I’m a crier, so what?

I feel like I’m in Australia all over again. I graduate from Baldwin Wallace University May 12, 2013. That’s right. Less than three months away.

I try not to get all emotional and stuff, but it is hard to resist. I’m an emotional person. Australia made me into a crier. I like to cry when I get excited, when I get scared and any other occasion. Sort of embarrassing, don’t worry– I’m growing out of it. I haven’t cried since I bought Beyonce concert tickets. Ha! Ha!

Anyways, back to my point, I graduate in less than three months. I’ve tried to make to-do lists of what I need to do… So far I have:

1. Job search

2. Perfect my resume/cover letter for each individual job

3. Figure out how much money I owe (LOL) — Crying.

4. Say goodbye.

5. Apartment hunt in Chicago

6. Start packing

7. Actually go to class (I love all my classes this semester, so it is easy)

8. Deliver quality results at my internship

9. Cherish my last months in college

10. Have fun

This list is in no specific order. It changes on a daily basis. I haven’t even thought about my goodbyes yet. You see, I’ve learned that I don’t cry as much if I avoid the things that make me cry… My teachers would call this avoidance, I call it happy living. Ha! Ha! 

On the real, I feel like everyone during their last semester of college is a bit of an emotional wreck– yes, even you jerks with jobs lined up already or the people who “don’t give a what what”… We all have to process that we are saying goodbye to some of the best memories and friends we’ve ever known. We can’t walk away without uncertainty. We can’t say goodbye is just “see you later” like it used to be. 

Making the transition from high school to college wasn’t hard for me. I kept in touch with a few friends and as college progressed, some of those few friends and myself drifted apart. People change. No big deal. It is the relationships that have survived I am worried about losing. The friends that were there for me when I fell one too many times on Front Street when the police officers drove by (don’t tell my parents). The friends that brought me soup when they knew I was sick. The friend that listened to my emotional midnight calls from across the ocean. The friend that never let go of my hand when I was scared in the movie theater. Those are the relationships I am scared to lose. But, I think if I’ve learned anything, I’ve learned that life does go on, no matter what. 

Take a deep breathe, let it in, let it consume your body, and breathe it all back out. 

I feel like the last four years went by in a blink of an eye. Sometimes, I want to travel back in time and re-do a few things, but I would never give up what I have right now. What do I have? I know this whole blog has been about me whining that college is over– I have the world at my feet. The training wheels are off, my dad is giving me a push start, and I can rather start peddling like a hyper-sugar-rushed-child or I can fall and scrape my knee… No matter what, I can always get back up.

Step one. It’s time to be begin all over.

5 Lessons I Learned From Studying Abroad

I don’t want to say this… It’s over. That’s right, we’re done. Our close and intense relationship is over. I won’t tread on your territory anymore. I’ll try not to get sad when I talk about you. You were one of the best things that has ever happened to me.  You made me stumble home a few too many times. You made me spend all of my money (all but $20). You made me cry. You made me smile. You made laugh. You made me, me. You made me learn things about myself and the world that I never thought you would. I don’t mean to call you out in a blog, but Australia, you did a real number on me. One that I would do over and over again.

Studying abroad has been an extraordinary experiences. I’m not sure how I can highlight the past four and a half months, so I will explain the five biggest lessons I’ve learned from studying abroad.

