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?

Image from
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.

tumblr_static_skyrim-dragons-water-ocean-sea-waves-close-wallchan-1071395

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).

giphy

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)