What will you cherish when you graduate?
Your studies? How about your assignment? Perhaps not, I think you will miss the moments you spent with your friends.
It might be the first conversation you had, the first gossip you shared, laughter that was so loud that the lecturer had to remind you that you were in a class, late night assignments talks, the conference you attended together, the clubs you went with your friends, the new cuisine you both tired and many more.
But perhaps like me, you had a problem making new friends when you started your university life in a new country for the very first time.
It was my first day at university and I walked into a room full of new faces. I felt like I was an alien in the room. I sat down in a corner of room and took a glance at the room and found only some people from my country and most of them from different countries.
My first thought was that I should talk to the people from my own country, as this would be much easier than talking to people from other countries. But I did not do that and just kept quiet for the first period. A person sitting next to me asked where I was from and asked my name too and she was the first friend I made in CQUniversity. After the first class ended I started talking to others and I began feeling more comfortable making friends with people from my country.
But the challenging part was when I tried to make friends from other countries. Since other students were only making groups with people from their own country it was difficult to approach them.
It was dreadful at first when people would be in a group and I would walk in and talk to them. I was afraid if I spoke anything that was against their culture or I would be the joke of the day if I say something wrong. For some instance, they would see me with a spooky eye and my conversation with them started with a cliché question ‘Where are you from and what is your name?’ and the conversation kept on going from sharing about how our countries were different in language, food, culture, lifestyle and much more. The conversation started to become more and more interesting and I started to make friends from different countries. Although English was not our first language everyone spoke with their own accent which was captivating.
Many of my friends were also other international students who have left their hometown to study in Melbourne and we shared a common story such as being away from home, living an independent life, trying to find part time jobs, pushing hard to juggle work and study and so on. These common grounds made us more connected. We started to study in a group which gave us the opportunity to respect each other’s opinion and accumulates more ideas.
So far, I have made friends from different nationalities, ages, culture, language and countries during my study in CQUniversity. Many of them are my mentors, mentees and role model who always push me to perform beyond my potential and it is fascinating how the lecturers also have become my friends because I feel comfortable talking to them and sharing the problems I face in my studies which are not common in my culture.
Lastly, making friends from different countries and culture has taught me more about diverse culture, lifestyle and the skills to accept and indulge in a different situation. Each friend I have made through my journey has added a pearl to my life and are always important in my life. I am proud to say that I have made friends from all over the globe after coming to Melbourne.