1. Life goes on without a phone

That is right. Life. Goes. On. Before I left for Australia, I was GLUED to my iPhone. I have a horrible disorder.. I call it SMA, that stands for “Social Media Addiction.” I used to be on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Youtube all of the time. I mean, I’d be at dinner or in a meeting and guess what I was doing? You’re right, I was on my smart phone checking social media sites, emails, or texts. How sick. When I came to Australia, I no longer used my iPhone (besides running) and I bought one or three prepaid phones. Okay, the total number of prepaid phones I bought in Australia was three. Don’t ask me why or how I lost them, you don’t want to know the answer. Anyways, I lost my third phone in Sydney, so about one month ago. That means I have lived without any type of phone for one month. I won’t lie,  life without a phone, smart or prepaid, is a love/hate relationship. It is nice to be “disconnected” and really develop relationships without any distractions… At the same time, if you don’t have a phone to text and/or call your friends to make plans, the relationships can be tough to get started. Thank goodness for Facebook and my stalking abilities. LOL, but seriously.  I would recommend this to anyone: try going a week without your smartphone. Delete all social media applications and shut off your email for just ONE WEEK. You’ll miss it at first, but after a while, it is refreshing to turn off the technology and really have a conversation (or martini) with no distractions.

2. Trust yourself.

Cliche, right? I know. Trusting my gut got me to Australia in the first place. I felt in my heart that I needed a change. I needed to explore the world and try to figure myself out.  I learned quickly that if I was going to actually experience Australia and have fun, I needed to trust my instincts. When you study abroad, there are many things thrown in your way at the same time and it is so easy to get caught up in the excitement. Having fun is always a priority while abroad, but when you feel that pull in your stomach or hear that little voice in your head or see the angel and devil battling out your options on your shoulders, take a step back and recognize what you want to happen. No one likes waking up the morning feelings ashamed of themselves. Taking advantage of opportunities and testing your limits is what studying abroad is all about. Don’t be quick to dismiss something that is “different” to you, but make sure to think before you act. I always think, “Would I want to tweet that I’m doing this?” It’s sad, but remember– I have a problem…

3. Say “hi.”

It is that easy. Hi is only a two letter word. It isn’t one of the nasty four-letter words. It doesn’t start with an “f.” You don’t have to say “double hockey sticks” when you’re spelling it out in front of toddlers. All you have to do is say “hi” and a relationship is born. Don’t believe me, try it. Okay– I might have lied. After you say “hi,” try to follow it up by introducing yourself and finding common grounds by actually talking about life and experiences. I found success in talking about going to the pool, shopping at the plaza and future travel plans. I guess those are obvious choices because everyone goes to the pool, shops at the plaza and is planning a trip. Saying “hi” is another way I pushed myself to step outside of my comfort zone to continue making friends and learning about myself.

4. Money matters.

Dad,

You’re right. I need to be more cautious of my horrible spending habits. It’s really not my fault, you taught me how to shop. Karma?

Love,

Pat

But really, being abroad has taught me a great deal about financial planning and budgeting. I traveled a lot in the past four months and I only had one hick up with finances…. Darn you, Syndey. Besides that, I was very conscious of my spending habits. General brands at the grocery store are just as good as name brand AND it is cheaper. Obvious choice- general brand. Going out to eat once a week = $25-30, making the same meal at home = less than $10. Obvious choice- making my own food. Buying all of my drinks at the bar = $$$$, pregaming with friends before I go out = priceless. Sorry, that last one was too funny not to post.  Money does matter. If I wanted to travel, buy new clothes and have internet (we have to pay for internet every month), I had to manage my financials. Part of managing money is finding tricks where you can save and then finding the appropriate time to splurge on a steak or something basic like a trip to New Zealand.

5. Smile.

Everyone loves to smile. When I would feel homesick or sad for missing a birthday or holiday, I made sure to start of my day by smiling for five minutes. My cheeks would hurt after two minutes or so, but it was hard to complain when I was smiling. All of my experiences challenged me in different ways. The people I most respect have always taught me that a situation is what I make of it. I’ve always been a positive person, but for a while, I was becoming negative and just meh. I’m not sure what it was. Maybe the Australian sun was making me crazy or I just missed home, but when I decided to smile more often, all of my problems vanished. Sure, I might sound crazy right now, but really– try it.

