Advice, Communication, Observations, Student Exchange, Travel

August: Humboldt County

In August 2012, I arrived in Humboldt County. To embark on a journey that I thought would lead to the discovery of a wildly different culture to my own, to the discovery of new perspectives, new ideas, new relationships, to the discovery of both amazing and disgusting food. But I discovered more than I bargained for because I was not expecting to discover myself.

My time at Humboldt State University seemed to be nothing but challenge after challenge. Some would have put it down to homesickness, others might have seen that I wasn’t content working toward a degree I was no longer happy studying. Don’t get me wrong, I was still determined to pursue photography, I simply didn’t have the strength to pursue my studies of it. I knew my time in America was limited and I made choices, I prioritised. I threw myself into my social life and travelling America. I did so because I didn’t want to spend so much of my time trying to complete assignments that had no bearing on my discovery of the culture I had long been fascinated by. Nor did I want to capture – and therefore interrupt my experience of – my friendships, adventures and discoveries. I wanted to experience the culture – and in my mind that was very much the opposite of what taking photographs would allow me to do. It would only ever be a superficial documentation if I did not have any deeper level of understanding and would serve as a reminder of the experience I had missed out on.

Despite failing half of my classes, I don’t have any regrets. I gained strengths socially and emotionally through friendships that will hopefully last a lifetime. My confidence has been at an all time high since my exchange because the people I met on exchange believed in me. My personal identity was strengthened by peers who accepted me wholly – with all of my faults. Funnily enough, putting my insecurities on show allowed me to accept those parts of myself because others had accepted them without question.

CK.

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Advice, Communication

Passion For The Process

Until recently I’ve never really been asked, expected or felt like I needed to search for my true passion. I was always praised for my natural intellect and believed that would carry me through life. Well, I’m 24 and so far my life hasn’t panned out how I expected it to when I was in school. And I’ve come to the realisation that while I got good grades throughout my schooling, I never really learnt anything, least of all about myself.

I think my journey of discovery began when I started university. And now I’m at the point where I am aware of my strengths, weaknesses, values, passions, goals and failures, and I’ve spent a lot of time reading articles and watching videos, focused on finding your purpose in life and following your dreams. I believe that this introspection has made me aware of the components of living a purposeful life. So I’m writing this now as a way to condense the knowledge I’ve accumulated over the last few years. To help others continue or redirect themselves down the right path and as a reminder to myself if I think I’ve lost my way. Continue reading

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Student Exchange, Travel

Reflecting on Exchange

It’s been nearly six months since I left the United States and other than a few conversations here or there I haven’t thoroughly reflected on the discoveries I made during my student exchange. You might be wondering “Well why now?” I guess it’s mostly because I’ve returned to university this week and it’s solidified the fact that I am a different person now. Continue reading

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Communication, Health

Near Death Experience

On the way to Los Angeles I realised that I had left all of my insulin in Arcata. In case you don’t know, insulin is what processes carbohydrates into energy, but in the case of a Type 1 or Juvenile Diabetic, like myself, this needs to be administered in the form of multiple daily injections or an insulin pump. I figured that I had enough in my pump to last me until I got home. So I would just need to get mum to make me an appointment with the local doctor on the day I arrived home.

I forgot to ask mum to make an appointment. Continue reading

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List

Things I Miss, Unexpectedly

I miss playing Scrabble with my mum.
I miss late night shopping.
I miss Richard Mercer.
I miss watching television with someone.
I miss short shorts, summer dresses, floral skirts, and straw hats.
I miss sport. Not playing it, but watching it.
I miss my sister.
I miss how a seven hour drive at home means seeing my gorgeous nephews face, fingers and feet.

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