the things to expect when moving into a university college.

University of Wollongong!
University of Wollongong!

You’ll Learn to Love Goon (for those of you not in Australia, goon= cheap, cask wine) – Let’s get the alcoholic part get out of the way first. Us cheap uni students love a good bargain. And with a First Choice Liquor store about 500m away from your doorstep, cradling $12, 36 standard drinks goon… what choice do we really have? Unless you peaked on your eurotrip, then the hangovers just get worse and you start thinking ‘i’m getting too old for this shit.’ (How I Met Your Mother Reference).

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You learn your limits – O Week anyone? You go out a few times a week, spend a few too many days at the beach to suddenly realise that you’re absolutely hammered. And after a few too many hangovers you realise that maybe you should steer clear of tequila. Learning my limits is something I’ve been working on throughout the past two years, and regardless of how many times others tell you ‘don’t do that’ you will never really learn until you experience them for yourself. Which leads into my next point…

You learn about yourself – I know this is incredibly cheesy but hey, who doesn’t love a bit of cheese? You try new things like going to the gym, you learn new things like how to navigate around building 19, you meet new people from across the globe… you put all these pieces together like a jigsaw puzzle, hoping they’ll fit together into the person you want to be. I’m always growing and learning, trying to become a better person and uni definitely helps you put the pieces together.

You can get involved in some pretty awesome stuff – This year, along with some friends of mine, we created the UOW Skydiving Club (I have some other posts here about it). There’s countless opportunities to volunteer, become an activist, help, donate, support towards everything! It’s a great way to meet new and like minded people but also work on things your passionate about and help create positive change in the world.

Singing petitions at uni - Don't Risk the Reef
Singing petitions at uni – Don’t Risk the Reef

You learn how to balance – Literally! I’ve been going to yoga classes regularly for about 3 months and it’s INCREDIBLE!!! I walk out feeling rejuvenated, relaxed, free and like I can accomplish anything. Definitely the best stress relief! And also figuratively balance. At uni you’ve got so many things going on; actual uni work, social life, keeping fit and healthy, watching latest episodes of Walking Dead, sleeping, relaxing, beaching… sometimes it can be a challenge to manage it all. I must admit, sometimes I spend too much time doing all of my assignments being a good uni student and not enough time outside at the beach (OK you got me, I’m always at the beach), but if you surround yourself with like minded people who are as determined to succeed in many aspects like you, you can do it! Making timetables, reducing time on Facebook and monitoring how much time you spend streaming can help you stay organised.

You learn how to become an owl – Literally. You become a little bit older, a little bit wiser and if you go to sleep before midnight and wake up in time for breakfast at 10am… it’s officially a miracle.

You suddenly acquire some really nice clothes – At college this year we’ve had 6 formal-ish events involving open bars and getting dressed up. And of course it calls for a new outfit each time right! And open bar!!! No more goon for a night!

Friends and I on the iHouse Sydney Harbour Cruise!
Friends and I (the far left) on the iHouse Sydney Harbour Cruise!

You’re going to meet people from across the globe – Literally from EVERYWHERE! We even had an Icelandic exchange student here! You learn so much about different cultures and might even find a French boyfriend to help you with your French grammar 😉

You make some pretty amazing friendships – And this is where I get all sentimental but everyone I’ve met at college/uni this year are truly inspiring, unique and driven people. I’m so glad to have you in my life, if we stay friends for this year, the next 3 years or the next 20 years, you’re each as special and dear to me.

So…. first year (nearly) down, 3.5 to go. It’s been a pretty exciting and crazy ride however if this year is anything to go by, I eagerly look forward to it!

xxx A

Some more friends at another fancy event (I'm in the pink dress)
Some more friends at another fancy event (I’m in the pink dress)