This year has finally come to an end. I have a couple more exams left and then I will be officially finished with my first year. Writing this post gave me a chance to look back on my first year of university. I got to thinking about how if I had known that this year would have played out the way it did, I don’t know if I would’ve left California.

coffee has become my best friend this exam season

This year has been a difficult transition relocating my life so far away from family. My heart longs to have my family in my arms and to swim in the California waves. It’s not enough to see them through a computer screen. I sometimes wish that I could’ve anticipated how difficult it would be to make friends and be without familial support. But maybe it’s a good thing not knowing, because it forces us to step out of our comfort zones and take risks. Throughout all the tough times, we grow and persevere

 

With that being said, this year I have been able to see another level of strength and resilience within myself. I have also seen a new level of stubbornness. Reflecting on this year, I kind of felt disappointed that I hadn’t experienced the ‘fun’ part of uni. Instead, I was met with the realities of being an adult, but through that I have learned so much about myself and the world around me.

 

This year I’ve had four different jobs, working three at the same time for a good chunk of the year. It was not easy, but I was able to see what my mind and body is capable of handling. I have so much respect for all the parents studying at university. They take care of their kids, hold down jobs and still excel in their studies. I was barely coping with just work and school lol.

 

some of the incredible people in my life.

 

This year I have also fallen more in love with the my family and friends. Every time I move away, I’m reminded of how amazing and supportive the people in my life are. Distance definitely makes the heart grow fonder and I cannot wait to see my loved ones next year. Although I didn’t make heaps of friends during this first year, I did meet one incredible gal who has struggled and celebrated alongside me this year. I do wish I found more time to socialize and join clubs to meet people, but I’m thankful for the friendship I was able to form.

my heart.

so thankful for this beautiful soul from Portugal

Having this new level of freedom and independence comes with a lot of responsibility, but also time for transformation and soul searching. I’ve started putting more time into cultivating my photography. It has definitely been my outlet during stressful periods. I even started writing again recently after a long hiatus. My advice: no matter how overwhelming uni gets, find time to continue fostering your passions and side hobbies.

i’ve been posting more photographs via social media to track my progression

 

my photography

 

My poor attempt at water colouring

 

Next year is going to be a whole other stage in my life. I’m going to go on some rad road trips, live in a new flat, take more pictures, gain more knowledge, meet new people and continue to progress. It’s really exciting and crazy to think about the fact that I’m 1/4 of the way finished with my degree.

I finally bought a car! Here’s to summer road trips!

My first year of university has been a whirlwind of change. It went by so quickly, I barely had time to catch my breath. Even though my experience wasn’t always always ideal, I don’t regret being here and choosing this life. I am so very lucky to be able to study abroad and immerse myself in different experiences. I’m not where I thought I’d be, but I’m definitely where I need to be.

Thank you for following me on my first year of uni and for those of you about to embark on your first year in 2018, embrace every single moment because before you know it, it’s over. I wish you all the best!

 

– Eunice

 

 

 

 

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Eunice Amante

Hey, I'm Eunice! I am currently studying Social Work at the Epsom Campus and living at Huia Hall this year.

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