I got this in the mail a while ago, this postcard with ‘windows’ of opportunity, kind of like one of those Christmas Advent Calendars that you can get. Except no chocolate, and it was such a beast to try to get open, which felt kind of symbolic and frustrating. I did so much flipping about of my preferences, and I am kind of terrified that maybe I messed up the process somehow. I got a decent TER, but I had to get a new number, because somehow my deferral of my course that I discontinued because I got a rocking job so that I could confidently start a Gap year, that is now starting to come to a close. The point being, I’m not completely sure if that means they still know what kind of a TER that I got, or how long of a life my TER gets, after all that time I spent in yr 12 busting myself out on the late nights.
Right now I am in the midst of waiting to find out what I got into, & I just want to highlight the difficulty and stress of needing to move away from home, in a rural area into the city. Moving out of home is very much a ‘coming of age’ &/or a ‘right of passage’ thing where I am from. I actually find it hard to comprehend city kids, that are in their 20’s that are still living at home. In conversation, my friend who has just finished year 12 & also did a fashion TAFE course (which required him to get up at 4am in the morning every friday to drive down to Adelaide & back in one day) was talking to the other students in his class about their plans for next year.
‘So are you going to do Uni? Arr ok, so where do you think you’ll be living?’ And then they would look at him crosseyed, and say ‘Uh, where we live right now…’ And then it would click, nothing really changes for them, they don’t move (mostly) & just start further education. No stress about whether they will be drinking out of Jam jars for the first few months, while trying to afford all the text books & hunting for a job at maccas, & hoping to God that you can get youth allowance.
Its frustrating enough coming from a country town, where you generally feel forgotten about anyway by people from the city, & generally by the government., missing out on general cool things & opportunities. But its really frustrating when it doesn’t seem that the struggle isn’t forgotten, because it feels like it isn’t acknowledged. Have you ever thought about how hard it is to get a rental property at age 18? Especially after never have rented before? & with the general dislike that real estate agents have for students? Or trying to get a job in attempts to make ends meet, after having no experience?
So while I am waiting to try to find out which uni/tafe I will be at, I am trying to find somewhere to live, without much experience with budgeting for myself (thus the only experience so far with art projects & grant applications). While stressing about what would be a strategic place to live? How much rent can I afford? What areas are safest? Where can I find parking for my car? Stressing over not having any dinner plates yet, not being able to understand bus time tables yet, being hours away from friends, family & anything familiar.
I really have trouble having any sympathy for city kids that stress over making new friends, because none of the private school kids that they know so well won’t be doing the same course of them. Meanwhile, my friends are out there, trying to figure out how to make their saved up $4,000 (cut down from $7,000 from moving expenses) last until June/July, which will be the 18 months up, which will finally class them as ‘independent’ & applicable for youth allowance (despite having already living out of home, 4 hours away, since November the previous year, as they had made enough money, their job was over as it was seasonal work of getting up at 4am, to get to work at 6am to sort oranges until 5pm, & drive home 7pm, & then to get up and do it again 6 days a week).
I asked my friend what her first year of living out of home was like:
“I was lonely, hungry and pretty much out of the loop all of the time”.
Where I am going to live? What if I don’t find somewhere to live? What if there’s nowhere to keep my car? Do I live with friends? Will we end up hating each other? What course will I get into? Will I like it? What if I don’t? How do I change my course then? Can I even do that? What if I don’t get into anything? What will I eat? Will my house get broken into? How do I get an internet connection? Will my car get broken into? What if someone rear ends me again? How will I pay for that? What do I do if i’m brooke? Where are you supposed to park in the city? What if I don’t make any friends? What if i am lonely all the time? What if I don’t like it? What am I supposed to do then?
The stress of this just makes me want to cry, cry, cry, which is why I threw this postcard across the room after ripping it open. But doing all this has got to be better then sitting around in my home town, because it was all too scary right?