I can’t believe I leave Australia in less than twelve hours. Of course I still have to finish packing, but waiting until last minute makes everything more fun. :)

My experience abroad has been, well, I don’t know how to explain it. It leaves me speechless. Never have I been in a more relaxed atmosphere for such a long period of time. Never have I trusted complete strangers so quickly to consider them my friends. Never have I thought about leaving home for home.

Australia has been my home for the last 142 days. Incredible. I will miss this. A lot.

Australia,

Thank you for being you. Thank you for teaching me so much about myself. Thank you for showing me life outside of the norm. I’ll be forever grateful for this experience and I look forward to returning to you one day.

Best,
Pat

New Zealand!

Hello! Hello!

Have you guys been busy the past few weeks? I know I have!

I celebrated my first American Halloween in Australia. It was a crazy night, but so memorable. Okay, I blush a little each time I talk about my costume. I was a “walk of shame.” You know, when you’re in college and you see that person walking home on a Sunday morning after a LONG night. Well, that was me… sort of. I did not have a walk of shame, I am just a great actor. LOL.

Just a couple of days after Halloween, I was jumping around my room hastily packing for my trip to NEW ZEALAND. That’s right, people.. NEW to the Z-E-A-L-A-N-D! I’ve always wanted to go and there is no better to excuse to go to New Zealand than when you are in Australia. At least that is what I told my Dad. So, I didn’t sleep at all before my flight. I left my apartment with my friends, Emily, Enni and Sara, at 2:30 a.m. for our 5:30 a.m. flight… That is right, 5:30 IN THE MORNING. Good morning! We got to the airport super early and boarded our flight on time. We flew from Brisbane to Sydney and landed in Queenstown. WHAT A SCARY LANDING. I’ve never been a huge fan of flying, but I’ve learned to sleep on flights, so I don’t mind. As we were flying into Queenstown, the couple sitting next to me informed me how they used to be nervous fliers, but now that they are older they recognize that “if we go down, there isn’t anything we can do.” Thanks for the comfort… Shortly after telling me that, all of the flight passengers were getting thrown around in their seats. Seriously… If I wasn’t buckled in, I would have been in the aisle. Fear escalated when people started to shriek on the plane. I guess this type of turbulence happens whenever you fly into Queenstown. My friendly couple next to me told me it is because when you fly into Queenstown, the plane goes in between the mountains and often gets caught by the wind gusts in the mountains. Perfect. After we safely landed, I hurried off the plane and onto solid ground. Yes, please.

Shortly after landing, we made our way to the hostel we were staying at, Reaver’s Lodge. It was up a GIANT hill, but the view was totally worth the hike up the hill multiple times a day.

The rest of the night is sort of a blur. New Zealand is three hours ahead of Sippy Downs (where I live) time. So, technically, when I was in New Zealand I was 17 hours in the future. Weird.

The next day, we ventured to the Gondola! We got in a tiny little cab thing and were taking up on a wire! It was somewhat terrifying, but all the views were worth it. One of the coolest parts of the day was riding on the Luge. The Luge is like a go-kart track… But you ride in little plastic go-karts things down a track. You really pick up speed going down the track. Towards the end of the course, the track gets narrow and curvy. You’d think that a person would slow their plastic cart down, but not me. I ran right into the curb and flew out of the cart. No injuries were sustained, just an embarrassing story. A great moment to say “YOLO”– right? Glad you agree.

After a long day of sight seeing, we rushed back to the hostel only to get ready to go back out on the town! For being a smaller town, Queenstown definitely knows how to party! We had a great time.

The next morning, we woke up nice and early and headed on our way to jump off a bridge. I didn’t get a lot of sleep because I could only think of the bungy cord ripping… No big deal, right? Wrong. I’m scared of heights and I don’t like the idea of falling to my death, so why I decided to bungy jump is beyond me. I guess I love adrenaline and the feeling you get after you do something you never thought you could.

