Well, after 6 days I can finally consider myself set-up!
Getting here went much better than I had expected. Besides getting hopelessly turned around in LAX (6 times to be exact), the traveling went smoothly. We were supposed to have a two hour layover, but ended up with about 15 minutes by the time we found the international terminal. We laughed the whole way, but I think we both secretly wished my dad had been there to keep us on track.
Getting everything set-up was the next adventure. We started with my bank account, followed by my cell phone, a couple trips to the enrollment office to figure out how school here works, and today we finalized my housing!
The enrollment office was more than helpful, and I confirmed my major as econometrics. I'm still not 100% sure what I'm going to do with it, but I know I enjoy it and I know the rest will follow. Walking around the business school was incredible. College here is much different, for example: ALL of my classes will be in the same building, I won't have to take electives that don't apply to my major, and I was not assigned an advisor. All of those things are awesome to me, besides the advisor. The lovely people who helped me figure out enrollment made it clear there is no "hand-holding" in their uni system, so the learning curve has been steep. It's really given me an opportunity to practice independce in my schooling, which I hadn't yet realized I had a dependence on my advisors. The university is gorgeous, I will make a point to get lots of pictures!
Figuring out where I was going to live required lots of praying, from everyone. We told my Dad we would get life figured out before we "played", but we took a well-deserved trip to the beach on day 5. We viewed a total of 7 apartments. Two of them were simply not-livable. We viewed two terrace homes across from Victorian park, a large park near the university, where the rooms were good options, but the 'good vibes' were missing with my potential roommates. We narrowed it down to two options.
The first option, I would have been living with two forty-ish gay men, who weren't a couple. That may sound weird at first, but they were lovely and they have an adorable dog that my mom instantly fell in love with (you could say she misses the dogs).
The second option, which we went with, has me living with Harry, a cello player who occasionally teaches, his mom, who travels to Melbourne often to see her boyfriend and enjoys crafting and DIY projects, and a PhD student who was renting the other room in the house (I haven't met him, but he is from the US and studying some kind of sustainable engineering). On our way to view the house, the sky was the prettiest pink. I made the comment to my mom how I wish we could see the sunset, but there were lots of buildings in the way. We viewed the house while enjoying conversation with Harry, and by the time we got to the loft area (where my room is) I had the 'good vibes' I was looking for in a flatmate. The room has it's own ensuite (it's quite small and I'm quite excited for the challenge of adjusting from the double vanity I'm used to, I'm a brat I know). It also has a terrace facing NorthWest, and it so happened that you can perfectly see the sunset from it. You can also see my school. I had been asking my angel for guidance in finding the right place to live, and took this as the perfect omen. Before leaving my mom and I knew we loved it, and said that we would take it. Harry proceeded to tell us he had more people lined up to view the room, and he was also looking for 'good vibes' from his flatmates. So, we conversed for a couple more minutes and left with our fingers crossed. He texted me the following night to offer me the room, and the relief was spectacular. We started gathering everything we would need today, thank goodness for my mother.
The people here have been incredible from the moment we landed. My mother and I look confused often trying to follow a map, and everytime we are offered assistance from a local. We have never been brushed off when we ask a local for help, and all of our questions are answered fully (typically we're overwhelmed by the information).
The city is unbelievably clean. The street cleaners run every morning, and they have side-walk cleaners. Am I the only one who didn't know that was a thing? We have only been out at night twice, and have never doubted our safety.
I am so lucky to be here, and so grateful my mom chose to come with me.
It's crazy to think my adventure is just starting. The job search will start in the 2 weeks I have between mom leaving and school starting. Wish me luck!
Love & light