My first year in Sydney – Part 1
Exactly one year ago, on a regular sunny morning in spring, the strong wind carried a smell of eucalyptus and dust in the air, I landed on a plane in Sydney. I arrived. With my uni degree and belongings in the bag and my new husband holding my hand, I was finally where I wanted to be. This was the moment I was looking forward to for years: Whenever the hours studying in the library where long and the nights lonely, this was what kept me motivated. I was finally here.
6 months earlier, middle of April 2014, in Passau, Germany:
Confused and jet-lagged I started my final semester of university. I accidentally came a week late to uni because I didn’t spend attention when I booked my flight home from Sydney, so I had to come up with dumb excuses why I missed the first week. I also panicked because I wasn’t sure if I needed to enroll to some additional English courses to finish my degree. The rules on that weren’t clear and everybody I asked told me something different. As if this wasn’t enough already, I needed to come up with a topic for my bachelor thesis in one of three areas: I didn’t meet the criteria for the first one, the professor responsible for the second one took a semester off teaching, and the third one didn’t want me because I never took one of his seminars. The process of picking a topic and narrowing it down to a specific subject matter and make it presentable to convince my professor, took me two more months. What a great start to my final semester!
On top of that I needed to collect necessary documents for my upcoming wedding with my “foreign” husband-to be: Translations, apostilles, forms, certificates, proof of identification and more.
In the meanwhile, my only flatmate, who was also my landlord at the time, wanted to move out, which presented a whole new set of difficulties due to our very different priorities.
The whole situation became so overwhelming and stressful, that I became sick for over a week. Feverish I almost slept through three full days.
Still sick I dragged myself to write the exams at the end of the semester and my final exams of my uni degree.
After that, things got better: My new flatmate was easy-going, the deadline for the bachelor thesis still far enough away and I received the permit to get married. Finally the fun part of wedding planning could begin: Buying shoes, testing cake, writing invitations, choosing the menu and a song for the first dance.
When summer was finally there, I realised I only had a few months left of my life as a student and that there were still so many fun things left to do and parties to celebrate and I didn’t want to miss out on anything. I stopped to organise and plan everything and I forgot about deadlines, goals and future plans. Instead I got a tan at the lake (the tan lines were still clearly visible on my wedding day but I regret nothing).
When the deadline for the bachelor thesis eventually came close, I was busy selling my furniture and deciding which belongings to take to Sydney and which ones to leave behind or throw out. I knew I couldn’t bring all my shoes with me on the plane and needed to organise shipping. (Why I was convinced I needed 4 pair of warm ankle boots in Sydney? That question wasn’t up for discussion. A girl needs all her shoes everywhere she goes, right???). At the end of the month my lease ended and I had to move back to my mum’s house for the final weeks before I moved to Sydney.
I got sick again with a very unpleasant stomach bug and had only one week left to write my bachelor thesis and I was working on a very tight schedule already. I lost four days of work and sleep, but somehow I still got it done in the remaining three days.
One week later I was married and a week after, my plane landed in Sydney on a regular sunny and windy morning, the air smelt like eucalyptus and dust. After six months moving in fast-motion and ticking off boxes, I was finally on the other side of the finish line. Breathe in, breathe out. Tick tack, reset. I expected the time to stand still, to leave me alone, to let me stay in that moment, just for a moment. But it never did. It kept going and I had to run with it, in fast-motion, without orientation and sense of direction, towards the unknown.