Okay, so we get to the Kawaru and before I know it, I am standing on the edge of the bridge with the bungy cord wrapped around my ankles 43 meters (about 141 feet) above water. I hear the guide say, “walk to the edge, look up, put your hands up, and jump.” HAHAHA! YEAH OKAY. NO THANK YOU. But for some mysterious reason I followed his directions and before I knew it I was jumping off the bridge. It is somewhat comforting watching other people jump before you actually have to jump. All what I could think was “I hope I don’t scream like a little girl running away from a spider…” Well, I sounded even more terrified than that. I just remember screaming “OH NOOOOO” and then laughing the rest of the time. I guess, when I confronted my fear of falling and heights, all what my body could do was laugh. That’s pretty normal for me. The scariest part of the jump wasn’t the actual jump… It was after free falling for a few seconds, you expect to feel the cord pull you back up, well, it took a long time for me to feel that. I thought I was going head first into the river… No worries, I survived and I still can’t stop laughing when I think about the feeling!

What a jump! Whew. I couldn’t believe I actually did it! The adrenaline I felt afterwards was CRAZY!

Later on during the day, we went RIVER SURFING! No, I didn’t try to stand on another board… Ha ha! That was rough enough the first time. Imagine white water rafting… Going down grade 2-3 rapids but take away the raft and give all the passengers their own body board. That’s right, I went river surfing in rapids on a body board. I don’t have any pictures of this yet, but when I get them, I will be sure to post! River surfing was by far the most exhausting activity we did, but it was my favorite! It was such an awesome experience to feel the cold, COLD river water rushing over you while getting sucked into a mini whirlpool. I would go back and do it in a heartbeat.

Okay, so after this action packed day, I needed some major R&R… So naturally, I went into the hot tub in the middle area of our hostel. If you sat in just the right spot, you could look out over the mountains. It was the most relaxing spot without a doubt.

The following day was the Shotover Jet. It is a speed boat that zips through the canyons. Again, another adrenaline boost! The speed boat powered through the shallow waters and continued to do 360 spins and cut the corners close making it feel like you were about to fly into the mountain! Again– I don’t have any pictures of this event, but it is your standard speed boat going through the mountains.

Two of my favorite parts of Queenstown: CookieTime and FergBurger

CookieTime is a whole shop dedicated to delicious cookies. I got a warm cookie ice cream sandwich. One raspberry white chocolate cookie, cookies and cream ice cream, and one chocolate chip cookie. Heaven.

Next up: FergBurger… Probably one of the BEST burgers I have ever had in my life. It was a challenge to finish the whole thing, but you best believe I did… I know, it isn’t that surprising. I love food.

Dee.Lish.Uhshhh.

Ahhh, I’m hungry all over again. Darn it.

So, after all of this excitement and week in New Zealand, we needed one way to really rock Queenstown… we signed up for a bar crawl. The crawl took us to six different bars, including the famous ICE BAR. It is a bar that is made completely of ice. The stools, the tables, the glasses, the random ice sculptures, everything. It was so cool.

Sorry about the duck face. Haha!

The bar crawl was the perfect was to end the trip! It was such a fun night out. I was so happy the next morning– I woke up feeling refreshing and brand new… If you’ve ever been on a bar crawl, I know that you understand why I was so happy. Ha! We spent our last few hours in Queenstown sitting by the dock in the grass taking in the scenery.

New Zealand 2012…. What a week.

Okay– flying out of Queenstown– I WAS SCARED. After the first episode of turbulence, I thought flying out would be just as bad. We were even in a baby plane… The one with the propellers on the wings. Surprisingly, it was a nice and smooth ride. We flew from Queenstown to ChristChurch to Brisbane. After all of the traveling and adventures, I was so happy to see my own bed! It was perfect. I got home on November 8 and I turned 22 at midnight (November 9). I spent the night with a few good friends and I couldn’t be happier about it.

The following day, I spent the day celebrating with great people. Hillary and I went to Hungry Jack’s (Burger King) for lunch followed by McDonald’s for dessert. It was a perfect birthday! Thank you to everyone who made it special! I am definitely thankful for everyone in my life. I have never been more grateful for all of my friends and family.

