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Being the Butterfly - My University Experience. - Kiara Basset

Everyone at some point in their lives goes from that comfortable and sheltered caterpillar to the beautiful and confident butterfly they truly meant to be. Some of us take our time to pluck up the courage, to take that leap of faith and some are already flying through the skies of endless possibilities but, we all have our own journeys and our own timing. My butterfly moment is just beginning, and I can’t wait to see where it leads me.

After living all my 18 years of life in my hometown, Cape Town, South Africa, I didn’t know I would be moving to Sydney, Australia, in the midst of a pandemic trying to figure out this new life and new me that I want to create for myself while studying a design degree.

I moved from a mainstream school to an online school and finishing high school a year and a bit ahead of all my friends, to getting on a plane in the middle of the COVID pandemic, leaving my friends and loved ones behind, my childhood home, my dogs and my familiarity of knowing where everything is to a whole new level of unknown, to say I was scared was an understatement. After a couple of months down the line, in heavy lockdown in Sydney, I realized that I better get started finding something I want to do. I knew I liked design and fashion, so I started my search to find the course best suited. After looking around and finding a course I thought I might like and enjoy doing, which ended up falling through (I still haven’t heard back from about my pre-enrolment J) I came across Billy Blue but… the course I wanted to do started the day before. Being an international student, my agent hopped onto the phone instantly and worked her magic to somehow get me in. After a week, I got my student number, my email and I was choosing my electives. Now a week behind and trying to figure out what stationery and how to use Blackboard I started to panic.

Now people always say university is NOTHING like school and you listen and agree but all I can say is it is definitely NOTHING CLOSE to school. Coming out from that very structured and rigid lifestyle for the last 12 years of my life to moving to a completely new continent and new system of school is something you definitely have to get use to. My first lecture was interesting to say the least, Design Context, we were looking at the context behind photos and what our interpretation of the photos were, and everyone was doing amazing, giving these long, beautiful explanations and I’m sitting there seeing a guy in a picture looking at me with intensive glaze in his eyes. I was second guessing my abilities. After having a slight meltdown, I sat with my parents and we did an exercise where we looked outside the window and spoke about what we saw, we all saw completely different stuff but neither of our observations were wrong, they were just different.

Being in a high school and junior school you honestly get spoon-fed and have no way of making something your own. I know there is an importance in some aspects of school but there are so many important skills to learn from an early age. Using your creativity and being openminded and finding innovative ways to solve problem solving is so important in this day and age. This is something university has definitely taught me and is something I will be looking into as I gain experience in the design industry.

A couple of weeks down the line, three assessments done and many more on the way, I can say that transformation and change take time and becoming your beautiful butterfly will happen and it will happen at your own pace, it’s a beautiful process and something you definitely will be proud when you look back to where you have come from to where you are going.

Enjoy the journey.

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