by Jennifer Skakavac
Exchange is all about embracing new opportunities and placing yourself out of your comfort zone. When placed in a sticky situation that is completely out of your hand, learning to embrace the mishaps and opportunities they afford are more beneficial than letting the so call ‘trauma’ override your experience.
I am not the luckiest of people, but sometimes, my unluckiness has made the resulting outcome insanely memorable and enjoyable. That’s when the scale switches to 99% luck and only 1% trauma. For instance, after spending 5 days in Malta, which is insanely beautiful (would definitely recommend), a car bombing led me to miss flight. Although annoying, we decided to take advantage of the opportunity and ended up booking 2 nights in hotel accommodation, and trust me, we were the youngest people in the buffet dining hall, we got a few looks but WHO CARES YOLO. We took advantage of the two days, and spent it absorbing the Mediterranean sun and drinking cocktails on the beach.
Another instance of embracing trauma, is when we bought scalped tickets for the Chainsmokers concert in London. To be honest, when the manager told us they were all fake (we paid 4 times the face value), we didn’t even attempt to plead, we were pretty pathetic to be fair. However, out of pure pity (no shame), he gave us 4 free seating tickets, and then we used our fake standing tickets to get on the GA floor. Like OMG, perfect example of 99% trauma turning into 99% luck. That being said, it was one of the best nights of my life.
Overall, exchange has been an amazing experience. It’s unimaginable the places I have been, and travelling really does give you an energy that takes you out of this world. From getting drenched for a photo under Skogafoss waterfall in Iceland and chasing rainbows, to running around Dubrovnik at 3am in the morning, exchange has really set in stone some memories that will remain with me for life. I know this sounds cliché, but the meaning of YOLO on exchange takes on a whole new level. You will end up booking trips to random countries because flights are on sale. A return flight to Luxembourg for 18 pounds? That’s peanuts! Even though I never really heard of the country beforehand, Luxembourg was a complete ball. I am a tourist fanatic, but sometimes, I must admit it really does drain me, so instead of running around ticking off sites on my bucket list, I would chill in a café and talk to friends, or my personal favourite, unwind and experience the night
Exchange and travelling will change you, and you will love and embrace the change. I honestly do not know how I am going to cope mentally when I get home, especially with UNSW’s workload (pure Rest in Peace), but I’m thankful to have my comm int peeps as my rock. Have fun on exchange and do not ever ever, miss out on opportunities that you will regret, and never let the trauma you experience destroy your fun. Embrace it, love it, and laugh about it, plus you will sound like a total badass for surviving haha.
MUCH LOVE FROM THE UNITED KINGDOM,
Rain drop, drop top!