Well, that is how the story goes… pretty crazy, right? This is my fourth attempt at writing this blog… Each other time I somehow deleted the post and could not recover it.

Guess what? It is FINALS WEEK(S)… I have one final on Wednesday, one Thursday and one next Wednesday! I’ll be blogging a few more times as I start to get sentimental about my experiences here in Australia. I cannot believe I only have 10 days left.

Wow.

SYDNEY

Okay, okay, okay. Where to start…

Sydney, Australia is simply amazing. Words cannot describe it, but here, I will try.

My journey to Sydney began on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. on a bus with 20 stellar people. After two hours on this baby bus, we picked up another group of students and transferred into an actual travel bus (like a Greyhound). For the next 12 hours, we all attempted to sleep. Thankfully, I was lucky enough to have a fun bus buddy. Thanks, Hil! You’d think that a 12 hour bus ride in the middle of the night would be a peaceful one- not so much. It was by far the funniest journey I have ever had. It was a perfect start to the trip. We arrived in Sydney around 9 a.m. Friday morning.

Once we arrived, we dropped off our baggage at our Hostel, Base. What a great place!

Anyways, we dropped off our bags and started our tour of Sydney on foot. We stopped at the ANZAC War Memorial, the Royal Botanic Gardens and St. Mary’s Cathedral.

The ANZAC War Memorial is in memory of those Australia soldiers who fought in World War I.

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Royal Botanic Gardens (I didn’t take a lot of pictures here… woops)

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St. Mary’s Cathedral. No pictures were allowed inside of the church, but imagine the most breathtaking church you ever could… That is what the cathedral looks like. Beautiful stained glass, high ceilings and gorgeous sculptures.

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Next up: THE OPERA HOUSE and PYLON BRIDGE CLIMB.

Okay, so all of the above was gorgeous and in Sydney, but for some reason, I still did not feel like I was in Sydney. We started walking down a walk way and there it was– THE SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE. YES. I finally felt like I was in Sydney, Australia! How exciting. During this time, everyone was leaning against a wall/ledge to get “that” picture. Well, I decided to be funny and lay on this ledge. This is the really funny part coming up… My third Australian prepaid phone (yes, I said third….) fell out of my pocket and into the ocean. So, I am going without a cell phone for the rest of my journey. Thank goodness for Facebook… Ha!

Anyways, back to the good stuff. The Opera House…

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**View from the Bridge!

After all of the sight seeing, we embarked to the Paddy Markets– The biggest flea market you will ever go to. It was a sensory overload. The smells, sights, noises… Woah. But I did get some awesome deals on some Aussie gear.

Favorite part of the weekend: HALLOWEEN BOOZE CRUISE.

That’s right… We got to go on a Halloween booze cruise. Everyone on the boat was dressed up and the sights were beautiful. The cruise went through the Sydney Harbour, so the views of the Opera House and the city itself were simply breathtaking.

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I was a nerd for Halloween…

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After the cruise, we went back to our hostel and went to the club next door, The Scary Canary. It was too much fun. The club shut down at 3 a.m. but my friend Nicole and I still wanted to experience Sydney night life… So, we did. We found a pub called Scruffy’s and with a little talking to the club manager, we were let in (no cover paid) at 3:30 a.m. and we finally left around 5 a.m. after we realized we had to be up in 3.5 hours for the Blue Mountains.

What. A. Night.

Surprisingly, the next morning was great. We loaded on the bus and in two short hours we were at the Blue Mountains! Again, breathtaking.

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Yes, I kissed a rock. It was for good luck, so I kissed it five times. You can read the story of the Three Sisters here:

http://www.bluemts.com.au/tourist/thingstodo/threesisters/

After spending the day on the bus and seeing the views of the Blue Mountains, we were back at our Hostel gearing up for round two!

