IV. “Do you know where Texas is? Yeah, South Dakota is a ways above that, near Canada.”

Before I start my random rambling about my latest hoodrat shenanigans, I’d like to thank my grandparents for giving me the opportunity to do this. They started a trust fund before I was born, which was then written in my name once I became a part of this family. Without them, this amazing experience probably wouldn’t be happening. I wouldn’t be taking pictures with wallabies, or attending a university that’s ranked in the top 2% worldwide.

Now back to this regularly programmed show.

The first week of classes have officially passed. Yes, you read correctly; I haven’t stepped foot in a classroom until now, well February 29th to be exact. So while all of my friends back at home have been stressing over assignments and quizzes, I’ve been prancing around Australia for the past three weeks (strictly Sydney and Wollongong. I haven’t ventured out to the great unknown just quite yet)!

[spoken in epic movie trailer voice]

But alas! The time had come for little Audrey to tighten those backpack straps and step into a world unknown: fall session at Uni. Would she get lost? What were classes like? Did she find friendly people in her classes?

[back to regular Audrey voice, well I guess it would be your voice, because you’re reading this, not me]

I got lost and was almost late to my class on my very first day. Due to some printing malfunctions back at the home base (dorm room), I ended up having to go to the library on campus to print my lecture notes for class. Time and technology were racing against me. I tried to be independent and print what I needed by myself, but with 15 minutes until class and no notes, I had to go ask for help. By the time I had two people try to help me, there was only 7 minutes until my Chinese class was and I had no clue where the building I was supposed to go, was! Giving up on the lecture notes, I frantically pulled up the “Lost on Campus” app on my phone and typed in the building 24. Time was ticking and the map wasn’t really helping, so I searched the sea of uni students and saw two girls who seemed friendly. With their help, I made it to my class with 2 minutes to spare!

Just when I was about to relax in my seat, my Chinese professor announced that we had to go around the room and introduce ourselves IN MANDARIN! Note: I haven’t taken a mandarin class since my freshman year of college. Thankfully, the introductions started in the back and I was sitting in the middle, so I had some time to listen to what everybody else had to say and followed suit. I introduced myself like most others :你好! 我叫尚晓明。我二十一岁。(Hello! My name is Audrey. I am 21 years old). The rest of the class wasn’t too bad. There were a few times where I couldn’t remember what a character was, but I survived. My professor is really nice and I made a friend. Her name is Emily and we happen to be in the same tutorial class!

I didn’t have any other traumatizing events happen the rest of the week. All of my classes (3) don’t seem too bad, but ask me again in a few months! It’s so nice only having one class a day. I can go into the city center or beach before and after most of my classes. I could definitely get used to this!

I’ll leave you with this story that at the time wasn’t funny, but now is:

Due to the lack of clean clothes, Thursday was laundry day. I was a little nervous, being it my first time doing laundry here and I had gotten used to the luxury of not having to pay to use the machines at Gustavus. I knew that it cost $2 per load in the wash and $2 per load in the dryers, so I brought all of my coins and laundry downstairs. On each machine, it read “$1 coins only.” As I put my first load of laundry into the washing machine, I scrounged around for my $1 coins. Turns out I had 3…. I was able to wash both loads (my friend let me have one of his $1 coins), but since I didn’t have the right coins to dry my clothes, I had everything hanging on hangers in my closet. It took about 2 days (so today) for some of my things to dry! Moral of the story: exchange your $2 coins and paper money for $1 coins!

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