For someone who hates numbers, I’ve had to deal with them a lot over the past few weeks.
Student number for university.
Application number for my police check.
Batch number for my vaccinations.
And of course the student helpline phone number because golly whiskers this is confusing.
Yes, that’s right, I’m off to university. My last blog post centred around not knowing what I wanted to do, and it seems that I have now decided I will study medicine at UNSW, which is a thoroughly exciting prospect. Slightly more daunting is the fact that this new opportunity involves a step so far out of my comfort zone that I’ll probably be in the Timbuktu of comfort, i.e., not at all. I’m moving from my relatively isolated rural property, onto a bustling university campus, in the biggest city in Australia!
There are definitely a few things I’ve done to make my life a little bit easier, considering my inexperience. For example, I’m not taking my own car, because city driving involves pedestrians rather than kangaroos, traffic lights rather than roundabouts, and fancy sports cars rather than hulking Landcruisers. (This leaves me to handle public transport, but that’s a post of its own :-)). I’m also going fully catered, in on campus accommodation, I’m hoping that will reduce my responsibilities and give me a bit more time and space to work myself out.
The thing about moving is that it’s simultaneously simple and complicated. In essence, it really just involves relocating myself. I’ve stayed away from home for long periods and travelled overseas by myself, so the independence thing will just be an extension of what I’ve already practiced. Also, I know a few people who will be on the other end to greet me.
That’s the simple part. The complicated part is that a rural lifestyle has been a part of me for so long that I’m probably going to struggle to get used to not having my horse in the paddock adjoining my backyard. That in my travels between suburbs, I won’t be welcomed by signs telling me the ‘population ratio of sheep to people’ as I am when I travel between towns in my area. These little things that have made me who I am, will now only be able to appear via Skype and Facebook photos and during semester breaks, rather than from the second I open my eyes in the morning, having been awoken by cows calling for their calves and a dog snoring outside my window.
I think that everyone feels a bit like this when something as monumental as the move to university comes along. There are people moving interstate, between cities, from the city to the country, overseas, and everything in between. And I tell you what, I think a lifestyle change is life changing for all of us. As a result, the most important numbers over the next few weeks for me, will probably be the phone numbers of my parents, who I will call and ask them to pass the phone around. To my horse Bellboy, to my dog Charlie, to the dying microwave that really needs replacing. Because they’re sounds of my rural home that can sneak their way into city life, just like me.