We started the night on Oxford Street and ended up venturing to King’s Cross, an area in Sydney known for the clubs and craziness. We ended up coming back to Oxford Street because we are all cheap college students and did not want to pay any covers. Ha! Saturday was a much shorter night than Friday, but hey, it was just as fun.

The last day of our weekend was spent walking the beaches. We took the Sydney Ferry over to Manly Beach and then back to Sydney to take a walk on Bondi Beach and a few other beaches. The walk to Bondi Beach was awesome. They had an art show happening on the walk way. So many creative pieces! Loved it!

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I went up on that ledge! Gorgeous views!

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Well, after the beaches, we jumped on the bus and made our 14 hour trek home!

I fell in love with Sydney this weekend. If I ever move to Australia, I will live in Sydney. Woah.

DOWNER ALERT! I only have 24 days left in Australia…

UPPER ALERT! I am going to QUEENSTOWN, NEW ZEALAND November 2 to November 8!!! I am BEYOND excited. I’m not too sure what I’ll be doing there, but bungee jumping, white water rafting, and a few other things are in the works!

Thanks for reading.

Pat

Just another week in Australia…

Oh my goodness! I am so excited to be blogging for you today. (Really, I am!)

BIG NEWS!!! I’m going to SYDNEY Thursday to Monday!!! Watch out for my blog next week– there will be some AWESOME pictures and stories, I’m sure… fingers crossed!

Well, where should I start? I’ll start off by saying the past few weeks I have been oddly hyper, so I apologize if I jump around in thought…

I AM SO EXCITED! I only have ONE project left for the semester and then three exams. How crazy! Just a few weeks ago, I was stressed and making to-do lists all the time. No more, I say! No more! One thing I’ve learned to understand in Australia–Class is HARD. The grading criteria is less rigorous but the grading is much more difficult than home. Strange, but I’ve adjusted. No worries, Dad… I have been passing all of my classes and receiving good grades! Remember– I did get my brains from you ( I know that scares you. Ha! Ha! Ha!)

Okay, I’m over talking about classes. I have decided to dedicate at least ONE hour a day to the pool. No, I don’t mean swimming, I mean soaking up the sun at the pool. I am not as tan as I want to be. And the view at the pool is beautiful! (See, its “down under”)

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It is like this every single day! I have to admit it… I do miss fall and seeing everyone post pictures of all the leaves changing colors makes me homesick, but I would say that summer weather at the end of October is a perk. I’m not mad about it!

I’ve recently rediscovered my love for Starbucks. The closest Starbucks to campus is about a 20 minute bus ride, so it is TOTALLY worth it. I’m still not a big coffee drinker, but I’m falling in love with tea. The best part of Starbucks is the view. It is right by the ocean. I normally go with Hillary and Diana, and we will sit and talk while we listen to the ocean. There is nothing more exciting and peaceful at the same time.

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After Starbucks we HAVE to go to the beach.. I debated on diving into the sand, then I almost fell… So, I avoided the water. I’ve already had to buy THREE prepaid phones. How those went missing, we will not discuss…

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A few things I have learned:

Sunburn is not my friend. I need to put on HEAPS of sunblock. Especially when I have a tendency to fall asleep at the pool.

Kangaroos are adorable (BUT they are vicious!!)… I took these pictures ON CAMPUS. No zoom was used.

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That is all! I promised more pictures– I’m delivering.

Thanks so much for reading!

Pat

PS– I’m still planning to run the Cleveland 1/2 Marathon! I’ve ran 25 miles since October 12!

I falling in love with running. Weird. But a great type of weird. If any of you are runners and have any tips, please let me know!

38 days. What?

Hello! It is true… I only have 38 days left in Australia. How did this happen? I can remember being a little homesick puppy when I had 132 days left in Australia. How that feels has flipped. I know I’ve mentioned this before, but I feel like when I get back to the States all what I will want to do is come back to Australia.

