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Going up. - Fiona Khalil

‘This is it. I’m going up. No backing out now’

Is what I thought to myself as I hit the arrow for the elevator button. I thought that the sound of my heart beating at 100BPM in the metal box that was raising me above the ground, would be the most nerve-racking part about this whole experience but boy was I wrong.

I’ll be brutally honest and say that the doors of Torrens university were very intimidating.

It was intimidating because I really wanted it to be an experience of a lifetime. Everyone says that University is where the magic happens, where you make lifelong friends, make new memories and learn all the fun stuff that school never taught us so I felt as if I needed to make every memory count. Sadly, trying to make perfect memories is impossible and while I still push myself to the depths of fear to try and make it happen, in the end I always give up and give in.

There were a lot of little things that I realised I needed to get adjusted to ASAP.

Firstly, calling my lecturers by their first names. Trying to break from a 13-year habit of calling people Sir and Miss from school is like trying to write the date after new year’s. I still write 2020 on forms…and we’re in October. Sometimes it just doesn’t feel right.

Secondly, not asking for permission to leave for the bathroom. It’s outrageous but it feels so illegal! I tried to do It once and ended up running back to class, completely ignoring my bladders needs and told my lecturer that I was going bathroom. I buckled. Don’t judge me. Lastly, wearing what I want. Uniforms, as we all know, are a must in school so building the courage to wear my Naruto jacket and the nice jeans I bought from cotton on felt bizarre. It’s something so small but I would freak out thinking everyone was staring at me. Thankfully those days are past me and I wear what I want now…I occasionally freak out but I’m working on it.

There something so enticing about my first day. Being in a new environment, as cliché as it sounds, felt like i was waiting at the very top of a roller-coaster. The roller-coaster your friends forced you to get on, even though you just ate two cheese toasties (most definitely not speaking from experience). Maybe this ‘new environment’ felt comfortable to me because I was finally building a road to the goals, I’ve wanted to achieve for years now. It might be a crumbling road with washed out colours and cracks but nonetheless, a road that I was finally building with my own two hands.

I’m only in my 1st year of Uni and COVID kind of ruined all the fun, new and scary experiences I could’ve made but I’m glad that my first day wasn’t too bad. Walking to the train station after a full day is its own story but thankfully that was a good experience too.

I’m hopeful that my “crumbling road” with “washed out colours and cracks” will be strong enough for me to drive on after I graduate, and I can begin newer and more scarier journeys that’ll keep me on my toes. I doubt they’ll be as bloodcurdling as calling your lecturer “sir” for the third time in a row but I’m sure it’ll be just as embarrassing and horrifying.

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