Having such a small amount of time left is beginning to stress me out. I’ll be entering into my FINAL semester at Baldwin Wallace University and then after that **I can’t believe I’m saying this** I’ll graduate from college. Okay, I’m not going to think past graduating. Not yet.

So, you are all probably dying to know about my life lately, right? Oh, you’re not.. Well, I will fill you in anyways. A lot has changed. I run every day. I mentioned wanting to run the Cleveland 1/2 Marathon in one of my first blogs and it is still a goal. In order to reach this goal I run at least one mile a day. The past three days have been three mile runs. It is so cool– the past two days on my runs, this little white dog will run beside me… That is until someone faster runs past me, then he just abandons me. I think he is telling me I’m slow in an adorable “I’m a five pound dog and I can out run you” kind of way.

I like change. Recently, I decided to become a vegetarian. Why? Well, I don’t really know. It is my attempt to acknowledge my body. For the past 10 years of my life I have been brutal to my body. I used to be an avid drive-thru participant. It is a terrible habit to get into. I discovered that I like cooking. And cooking for myself is SO much cheaper than eating out four times a week.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention! It is my favorite time of the year… It is time to start applying to internships. This year I’ve been extremely prepared. I created an excel sheet of different companies that I am interested in working for in the Cleveland area. I’ve been applying to different positions on a daily basis– still no luck, but I’m staying positive. I’ve always found that finding the right opportunity to be difficult, but researching internships and companies seems to be more difficult while studying abroad.

Ahh, I cannot wait for my visit to SYDNEY! That trip begins in EIGHT days!!! Then a week after that, I will more than likely be in NEW ZEALAND. Shut up. It is true. I promise. Well, New Zealand still needs to be planned, but Sydney is for sure.

I’ve decided that I have missed WAY too many photo opportunities with kangaroos, so I am pledging to all of my followers to take more pictures of these animals playing around on campus.

Happy days to you and thanks for reading!

Pat

Still alive in Australia!

Hi Everyone!

Sorry that I have been slacking on blogging! After break ended two weeks ago, I’ve had multiple papers due, so majority of my days have been spent in the library… Also, I’ve begun my search for a spring internship… That means I’ve been writing resumes and cover letters practically every day. There are so many opportunities in Cleveland, Ohio! Fingers crossed I find a good match.

For warning: There are no pictures in this post. So, I’ll try to be colorful with my words in order to entertain you all.

It has been three months since I left the States. Hard to believe, right? It seems like yesterday I was landing in Australia and meeting new friends. But, no. It was three months ago. I cannot believe it.

So much of my life has changed in such a short period of time. I was terrified that I would miss so much back at BWU, but my friend who had went abroad, Jackie, told me that the only thing that will change throughout the semester is the way I view life and the world. How right is she. When I Skype home, I realize that things aren’t changing. Sure, there are new challenges, but everything seems to be constant. The challenges and opportunities I had last year are what some of my friends are having this year. Same year, different people.

I look back on the past three months and I all I can think is that I’m happy that I came to Australia. Sure, it has taken a toll on all of my relationships back home, but for me, I’ve never had more fun in my life. Everyday is an opportunity to do something new. I have always been so consumed in my routine at home, that I rarely did something “new.” Australia has taught me that there is always an opportunity to be creative and innovative with my day.

I have to remember that leaving Australia is not a bad thing. I feel like my last semester at BWU will be another semester abroad. I’ve become so accustomed to Australian classes, lifestyle and kangaroos. The fact that I will have the same class three times a week, the fact that I won’t be 20 minutes from the beach, or the fact that deers will probably look like foreign creatures to me seems so strange.

Okay– on the realy-o-dealy-o, I don’t want to leave. Ha! I’m getting sad just writing this post. Oh, goodness. I have a goal: make these last 44 days in Australia the best! I am going to SYDNEY in 24 days and then hopefully (fingers crossed) NEW ZEALAND in 29 days!